A number of recent Ofsted reports note that a common feature of the most successful schools surveyed was the attention they gave to developing speaking and listening

Support for youth justice settings

Information for youth justice settings to help them understand and meet the speech, language and communication needs of the young people they work with.


The reformed SEND system makes significant changes to the SEN support currently provided for children and young people in the youth justice system. The new legal framework introduced from 1st April 2015 includes requirements around supporting children and young people aged 18 and under who have been sentenced or remanded by the Courts to relevant youth accommodation in England.

We know that upwards of 60% of young people in the youth justice system have SLCN and it's vital that they are supported in the reformed SEND system.

Support from The Trust:

  • The SEND reforms and SLCN in the Youth Justice Sector in England - survey findings    The Communication Trust and colleagues from the University of Sheffield, and Birmingham City University, ran a survey throughout June 2015 to find out more about how the youth justice sector across England is responding to the needs of young people who have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) within the reformed SEND system.

    The findings from the survey are bought together in this report. The report highlights existing good practice, but also makes clear the additional support and resources those working in the youth justice sector would benefit from to better support young people with SLCN through the reformed SEND system.

  • Doing justice to speech, language and communication needs - Proceedings of a round table on SLCN in the youth justice sector In November 2014 The Trust hosted a round table event with key stakeholders from across the youth justice and SLCN sectors.This report brings together the key messages and recommendations from this event and aims to provide a platform from which practitioners, services and policy makers can think about the different approaches, challenges and opportunities to improve outcomes for children and young people with SLCN in the youth justice system. The report and event were funded by the Helen Hamlyn Trust.

  • Sentence Trouble is a free booklet written for everyone that works or volunteers in Youth Offending Teams (YOT), Secure Children's Homes, Secure Training Centres and Young Offenders Institutions (YOI). It is intended to help improve understanding and communication with children and young people, particularly those with communication needs.  


Support from our members' and partners':


Other information:

The Council for Disabled Children (CDC) are the SEN and disability strategic reform partner to the Department for Education. Find out more here.