2 May 2019

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and I CAN – the children’s charity, welcome the response from the Government to Bercow: Ten Years On – an independent review of provision for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) in England. The report was published in March 2018.

However, the RCSLT and I CAN have grave concerns that the Government’s actions will not cover the vast majority of children and young people (10%) who have persistent long-term speech, language and communication needs. It is these children and young people who don’t meet the threshold for an Education and Health Care Plan.

To be fully effective we need to see greater collaboration between the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Department for Education (DfE) to ensure joint commissioning is meeting the needs of these children. This should include specialist speech, language and communication support to children with long-term communication difficulties.

The RCSLT and I CAN look forward to discussing these issues further with officials in the DfE and DHSC and meeting with both Nadhim Zahawi MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, and Caroline Dinenage MP, Minister of State for Care, in the new year.

The RCSLT and I CAN are committed to ensuring that we continue to see improvements to the provision for children and young people with SLCN.

To find out more about the Bercow: Ten Years On report and to read the government’s response, visit the Bercow: Ten Years On website.