Research reveals extent of ‘postcode lottery’ in 0-5 SLT services

Funding for speech and language support for children under the age of five varies widely across England, with a quarter of areas spending just 58p or less per child, according to new research. Research commissioned by the children’s commissioner for England also found that 57 per cent of areas reported a real terms cut in spending on speech and language therapy (SLT) in the year up to March 2019, with just 23 per cent of areas seeing a real-terms increase in spend per child. The We Need To Talk: Access to Speech and Language Therapy report states that councils and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) spent £166m on SLT services in 2018/19, equating to £10.12 per child. It analysed the amount spent by all agencies on SLT services on a regional basis, finding substantial variations between English regions. The top 25 per cent of regions spent at least £16.35 per child across the entire 0-17 population, while the bottom 25 per cent spent 58p or less. Read more.

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