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CAPAAS news and events.

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11 July 2008

Earlier this week the final report of the Bercow review into speech, language and communication needs was published.

John Bercow.jpg John Bercow MP was commissioned by the Department for Children, Schools and Families to lead an independent review into services for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs. This included services for children and young people with autism.


 CAPAAS represenatives at the John Bercow Speech and Language review.jpgMr Bercow, who had already visited TreeHouse School, attended a seminar hosted by TreeHouse earlier this year and spoke to parents of children with autism from across England. He sat in on the parents’ workshops, listened to their experiences of services for children with autism and took note of their recommendations.

The Bercow review’s final report focuses on making improvements by looking at skills and capability ‘gaps’ in the services and increasing training provision. Some of its key recommendations include:

  • More comprehensive and accessible information for parents and carers.
  • National, regional and local support services for parents and carers.
  • Improving possibilities for early identification and intervention by strengthening joint-working arrangements at a local level.
  • Reinforcing an inclusive approach to SEN in the revised secondary curriculum by preparing and disseminating widely exemplifications of the effective removal of barriers for pupils with SLCN.
  • Various, compulsory SLCN-specific training for all people working with children and young people.
  • Introducing a national indicator specifically for SLCN to underpin a relevant Public Service Agreement from 2011.

TreeHouse welcomes the recommendations made in the report and hope that we will start to see some major improvements in services for children and young people with SLCN and their parents.

For more information read the consultation and TreeHouse response

Visit the Bercow review website

Download the full report


Make a difference by contacting your MP

In order for MP's to speak out about autism at a national level, they have to be moved by the plight of their constituents. It is always worth involving your local MP in your efforts to bring about change.
MPs can also be a powerful influence on those making decisions at a local level. They can write to represent your views or ask questions about education - the local media is always interested in your MPs' views and activities.
If you do not know the name of your MP you can:

  • call the House of Commons Public information line on 020 7219 4272 with your postcode
  • contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau, public library or town hall
  • find it out online at or

MPs hold regular "surgeries" in their constituencies. Details of these are sometimes advertised in the local paper or can be obtained from the town hall or local party headquarters. It is best to write beforehand to let your MP know what you wish to discuss. If the MP does not hold surgeries, you could invite him/her along to meet you. Or you can write to your MP at his/her constituency office or at the House of Commons, London SW1A OAA.
Or you can contact your MP online at by typing in your postcode. will find out the name of your MP and you can email him/her for assistance.
If you are going to write to your MP:

    • ensure that you all live in his/her constituency (MPs will only take up issues from their own constituents)
    • seek to persuade, not to confront
    • be clear on your facts and keep to the point
    • include your personal experience if you can as this makes the most impact



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