Skip navigation

Professional Development in Speech, Language and Communication: Findings from a National Survey

The Communication Trust (TCT) recently published findings from their national survey into speech, language and communication (SLC) support for the children and young people's workforce. 

They asked questions on:

  • Staff knowledge, skills and confidence around SLC and speech, language and communication needs (SLCN)
  • Their opportunities for learning about SLC and SLCN.

1200 responses to the survey were received, from all regions of England, as well as every educational phase (early years, primary, secondary and further education) and also a range of roles in health and youth justice.

Key findings from the survey included:

  • Lack of budget and time were the top two barriers to accessing opportunities for learning
  • A lack of suitable opportunities was also emphasised as an obstacle
  • Only a third of respondents felt very confident supporting speech, language and communication development.
  • This confidence decreased with educational phase i.e. early years staff were more confident than those working in primary, who were more confident than those in secondary etc.
  • Two thirds of respondents had had little or no initial training in identifying and supporting SLCN

TCT made some key recommendations based on the findings including:

  • Working with Ofsted to ensure school and early years reports better reflect SLC and SLCN provision, so that its importance is clear and good practice is highlighted
  • Promoting the use of the Pupil Premium (PP) and Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) to support SLC and SLCN and share best practice examples
  • Working with the Department for Education to set out what should be included on SLC and SLCN in initial teacher training

You can read the executive summary of the report here, or download the full report here.

I CAN offers a range of training opportunities for the children's workforce. Read about I CAN's programmes here.