A report by the Expert Panel for the National Curriculum review has called for speech, language and communication to be a part of the curriculum throughout compulsory schooling for all subjects, rather than just for English, as at present.
The report’s authors argue that a “compelling body of evidence” points to a connection between oral development, cognitive development and educational attainment, claiming that the development of oral language should be a strong feature of any new National Curriculum. They go on to conclude that “The implication of our understanding of the significance of oracy is that, while it should find a particular place within the National Curriculum for English, it should also be promoted more widely as an integral feature of all subjects.”
The findings of the Department for Education’s review body have been welcomed by The Communication Trust, a consortium of nearly 50 voluntary sector organisations. Anita Kerwin-Nye, the Trust’s Director, said that she is “delighted to see children’s speech, language and communication forming a major part of the Expert Panel’s recommendations for the future of the National Curriculum. This is a big step forward for the issue and follows recent news that communication is now being included in the Ofsted framework.”
The Expert Panel for the National Curriculum review can be downloaded at: https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/standard/publicationDetail/Page1/DFE-00135-2011