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Children: Language and Communication

Volume 698: debated on Tuesday 29 January 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether funding letters to (a) the Learning and Skills Council; (b) the Sector Skills Development Agency; (c) Ofsted; and (d) the Quality Improvement Agency contained provisions specifically related to increasing the knowledge base of the children's workforce with regard to children's speech, language and communication needs; and whether they will set out for each body what those provisions were. [HL1536]

There is no specific mention of developing the children's workforce with regard to children's speech, language and communication needs in the current grant letters for the Sector Skills Development Agency or the Quality Improvement Agency. The Learning and Skills Council's remit letter does include support for the development of the children's workforce as a whole and Ofsted do publish survey reports on a range of aspects which can and do include matters relating to teacher training and workforce development.

The Children's Plan acknowledges the need to provide additional support to speech and language services in tackling barriers to learning. It also includes a commitment to invest further in the inclusion development programme (IDP), which aims to increase the skills of the whole early-years and school workforce in dealing with children with speech, language and communication needs.

On 11 September 2007, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families and the Secretary of State for Health launched a major review of the provision of services for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs, led by the honourable Member for Buckingham, Mr John Bercow. As part of his review, Mr Bercow will examine how the children's workforce can best be organised and supported to meet the needs of children with speech, language and communication needs. He will submit an interim report in March, prior to his final report in July 2008.