Speech and Language Therapy in Schools
1 in 10 children in the UK, or 2 or 3 in every classroom – have communication difficulties that require specialist help. That’s over 1 million children. (ICan 2012)
Supporting the OFSTED framework
Since January 2012 the OFSTED framework has had an increased focus on the teaching of literacy skills including communication. Children experiencing communication difficulties are at substantial risk of low achievement and of missing their literacy targets in primary school, with the gap widening at secondary school. Early identification and intervention is vital, and can be highly effective. Often there are measures that schools can take to help children with communication difficulties, but sometimes it is necessary to seek specialist help from a speech and language therapist.
Children’s Therapies can provide the following speech and language services to schools:
One-to-One Speech and Language Therapy
Typically a speech and language therapist (SLT) will visit a school one day a week and deliver several individual therapy sessions to children on that day, in a designated room away from the classroom. Receiving speech and language therapy in school means a child needs less time away from lessons than they would for a clinic session. Parents will be asked to complete a referral questionnaire and consent form prior to their child seeing a therapist.
Speech and Language Therapy in the Classroom
Many children enjoy their therapy time and see it as a privilege to spend time away from the classroom! However, other children will benefit from an approach to therapy that involves the whole classroom and all their teaching staff. Our SLTs can produce a tailored therapy plan and train a teaching assistant to deliver speech and language therapy within the classroom setting.
Creating Communication-Friendly Classrooms and a Differentiated Curriculum
Some children may need a more ‘communication-friendly’ classroom and a differentiated curriculum. The SLT works closely with the teachers to set this up for the academic year, and will review the child’s needs in the classroom each term. This approach helps teachers to facilitate learning for children with varying abilities in speaking and listening, as per the national curriculum and Ofsted guidelines.
Training and Supervision for Teachers
We can provide high quality specialist training for teaching staff on how to support children with speech and language or emotional and behavioural difficulties in the classroom. Teachers who have received training can then become a specialist resource for other staff in your school or nursery. Please visit the relevant pages under the School Services menu for more information.