The current system for providing support to children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) is routinely described by families as a ‘postcode lottery’, particularly in the context of their access to speech and language therapy (SLT). Despite the hard work and commitment of many professionals in health and children’s services, the needs of many children and young people are still not being met.

This report attempts to chart a course to enable speech, language and communication services to improve educational outcomes, promote public health, tackle anti-social behaviour and bolster the skills of the workforce.

It makes recommendations to Government about transforming provision for and the experiences of children and young people with SLCN and their families. These recommendations are the culmination of ten months of extensive evidence gathering and analysis, as well as consultation with a wide range of stakeholders.

Please note: this document can no longer be ordered in hard copy, but can still be downloaded below.

Bercow Review website


  • Communication is crucial
  • Early identification and intervention are essential
  • A continuum of services designed around the family
  • Joint working is critical
  • The current system is characterised by high variability and a lack of equity
  • Conclusion
  • Annexes