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(UK) Future for special ed is "BLEAK"; "growing need for support"

Nov 3, 2022, Special Needs Jungle: No specialists = No support: The future for children with SEND is bleak without a trained workforce to support them

SNJ is among 114 SEND-related organisations and professional bodies calling for urgent action over gaps in the provision of specialist services for children and young people with disabilities. The gaps are because of a workforce shortage that includes education psychologists, speech and language therapists and teachers of the Deaf. The impact of the shortage means young people with special educational needs don’t get the support they need and ultimately, may have less chance of reaching their potential.

The letter, led by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, the National Deaf Children’s Society, Speech and Language UK and Voice 21, calls on the Education secretary Gillian Keegan, and Health Secretary Steve Barclay, to tackle:

• an insufficient number of specialists being trained to meet demand; • a growing number of specialists failing to be retained by councils or supported to further develop their specialisms, with some moving to the private sector; • growing need for support in general and in more complex cases in particular; and • the pressures of COVID-19 exacerbating existing pressure on the specialist workforce and increased waiting times for children…

“Unless urgent action is taken now on workforce planning, we are also at risk of further challenges in accessing the specialist workforce. The long-term future of the specialist workforce must be secured through proper workforce planning so that children and young people now, and in the future, can access the support they need to thrive….


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