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4 February 2019

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) was interested to see recent press coverage relating to initiatives to support children’s early language and literacy development, including The Guardian’s article Clarks staff asked to help improve children’s language skills, (published 30 January 2019).

The RCSLT is aware of this piece of work, which is part of the Government’s ambition to halve the number of children finishing reception year without the early communication or reading skills they need by 2028.

The professional body was both consulted on the policy document ‘Improving the home learning environment’ and invited to the launch of the initiative, which focuses on encouraging parents and carers to support their children’s early speech, language and communication development.

Whilst the RCSLT welcomes recognition that children’s communication is everyone’s business, it is widely acknowledged and explicitly mentioned within the Department for Education’s policy document that children who have an identified speech, language and communication need require specialist help, including that from speech and language therapy services.