Speech, language and communication needs

The need for a strong commissioning strategy

The move towards joint commissioning between health, education and social care has once again highlighted the complex nature of developing both policy and practice for speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). 

In recent years, research has found that SLCN is the most prevalent type of Special Educational Need (SEN) in primary schools.

This means there is a need for a "strong commissioning strategy, bridging not only services for disabled children and those with SEN, but also early intervention services aimed at narrowing the gap between socially disadvantaged children and their peers, and reducing entrenched health inequalities"(Gascoigne MT (ed). (2012, p. 8) Better communication – shaping speech, language and communication services for children and young people. London: RCSLT).

With this in mind, a project, Accessing Communication Services in Devon, is being undertaken.

The project aims to develop a joined-up vision to ensure we meet children and young people’s speech, language and communication needs through:

  • Early identification and intervention
  • Clearly defined access to services across all providers
  • Clarity of roles and responsibilities  

Speech, Language and Communication Workshop – October 2017

Group work at the speech, language and communication workshop in October 2017

On Friday 13th October 2017, a number of stakeholders met for the fourth time in order to further consider how to improve access to Speech, Language and Communication Services. 

The majority of the attendees were representatives from providers of health and education, with one representation from the Parent/Carer forum and a school-based setting (a Multi-Academy Trust). 

Given that it is widely acknowledged that Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) impact on health and wellbeing, educational progress, employability beyond school, and that there is a high prevalence of SLCN amongst young offenders, it was agreed that it is important to look at ways to increase active participation from all stakeholders in this project.

The full report is available below.

Speech, language and communication workshop 13 October 2017 report Speech, language and communication workshop 13 October 2017 presentation by M.T Gascoigne

Group work at the speech, language and communication workshop in October 2017

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