Our Story

"If you can't trace a line between the work you are doing and the impact on a young person’s life, then stop".





Strategic thinking

Getting Started

Formed by Department for Education in early 2000 to strengthen local school improvement.

Keeping going

After 3 years of successful delivery, SDSA’s commission was extended to 2005.

Evolving fast

SDSA was floated off and became a ‘not for profit’ with no budget allocation.

Growing partnerships

Continuing to provide support across Leicester, SDSA’s footprint grew across the East Midlands delivering improvements in CYPS through a sector-led approach.

Redefining our approach

SDSA evolved to become ‘behind the scenes’ strategic partner supporting a school-led system helping every child reach their potential.

Dynamic team

Our dynamic team grew to 20+ each with their own specialisms, skills and expertise.

Going strong

SDSA is proud to have a local, regional and national reach supporting over 60 projects with long standing partnerships across the sector.


I'm delighted to welcome you to SDSA. We're a not for profit company working with education providers and children's services across the country. Having worked in senior roles in schools and children’s services, I joined SDSA as the CEO in 2022 and look forward to continuing to promote the values which it had promoted for over twenty years and with a focus on improving life opportunities for young people.

We strongly believe in working alongside our partners and design projects with our clients. It means we’re proud to be able to reinvest into designing new products and being a not for profit company means we can focus directly on client needs rather than shareholder needs.

Our cornerstones

Well-being & Culture

Learning & Development

Clients & Quality

SDSA Directors

I am proud to be part of a values driven dynamic organisation that provides such a unique and needed service to the education sector. Over the past two decades SDSA has been shaped by the changing needs of our clients and their service users. Throughout this time, we have built an enviable reputation and a culture that enables us to anticipate, adapt and evolve - and through this we have nurtured an incredibly strong team of brilliantly diverse and talented individuals. On behalf of the Directors we are excited for what the next 20 years will bring.

Jane Ridgewell

Chair of






Local Authority