16 June 2022
Today’s information from the school census on pupils with special educational needs (SEN) and SEN provision in schools indicates just under 1.5 million pupils in England have special educational needs an increase of 77,000 from 2021.
319,757 children are now struggling with speech, language and communication – a 42% increase since the 2015/16 academic year. Government needs to set out a plan now to explain how we can help this generation get the support they need, after covid has damaged the speech and language skills of so many children.
A proper national plan would give every teacher the right tools, skills and knowledge to spot and support children struggling to speak and understand language as well as monitoring children’s progress nationally and investing in new tools that can be used in schools across the country.
So far, the Government’s Green paper on Special Educational Needs seems inadequate to the scale of that challenge. Only 10% of pupils with speech, language and communication needs gained a 9-5 pass at GCSE in English & Maths in 2019, compared to 43% of pupils nationally. But with the right support, many can catch up with their peers.
Jane Harris, I CAN Chief Executive
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