AVUK welcomes the Governments’ SEND and AP Improvement Plan, in particular the focus on getting high-quality early support no matter where you live.  

We are encouraged to see the plan includes the need for earlier identification and support for children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN); the importance of Teachers of the Deaf and a commitment to ensuring a secure supply of these specialists; and clear acknowledgment that more action is needed on the specialists workforce with a commitment to SEND workforce planning (as championed by the #SENDInTheSpecialists coalition).  

This plan is a step in the right direction. The focus on early intervention and providing families support at the earliest opportunity is vital, but further urgent action is still needed to ensure all deaf children have the same opportunities in life as their hearing peers. Skilled, early and effective support is vital for all deaf children whether their parents choose to communicate with spoken language, sign language or both.   

Our #HearUsNow campaign is calling on the Government to urgently commit to enabling every family who wants their deaf child to learn to listen and talk the opportunity to access the specialist evidence-based, early intervention programme, Auditory Verbal therapy, through publicly funded services.  

Along with others across the sector, we stand ready to work with Ministers, the NHS, Local Authorities, and others to raise expectations and outcomes for deaf children. It is crucial that as the SEND plan is developed and changes implemented, the Government works closely with deaf children and their families, and the organisations and professionals supporting them. We will closely monitor these changes and how they support deaf children to reach their potential and thrive at school and beyond. 


Read our response to the SEND review