About Gill Doherty

I’m Gillian Doherty, co-founder of SEND Action and SEND Community Alliance and now a director of SNJ. My professional background is in children’s publishing where I worked as a writer and editor for over 25 years before taking a step back due to family commitments and health issues. I have three sons. My youngest has Down syndrome. We have recently returned to the UK after spending most of the last ten years living in Africa.

Much of my time these days is spent campaigning on disabled children’s rights and trying to inform and influence local and national policies and strategies to improve the experiences of disabled children and young people and their families. I co-founded SEND Action to support and coordinate strategic group legal action on key SEND issues, including a judicial review against the Secretary of State for Education and Chancellor of the Exchequer regarding SEND funding. I represent SEND Community Alliance on the Special Education Consortium and on the SEND Strategic Oversight Board.

I am passionate about social justice and have a lifelong background in volunteering with various charities, including with disabled and disadvantaged children in the UK and internationally. I have a research background in international development, focussing on children and education. I am currently developing research partnerships to explore and evidence the experiences of disabled children and young people and their families, particularly concerning access to justice. 

At this critical time, I believe it's more important than ever that the many and varied voices of disabled children and young people and their families and carers are heard and that they are meaningfully involved in strategic decision-making, as genuine partners.

“I first came across SNJ when we were already well over a year into our (supposedly max 20-week) EHC needs assessment and I am forever grateful to the person who passed on their details. I am in awe of their hard work and commitment over so many years. They give me hope that positive change is possible. It’s a real privilege to join the team." 

Gill Doherty

Articles featuring Gill on SNJ

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