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Supporting children and young people with special educational needs: speech and language therapists share their experiences

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) has published a new report about the experiences of speech and language therapists (SLTs) since the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) reforms were introduced in England in 2014. The results are based on a survey of 350 SLTs.

Key findings from the report are: 

  • Speech and language therapists feel that parents and carers had been effectively involved in decision-making regarding the support their family received
  • But, children without education, health and care (EHC) plans are not getting the support that they need, as only 40% of SLTs said they could support children without one. Resources are focussed on supporting children with EHC plans and this is a worry because many children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) don’t have an EHC plan
  • Joint commissioning arrangements are patchy, and in some cases speech and language therapy services are not being provided for children and young people aged 0-2 and 18-25
  • Speech and language therapists find it difficult to be involved in the EHC planning process, including attending planning meetings

Over the coming months the RCSLT will be taking forward policy recommendations from the report to help improve support for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). 

You can read the executive summary of the report here or read the full report here.