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The SEND reforms and SLCN in the Youth Justice Sector in England - Report

We worked together with colleagues at the department of Human Communication Sciences at the University of Sheffield, and Birmingham City University, to run 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 report highlights the existing awareness and good practice happening in the youth justice sector for young people with SLCN. However, this report 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 new systems put in place by the reformed SEND system.

The full findings from the survey are now available in a short report which can be accessed here.

Some key findings include:

  • despite a high proportion of the sample being aware of the current SEND reforms nearly a third expressed little confidence in their current levels of engagement
  • respondents reported that they considered almost half of their service users to have SLCN as part of other learning and/or developmental needs. Respondents also reported on average that they consider 30% of their service users to have SLCN as their primary need;
  • nearly half of the sample reported that service users identified with SLCN do not have a Statement of SEN and/or an EHC plan, and that the needs of these service users were not being met;
  • speech and language therapy provision is highly valued and enables services to engage more effectively with their service users with SLCN, but a significant proportion of Youth Justice Services have no access to speech language therapy provision or access to any support for their service users with SLCN.


If you have any questions about this report please contact either Dr Judy Clegg, Senior Lecturer, Human Communication Sciences, University of Sheffield or The Communication Trust at