Best Practice

Supporting speech, language and communication needs

The recommendations from the Bercow: Ten Years On review can help schools to ensure that pupils’ speech, language and communication needs are properly supported. Mary Hartshorne explains

It will soon be six months since I CAN the children’s communication charity, and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) launched 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 drew on the evidence of more than 2,500 people who shared their experiences of support for SLCN.

For students attending secondary schools, the picture is not great. Overall, only 15 per cent of respondents to surveys reported that speech and language therapy was available as required – but within this, only 13 per cent of people said specialist support was prioritised in secondary school, a figure which falls to three per cent for the 18 to 25 age group. This is concerning, particularly so when there is more and more evidence which says intervention works for this age group.

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