The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) has published a new report about the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) reforms in England. The report outlines the findings of a SEND survey, commissioned by the RCSLT, regarding their members’ experiences of the SEND reforms, associated successes, challenges and areas for improvement.
The report highlights mixed progress in implementation and worrying trends. RCSLT members outlined areas of positive practice that can be built upon including the involvement of parent and carers in decision-making and partnership working, but reported that:
- Children without Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans are not getting the support that they need, and there has been a refocus of resources to support children with EHC plans, which has often been to the detriment of children without EHC plans.
- Joint commissioning arrangements are patchy, and in some cases speech and language therapy services are not being commissioned for children and young people aged 0-2 and 18-25.
- Engagement with the EHC planning process, including attending planning meetings, continues to be a challenge.
Over the coming months the RCSLT will be taking forward policy recommendations from the report to help improve support for children and young people with SLCN.