Jean Gross is a popular speaker and writer on children’s issues. She is passionate about achieving better life chances for children and young people who don’t have much going for them in their lives and dedicates her time to trying to make a difference for this group.  She has been a teacher, an educational psychologist, head of children’s services in a local authority, a charity CEO and a Visiting and Associate Fellow at three universities. She was awarded a CBE in 2011 for services to education.


Jean has frequently acted in an advisory capacity to government on early years, wellbeing and special educational needs policy. Until 2011 she was the government’s Communication Champion for children and young people, responsible for promoting the importance of good language skills. Before this she headed a charity responsible for the very successful Every Child a Reader and Every Child Counts one-to-one tuition programmes, and led work on overcoming barriers to achievement as a Director of the government’s National Strategies. Here she developed the influential SEAL approach to developing children’s social and emotional competences.


She is the author of numerous articles and best-selling books, including Psychology and Parenthoood (Open University Press, 1989), Special Educational Needs in the Primary School (Open University Press, 2002), Special Educational Needs and School Improvement (David Fulton, 2004), Beating Bureaucracy in SEN (Routledge, 4th edn, 2023) and Time toTalk (Routledge, 2nd edition, 2017). She co-authored the Education Endowment Foundation's influential report Improving Social and Emotional Learning in Primary Schools.


Her latest book Reaching the unseen children - practical strategies for closing stubborn attainment gaps in disadvantaged groups is available at