The Bercow Review

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By Gill Moorelecturer, writer and school governor

Find out what this important review on speech, language and communication difficulties means for your school.

Child not speaking
  • Research by Sir Jim Rose found that a child from a deprived home has heard on average just 13 million words by the age of four, compared to 45 million in a more affluent home.
  • Almost 60 percent of young offenders serving custodial sentences have problems with speech, language and communication.

Reading the above statistics, it would be fair to conclude that in England we have a problem posed by unaddressed speech and language difficulties, which has potentially far-reaching effects on achievement and social integration. Teachers have been aware of this for a long time, and many of those in nursery and reception years have reported this as a growing problem. It is estimated that approximately 7 per cent of five-year-olds, or nearly 40,000 children begin school in England with significant difficulties with speech and/or language.

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