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SEND & inclusion — 31 Aug 2023
The Council for Disabled Children is delighted to announce the appointment of Amanda Allard as our new Director of the Council for Disabled Children (CDC) and Strategic Director of Practice and Programmes at the National Children’s Bureau (NCB).
Amanda is no stranger to CDC, having spent almost 15 years with us to implement and affect positive change within special educational needs and disabilities and health services. As Christine Lenehan prepares for retirement, we are confident that Amanda will ambitiously lead CDC ensuring children, young people and their families are at the heart of all we do.
I am delighted to be appointed as the new Director at the Council for Disabled Children and Strategic Director of Practice and Programmes at the National Children’s Bureau. This appointment comes at a vital time for disabled children and young people and those with special educational needs as we prepare to move forward with the change programme. I am committed to ensuring SEND remains on the agenda and that we continue to work towards our vision of a society in which disabled children and young people’s rights are respected, their aspirations supported and life chances assured.
Amanda Allard, Director at the Council for Disabled Children
"I am delighted that Amanda has been appointed as the new Director of CDC, I know she will continue to develop the heart of CDCs vision, working towards the very best outcomes for disabled children and families and the professionals who work to support them”.
Dame Christine Lenehan, former Director at the Council for Disabled Children
NCB’s CEO, Anna Feuchtwang, warmly welcomed Amanda to her new post:
“I am absolutely delighted to have appointed Amanda Allard as our new Strategic Director of Practice and Programmes and Director of the Council for Disabled Children. Amanda has been at the heart of many of NCB and CDC’s greatest moments for nearly 15 years and I am very excited that she will now create more such moments in this wider leadership role. Amanda has an extraordinary track record of creating lasting change in children’s services at national, regional and local level, while ensuring that the voice of children and young people shape these services. These qualities are particularly valuable as NCB seek to address grave failings and inequalities of outcomes for babies, children, young people and their families.”
Anna Feuchtwang, CEO at the National Children's Bureau
As Director of the Council for Disabled Children, Amanda is determined to work towards a fully inclusive society where all disabled children and young people can achieve their aspirations and do not feel excluded.
Amanda has worked in children’s policy both as a researcher and campaigner for the last 30 years; first for The Children’s Society and NCH (now Action for Children) and latterly as Head of Policy and Communications for Treehouse, the autism education charity.
During that time, she covered a diverse range of areas including youth unemployment, leaving care, homelessness, family support and issues facing disabled children and their families. Amanda is passionate about participation and whilst at NCH developed a charity award-winning youth arts participation project.
Amanda joined the Council for Disabled Children in 2009, her areas of responsibility included health, mental health and participation. During her time at CDC, Amanda has significantly increased the organisations engagement with health bodies and research organisations and was one of the key researchers in a joint NIHR funded project with Exeter University which researched parent/carer and children and young people’s priorities in terms of health outcomes.
Amanda ensures that policymakers understand the reality of frontline service delivery; that the sector is aware of and engaged with forthcoming change; and that providers are prepared for the implementation of new regulations and requirements. She is proud to have supported Rochdale with their recent work on SEND improvement which has led to them receiving both a Children and Young People Now and a Municipal Journal Award.
Amanda has researched and written extensively on issues affecting disadvantaged groups of young people. Amanda was part of the leadership team that delivered the phase 1 and phase 2 report for the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel on safeguarding children and young people with disabilities and complex health needs in residential settings.
To contact Amanda, please get in touch with [email protected]