The review, commissioned by government in September and published last week, was carried out by Buckingham MP John Bercow. It warned that up to 50% of children in some areas were growing up with significant communication skills problems that put them at risk of behavioural problems and emotional and psychological difficulties.
‘Our review has found that these essential life skills are too low a priority in education and the health service. This is severely hampering children’s ability to learn, achieve, participate in and contribute to society,’ Mr Bercow said.
Barrie Brown, Unite lead officer for nursing, said: ‘Our members will be tremendously pleased by this report.’
He said the quality of speech and language therapy provision had steadily been eroded by service cuts, loss of leadership and specialist posts, and cuts to specialist training for speech and language therapists
‘Cuts in the services that support speech and language therapy provision – particularly the catastrophic cuts in health visitor numbers – also make adequate support for children and their families difficult to achieve,’ he added.