Happy boy with carer

Introduction

Welcome to C4EO's e-learning resource on Disability – part of our remit to gather and share local, regional and national evidence of what works to improve outcomes in services, especially for the most vulnerable children, young people and families.

Government policy has highlighted three priority areas in the provision of services for disabled children and young people:

  • access

  • responsiveness and

  • improving service quality.

The Department for Education (DfE) suggests that improved outcomes for children, as defined by the Every Child Matters outcomes, can be achieved most effectively through better:

  • integrated delivery of services

  • processes

  • strategy

  • governance.

Services are intended to benefit all disabled children and young people but, in reality, some groups of children are disadvantaged, have less access to services and suffer from poorer outcomes.

This resource highlights key messages about what works to improve the wellbeing of disabled children and young people. It provides an overview of the findings of three knowledge reviews, looking at:

  • early years interventions
  • access to positive and inclusive activities
  • the differentiation of services to meet the needs of different groups.

Effective and well-timed early years interventions, participation in positive and inclusive activities and the differentiation of services to meet specific needs can improve outcomes for disabled children and young people.

However, there is currently significant inequality in outcomes. Social disadvantage and a lack of fit between services and specific needs result in poorer outcomes for certain groups of disabled children.

Improvements in services, and therefore in the wellbeing of disabled children and young people, can only be achieved through effective planning at a strategic level, sufficient resources, and skilled and proactive staff within services.

You can find out more about the support available through the 'How we can help' section at the top of this page. You may also find the sections on Outcomes Based Accountability (OBA) helpful if you have not already adopted an OBA approach.

About C4EO

C4EO's unique remit is to 'gather and share' evidence of what works in the provision of services for children and young people. We hope that you will continue to support us by engaging in local training events, giving us feedback about our data and sharing your local examples of effective practice, to help us to continue to build the evidence base for early years work in the future.

– The authors


You can use the main navigation above to start working your way through this resource.

Disability is the second of

seven themes explored in this series of e-learning resources . Within this theme we look at the following priority areas:
  • improving the wellbeing of disabled children (up to age 8) and their families by increasing the quality and range of early years interventions
  • improving the wellbeing of disabled children and young people by improving access to positive and inclusive activities
  • ensuring all disabled children, young people and their families are receiving services that are sufficiently differentiated to meet their diverse needs.

Further reading

Beresford, B. and Clarke, S. (2010) Improving the wellbeing of disabled children and young people through improving access to positive and inclusive activities, Social Policy Research Unit, University of York.

Children Act 1989. Department for Children, Schools and Families (2007b).

HM Treasury and DCSF (2007) Aiming high for disabled children: better support for families.

Disability Discrimination Acts 1995 and 2005.

Newman, T. (2010) Ensuring all disabled children and young people and their families receive services which are sufficiently differentiated to meet their diverse needs.

Newman, T., McEwen, J., Mackin, H. and Slowley, M. (2010) Improving the wellbeing of disabled children (up to age 8) and their families through increasing the quality and range of early years interventions, Barnardo's Policy and Research Unit.

Definitions of disability are many and varied. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 defines disability as 'a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities'. The Children Act 1989 defines a disabled person as someone who is 'blind, deaf or dumb or suffers from mental disorder of any kind, or is substantially and permanently handicapped by illness, injury or congenital or other such disability as may be prescribed'.

Specifically the previous Government's Aiming High for Disabled Children programme (HM Treasury and DCSF 2007b).

Previously the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).

These are: be healthy; stay safe; enjoy and achieve; make a positive contribution; and achieve economic wellbeing.

Knowledge review 1 (KR1): Newman et al 2010.

Knowledge review 2 (KR2): Beresford and Clarke 2010.

Knowledge review 3 (KR3): Newman 2010.

Early Years; Disability; Vulnerable children, Child poverty; Safeguarding; Families, Parents and carers; Schools and communities.