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Speech and Language Therapy: Children

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL16635, tabled on 24 June 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Children's Commissioner We need to talk: Access to speech and language therapy, published on 11 June; and whether they intend to provide a response.

Answered on

4 July 2019

On 20 June 2019, the government released a joint ministerial letter responding to the ‘Bercow: Ten Years On’ first anniversary update report. The letter reaffirmed our commitment to supporting more effective commissioning of communication support.

The NHS long-term plan recognises the importance of speech and language therapists (SLTs) and proposes that local areas design and implement models of care that are age appropriate, closer to home and bring together physical and mental health services.

Our national workforce group for allied health professionals (AHPs) will be making specific recommendations, in particular for those professionals in short supply, such as SLTs. The chief allied health professions officer will further develop the national AHP strategy into action to focus on the delivery of the NHS long-term plan.

We are aware of the concerns about the adequacy of funding for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in England, including those with speech, language and communication needs. On 3 May 2019, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education announced a call for evidence from schools, colleges and local authorities to consider how the SEND and alternative provision financial arrangements in England could be improved. The call for evidence is attached and can be accessed at the following link: https://consult.education.gov.uk/funding-policy-unit/funding-for-send-and-those-who-need-ap-call-for-ev/.