24 October 2018

Joint statement on the Government’s response to Bercow: Ten Years On Report

24 October 2018

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and I CAN – the children’s charity, welcomes 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: www.bercow10yearson.com


For further information please contact Neill Young, Head of Communications at I CAN, on 0207 239 0007 or email nyoung@ican.org.uk

If unavailable, please contact Josephine Olley, PR Manager at RCSLT, on 020 7378 3013 or email josephine.olley@rcslt.org

About I CAN

I CAN is the children's communication charity. The charity specialises in helping children develop the speech, language and communication skills they need to thrive in a 21st-century world. Children and young people can fail to reach their potential because communication difficulties are not visible, often mistaken for something else, or not noticed at all. I CAN's mission is that no child should be left out or left behind because of a difficulty speaking or understanding. For further information on I CAN’s work visit www.ican.org.uk or follow on Twitter @icancharity

About the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) is the professional body for speech and language therapists in the UK, representing over 17,000 members. It facilitates and promotes research into the field of speech and language therapy – the care for individuals with communication, swallowing, eating and drinking difficulties. It promotes better education and training of speech and language therapists and is responsible for setting and maintaining high standards in education, clinical practice and ethical conduct. For more information on RCSLT and its Giving Voice campaign visit www.rcslt.org and www.givingvoiceuk.org


Sign up to get the latest news and research about children’s communication

* indicates required