Jean Gross was formerly England’s Communication Champion for children and young people, responsible for promoting the importance of good language skills. She chaired the 2018 ‘Bercow: Ten Years On’ independent review of services for children with speech, language and communication needs. She was awarded a CBE in the 2011 New Year’s honours list, for services to education.
Jean has been a teacher, an educational psychologist and head of children’s services in a local authority. She has been a Visiting Fellow at both Bristol University and London University’s Institute of Education, and is currently an Associate Fellow at Warwick University. She is the author of numerous articles and bestselling books on children’s issues, including Beating Bureaucracy in Special Educational Needs (3rd edition, 2013, David Fulton) and Time to Talk (2nd edition, 2018, Routledge). She has frequently acted in an advisory capacity to government on early years, communication and language, wellbeing and special educational needs policy.
Jean’s interests are in the systematic application of evidence-based approaches to tackling disadvantage and under-achievement. She edited the Centre for Social Justice/Smith Institute publication Getting in Early, summarising the evidence on what works for disadvantaged children, and co-wrote with KPMG the influential Long-term costs of literacy difficulties and Long-term costs of numeracy difficulties reports, which sought to quantify the social return on investment in effective early intervention. A forthcoming book Reaching the unseen children explores what schools can do to raise the attainment of disadvantaged children, particularly for a group who consistently do worse in our education system than almost all others – white children eligible for free school meals.