During a statement in the House of Commons on the government's education recovery plan, James highlighted the importance of access to speech therapists for the most disadvantaged pupils.
At a recent visit to Greenpark Academy, James discussed the importance of speech therapy with Mrs Graver the Headteacher. He also spoke to one of the speech therapists about the challenges in delivering sufficient sessions to meet the children's needs.
He took the opportunity to highlight this important issue with the Education Secretary in Parliament.
Text of exchange
James Wild MP:
During a recent visit to Greenpark Academy in King’s Lynn, I heard from Mrs Graver, the headteacher, about how important the provision of speech therapy was for the most disadvantaged pupils in normal times, and how covid has made that need even more pressing. Can my right hon. Friend clarify that schools can use catch-up funding for extra therapy sessions, and how this welcome package will increase capacity and access to these vital services?
Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP, Secretary of State for Education
I thank my hon. Friend for asking such a thoughtful question on an issue that affects constituents across the board. Speech therapy is important, and I know from having had the experience as a child of having to go through speech therapy—as has my daughter —how important those interventions are at a very early stage to help children. I am pleased to clarify that that support is accessible as a result of the recovery premium. If he would be happy to do so, I ask him to send details of the school through my private office, and we will be able to put that clarification in writing if it would help his school.