Policy and advocacy

Kids has over 50 years on-the-ground experience working alongside children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and their families, providing support, advice and information.

Our ambition

Working with children and young people of all disabilities from birth to the age of 25, we hear the same story of hard-to-access, inconsistent and often inadequate support services. Stark, structural inequalities of access, opportunity and outcome mean that rights are not being realised. Voices, knowledge and expertise are marginalised or ignored.

This is why policy and advocacy are a core part of Kids work.

Our ambition is for every child or young person with SEND to meet their own potential. We believe that the right support and a range of opportunities need to be in place to ensure that every individual can thrive.

We turn practical expertise and trusted relationships with families into advocacy. By putting the voice of those with lived experience at the heart of driving essential systemic change, better access to services, consistency and outcomes are achievable.

The changes we want to see

Our Manifesto for Change outlines five clear areas where Government action is needed in order to transform the lives of disabled children and young people.

Getting it right in the early years

The Government must ensure that the childcare expansion doesn’t further exclude children with SEND from early years settings.

Navigating a complex system

We recommend that the Government provides a Navigator to every family with a disabled child.

Getting the right help into adulthood

The Government must step up and demonstrate action on a national level to fix the disjointed transition support system.

Making community provision and care and support work

Every child with SEND should be able to access activities in the community in the same way as other children.

Let us shape the decisions that affect us

Every local authority should ensure participation of young disabled people in local decisions that affect them becomes routine.

National Partnerships

We collaborate widely to amplify the voices of children and young people with SEND, directly advocating to MPs, advisers and service commissioners.

To effectively champion the voices of those we work with, we play an active role in national partnership, as part of:

Jimmy says

“Kids has given me a chance to not only speak about me, my experiences but also to represent the views of other young people with disabilities.

“I have been involved in helping OFSTED and CQC redesign their inspection framework, helping Kids develop their future plans and strategy and speaking to the SEND All Party Parliamentary Group about my experiences during lockdown.

“I use an eye gazer to communicate and this can be a barrier but Kids works with me to ensure my voice can be heard.”

Jimmy, 24

News stories

Nursery staff playing with disabled child
CEO blog post
8 Jul 2024

Reflections on the new government and the broken SEND system

Kids Chief Executive Katie Ghose's thoughts on long-term opportunities and immediate fixes

A young person is looking out a cabin playhouse, one hand on his chin
2 May 2024

Kids releases revealing report: On the Cliff Edge

Our report documents the experience of young people with SEND as they move from childhood into adulthood.

A boy is kneeling in front of a sensory play tray. There is a woman next to him
Early years
19 Mar 2024

Only 6% of local authorities offer enough SEND childcare  

Coram Family and Childcare released the Childcare Survey 2024 results. Read our response.

A boy is playing with toys on an activity wall
Early years
6 Mar 2024

Our response to the Spring Budget – 2024

Once again over 1 in 10 of the UK’s children have gone unseen and unheard. Read our response to the Spring Budget.

A girl holding a pen and paper in her arms
8 Feb 2024

Our response to the Disability Action Plan

The Government has released its long-awaited Disability Action Plan. Read our response.

18 Oct 2023

Kids’ response to the Disability Action Plan consultation 2023-2024

Read our response to the Disability Action Plan. It's all about accessible playgrounds, assistive technology and digital inclusion.

A staff member and a child are standing outside with their arms up in the air. There are water drops falling on them.
11 Oct 2023

Kids Manifesto for Change

Find out where Government action is needed to transform the lives of disabled children and young people.

Photo of a boy's profile. His head is turned slightly to face the camera.
Early years
20 Jul 2023

Our vision for early years and SEND

We believe it’s vital that babies and young children with SEND have access to quality early years support. Read more.

A child is smiling at the camera. He has short blond hair and is wearing a blue t-shirt with superhero faces on it.
2 Mar 2023

Our response to the SEND Improvement Plan

The Government's Plan does not begin to match up to the scale of the challenges. Read our full response.

A close-up of two people's hands working on a puzzle. There are puzzle pieces on the table.
17 Nov 2022

Autumn Statement comment from Kids Chief Executive, Katie Ghose

The Government’s decision to increase benefits in line with inflation will provide some relief to families of disabled children currently struggling to cover daily costs.

13 Oct 2022

‘Spend pennies now to save pounds later’

Kids CEO Katie Ghose shares three ways the charity sector can adapt to unprecedented economic changes.

A boy is sitting around a table with a staff member. He is playing with a flat object that is obscured by the light. The staff member is looking at him.
25 Jul 2022

Kids Responds to SEND Review

The current education and support system for children and young people with SEND does not work. The Government needs to build on the SEND reforms of 2014, but this time reforms should be resourced, implemented and enforced.

A staff member and young person are sitting together, drawing something on a piece of paper.
7 Apr 2022

SEND Review: learning from children, young people and their families

Chief Executive Katie Ghose reflects on the Government's SEND review, identifying three areas of interest for Kids.

A close-up of two people's hands working on a puzzle. There are puzzle pieces on the table.
19 Oct 2021

Spending Review – Opinion piece from Kids Chief Executive, Katie Ghose

Making people’s lives better ‘Making people’s lives better’ – is the firm commitment from the Chancellor, as the government reviews how they are going to spend the budget for the…

A professional photo of Katie Ghose, Kids CEO. She is wearing a dark blazer and eyeglasses.
24 Aug 2021

Locked Out – opinion piece from Kids Chief Executive Katie Ghose

Delivering services during the pandemic A stark feature of Covid lockdown measures was the extent to which for many of us living, working and socialising online became ‘the new normal’….

A staff member and a child are making a puzzle together.
24 Aug 2021

Locked Out: Digital Disadvantage of Disabled Children, Young People and Families during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Kids and the Disabled Children's Partnership launched ‘Locked Out’: Digital Disadvantage of Disabled Children, Young People and Families during the Covid-19 Pandemic report.