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The Leiden Declaration and support for children with speech and language difficulties

EDM (Early Day Motion) 471: tabled on 17 October 2022

Tabled in the 2022-23 session.

This motion has been signed by 15 Members. It has not yet had any amendments submitted.

Motion text

That this House acknowledges that language is the gateway to lifelong wellbeing, including educational attainment with huge economic and social benefits; notes the research which shows that language is the route to education and one of the strongest predictors of quality of life and well-being; is therefore concerned that around 10 per cent of children, have language difficulties, either on their own or associated with another condition such as hearing impairment or a learning disability; further notes that children living in areas of social disadvantage are at greater risk of delayed language development; notes that these may be associated with behavioural problems, school drop-out or exclusion, mental health problems, unemployment and even criminality; notes that timely action will lead to greater employability, independent living, social mobility and cohesion; therefore calls on the Government to support the recommendations of the Leiden declaration of 2021; and calls for national leaders to (i) screen all children for language needs and follow-up assessment throughout the school journey, (ii) acknowledge language difficulties as a disability wherever appropriate with support and intervention, (iii) provide language support for children from multidisciplinary teams, training and empower teachers to provide communication-supportive classroom environments and (iv) develop in school curricula and education policies that are informed by an understanding of typical language development and how best to promote it.