Written Question on Young Offenders: Speech and Language Disorders

Written Questions are submitted by MPs or Lords to receive information from a Department.

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Date Title Questioner
2 Nov 2017, 5 p.m. Young Offenders: Speech and Language Disorders Seema Malhotra


To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of how many and what proportion of young offenders in young offenders institutes have speech, language and communications difficulties; what proportion of such offenders are receiving support services; and what proportion of those not receiving such support services are in a waiting list to receive them.

Answer (Dr Phillip Lee)

There are high numbers of young people with special educational needs including speech, language and communication needs in youth custody.

Data collected to inform the custody placement decision for young people shows that 32% were recorded as having ‘learning disability or difficulty concerns’ between April 2014 and March 2016.

Both health and education partners fulfil key roles in meeting the needs of young people with speech language and communication needs but we do not collect assessment data centrally.

NHS England screen and assess every child and young person that enters the secure estate using the Comprehensive Health Assessment Tool (CHAT) that assesses any neurodisabilities. Following this assessment individual care plans for all children and young people are put in place.

Education providers are also required to assess the educational needs of young people and their contracts require them to provide support services for young people with special educational needs or disabilities.

We are committed to strengthening health services and special needs support as part of youth justice reforms. Reforms include implementing the NHS-led Secure Stairs project, an integrated framework of care for the Secure Estate for Children and Young People and investing in Enhanced Support Units, smaller units to provide specialist interventions, mental health and psychological support, in under-18 YOIs.

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