National Strategic Commissioning Group (additional support needs)


The strategic commissioning of national services was proposed by Peter Doran who undertook a review of learning provision for children and young people with complex additional support needs.

His final report: The Right Help at the Right Time in the Right Place: Strategic Review of Learning Provision for Children and Young People with Complex Additional Support Needs was published in 2012.

The National Strategic Commissioning Group (NSCG) was set up to take forward recommendations from the Doran Review. The objectives of the NSCG are to:

  • develop and, following ministerial approval, communicate a 10 year strategy for the provision of strategically commissioned national services for learning provision for children and young people with complex additional support needs
  • review the long term strategy every 2 years
  • within funding limits set by ministers, develop, and following ministerial approval, communicate and oversee the implementation of a 3 year cyclical commissioning plan that supports the 10 year strategy with the first commissioned services to be in place by the start of the 2017/18 academic year
  • collectively and individually communicate with stakeholders to promote openness and transparency
  • identify the resources need to support the group
  • identify and commission as appropriate additional information or expert input required to support the commissioning process
  • make proposals for commissioned services, including their funding, that are aligned with related policy developments across education health and social care
  • ensure that recommendations do not disadvantage children and young people currently in receipt of services
  • review the membership of the group every 2 years and make recommendations to ministers about changes to membership if required


  • Caroline Amos, North Ayrshire Council representing Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES)
  • David Barr, Aberlour representing Coalition of Care & Support Providers in Scotland (CCPS) & Educating Through Care Scotland (ETCS)
  • Donna Bell, Deputy Director for the Learning Directorate, Scottish Government
  • Carolyn Brown, Fife Council representing The Association of Scottish Principal Educational Psychologists (ASPEP)
  • Owen Derrick, National Parent Forum Scotland
  • Megan Farr, Children & Young People's Commissioner Scotland
  • Richard Hellewell, Royal Blind School representing Grant Aided Special Schools (GASS)
  • Andy Jeffries, Head of Service representing Social Work Scotland (SWS)
  • Alex Little, NHS Dumfries & Galloway representing NHS Chief Executives
  • Steven McPherson, Education Scotland
  • Ruth Mendel, Scottish Council of Independent Schools
  • Paul Nisbet, CALL Scotland representing the grant funded national centres, Scottish Sensory Centre (SSC) & Enquire
  • Jane O'Donnell, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
  • Margaret Orr (Chair)

Scottish Government Officials (Project Management Team)

  • Laura Meikle, Support and Wellbeing Unit, Scottish Government
  • Deborah Lynch, Support and Wellbeing Unit, Scottish Government (secretariat)
  • Deborah Walker, Support and Wellbeing Unit, Scottish Government




c/o Learning Directorate
Scottish Government
Victoria Quay


An archive prior to 2017 is available at Doran Review on the archive.

Back to top