Our policy campaigns

Learn about how we are influencing change to help the 1.9 million children struggling with talking and understanding words through our policy campaigns

Influencing government policy

We are dedicated to informing politicians and other decision-makers about the difficulties faced by children we support. We urge all political parties to understand what needs to change to ensure all children receive the support they deserve. Also, we highlight gaps in existing policies, to influence policy decisions and drive real change.

Early years and childcare

Early years and childcare need to be seen as a fundamental part of a child’s development. Not just a safe place for children to go while parents return to work.

We are urging the Government and members of Parliament to:

  1. Ensure parents are properly supported and empowered
  2. Equip early years workers with the tools and training they need to help children facing challenges with talking and understanding words.

Learn more here.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan

The government published its Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Alternative Provision (SEND AP) Improvement Plan in March 2023. There was much that was promising in the plan. The Government will publish several new ‘practice standards’ for frontline professionals. One of these standards will focus on speech and language.

We are working with Department for Education (DfE) to ensure that the correct guidance is included in these new standards. The government are trailing the Early Language and Support For Every Child (ELSEC). The ELSEC finds new ways of working to better identify and support children with speech and language challenges in early years and primary schools.  However, our consultation response highlights there are some crucial things missing.

Currently, the ELSEC does not include a plan to create a tool for schools to identify children with speech and language challenges. There is no national campaign to inform parents about their children’s speech and language development. And there is no overall national strategy for speech and language.

We will continue to put pressure on the government to deliver these important policies to ensure all children get the support they need.


We are a leading member of a group called #SENDintheSpecialists, which includes over 120 charities, professional bodies, campaign groups, parent and carer organisations, trade unions, and more. Together, we are campaigning for better investment in the specialist workforce.

Children need access to speech and language therapists and teachers with specialist knowledge. Without access, many young people, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), are being let down and left behind. These children can’t obtain specialist support like therapies, classroom support, school nursing, and mental health interventions. Therefore, many children and young people are suffering poorer physical and emotional wellbeing, worsening educational outcomes, and a significant impact on their life chances.

In the SEND AP Improvement Plan, the government has promised to create a taskforce to address workforce planning. #SENDintheSpecialists will be part of this taskforce, working to improve access to specialists for the children and young people who need support right now.

Tracker Tool

We recommend that the Government commissions the development of a measuring and tracking tool to enable Primary classroom teachers to track children’s speech and language development at each Key Stage. This tool would be similar to the tracking tools for literacy and numeracy progress. It would be freely available, and the data collected would be anonymised and used nationally.

This would also help national and local Government, Ofsted and other bodies to understand the prevalence of difficulties with speech and language. Thus, helping them to plan the right provision of support and to evaluate the success of different interventions.