Bercow Review


Bercow, J. (2008). The Bercow Report: A review of services for children and young people (0-19) with speech, language and communication needs. Nottingham: DCSF.

Full Report available to download from Department for Education

Executive Summary available to download from Department for Education

Reference: DCSF-00632-2008 and DCSF-00632-2008S

Published: July 2008

Publication Type: Policy Documents

Audience: Department for Education, Journalists, Parents, Schools, Local Authorities, People who work with children, SENCOs, Special Schools

This report makes recommendations to Government about transforming provision for and the experiences of children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and their families. A ‘postcode lottery’ system currently exists, particularly with regard to access to speech and language therapy (SLT); despite hard work and commitment by many professionals in health and children’s services.

These recommendations are the culmination of ten months of extensive evidence gathering and analysis, as well as consultation with a wide range of stakeholders. The report attempts to chart a course to enable SLCN services to improve educational outcomes, promote public health, tackle anti-social behaviour and bolster the skills of the workforce.


  • 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

Note: these documents can no longer be ordered in hard copy

Note: the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) has been replaced by the Department for Education (DFE)

Although this information is believed to be accurate, you are strongly advised to make your own independent enquiries.

December 2012