A response to the SEND reforms from the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

News - 07 Feb 2017

The RCSLT has published its response to the SEND reforms, following a survey of its members. It presents a mixed picture, and includes several recommendations to improve practice and outcomes in this area.

'The SEND Reforms: Supporting Children and Young People with Speech, Language and Communication Needs' report (January 2017) provides an interesting summary of the views of speech and language therapists (SLTs) working across the age range from 0-25. Whilst there are positives, such as improved partnership working (and some examples of good practice), the report does raise some concerns:
 
 - the needs of children and young people (CYP) who do not have Education Health Care Plans  (EHCPs) are not being met as well as previously
 - there has been a reduction in early intervention and support given to Early Years children, particularly in the 0-2 age range
 - speech and language therapy is sometimes not being commissioned
 - there are capacity challenges which make it difficult from SLTs to attend EHCP meetings
 - there is a particular lack of commissioning of SLT for the 18-25 age range
 
The RCSLT makes some recommendations in the light of these findings:
 - improved commissioning of services for CYP without EHCPs
 - training for all Early Years practitioners around speech, language and communication needs
 - clarity around the provision of services for young people aged 18-25
 - an increase in SLT capacity
 - further development of partnership working
 
 
 

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