We have been jointly commissioned with Kids by the Department for Education to deliver a national participation programme with disabled children and young people, and children and young people with SEN.

FLARE members gather in a circle to share their ideas.

Making Participation Work includes a young people's advisory group, FLARE, which is formed of twelve 13-25 year-olds with SEND from around the country, to advise, challenge and support the government about how the SEND reforms would affect disabled children and young people directly.

Following on from EPIC, which advised the government on the content of the SEND reforms,  the group has named themselves FLARE (Friendship, Learning, Achieve, Reach and Empower) and come together at regular times during the year to discuss how key aspects of SEND reform policy directly impacts disabled children and young people and their Hot Topics. You can also read a report of a recent meeting here.

FLARE members are passionate about ensuring disabled children and young people have an equal say in the policies and practices that affect them and their families. FLARE and our other young people involved in regional groups within the programme play a key role in ensuring the voice and experiences of disabled children and young people are fully included in this work.

Click here to meet the FLARE members.

Flare Blogs

To that end, we regularly ask our FLARE participants to write blogs for us on a variety of subjects. For ease of access, these are all collated below:

Good support is like a box

Amy from our FLARE group on support in schools.

Young people are capable of having a voice too

FLARE member Amba on her work experience being part of the Making Participation Work conference.

Changing the future for disabled young people

Megan from FLARE on how FLARE’s message could improve the future of so many young people with disabilities.

Supporting young people to reach their full potential

Daniel from FLARE talks about how university students often go without EHC plans.

Navigating the transition to adult services

FLARE's Katy on the tricky transition from children's to adult services at sixteen.

Making Myself Heard

FLARE member Hannah explains what she took away from the Making Participation Work conference.