Key Contacts in the Local Area across Education, Health and Social Care 


The Local Authority (London Borough Of Sutton) and Cognus

In November 2016, the local authority ‘spun out’ its education support services to create a company known as Cognus which is wholly owned by the Local Authority. Its core purpose is to deliver effective education services: this is further enabled by the Company's remit and scope to open up new funding streams and trading opportunities to reinvest back into local services. Visit the Cognus website (external site). 

The vast majority of education support services (admissions, SEND, SEND transport, school improvement / Early years, attendance, inclusion services etc.) are delivered by Cognus. The structure of the company, governance arrangements and senior leadership can be found on the company’s website here (external site).

A small education team remains in the local authority led by the Assistant Director for Education and SEND covering functions such as education policy, strategy, commissioning, place planning, Schools’ Funding / Schools Forum, communications and engagement. Whilst there are separate governance arrangements for the Local Authority and Cognus, the AD for Education and SEND sets the strategic direction for Cognus through our commissioning relationship, whereas the Managing Director of Cognus oversees the day to day running of the company in order to deliver that strategic intent. 

Key Contacts: LBS - Education Team

Name and Title Contact Details

Fiona Phelps

Assistant Director for Education and SEND

Kieran Holliday

Head of Pupil Based Commissioning

Laura Byrnes

Early Years and Pupil Commissioning Manager

Oonagh Bensberg

Development Lead - Education

Rebecca Gardner

Commissioning Lead Children’s Health and SEND

Carolyn Scott

Commissioning Manager (SEND)

Key Contacts: PlayWise CIC - Portage

Name and Title Contact Details

Pam Fry

CEO - Playwise CIC 

Key Contacts: Cognus - Education Services

Name and Title Contact Details

Joanna Cassey

Managing Director

Laura Compton

Services Director

Amalia Banon

Head of SEND

Jane Morgan

Head of SEND Support and School Improvement Adviser

Helen Gasparelli

Head of Inclusion

Nicholas English

Principal Educational Psychologist

Jane Gates 

Early Years SEND Team (Cognus)

Kate Leyshon

Headteacher of Sutton Virtual School

Cognus SEND Team Cognus

Contact details across the partnership are listed here:

Key Contacts: Health Services

Name and Title Contact Details

Karishma Parmar

Designated Clinical Officer for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (Sutton)

NHS South West London CCG

Catherine Kane

Health service commissioners

School Nursing Team - weekly drop in clinics in secondary school for children and young people to access. Parents can contact the school nursing team with or without school involvement.

Sutton CAMHS single point of access available Monday – Friday 9am-5pm  

Referrals can be made by GP’s, other healthcare professionals, schools, and others via  Tel: 0203 513 3800

Key Contacts: Local Authority Social Care

Name and Title Contact Details

Bill Brittain

Head of service - All age learning disability 
Jonathan Williams, Assistant Director, Peoples Services Directorate - Children's Social Care and Safeguarding

Lorraine Falconer

Transition Service Manager 

Joanne Mitchell

Service Manager, Children with Disabilities 

Averil Kathan

Head of Service

Referral, Assessment and Intervention. 

Mike Montrose-Francis 

Manager for  Children's First Contact Service &  Emergency out of Hours Service

Michael Taylor

Head of Service - Corporate Parenting