Language Lead and Language Lead Accreditation

Nottinghamshire County Council recognises the significance of communication in the development of children and young people with details of their commitment to this being outlined in their policy and strategy entitled ‘Language For Life’. To support this agenda, the county have committed to encouraging practitioners to develop enhanced skills in the area of children speech, language and communication. These enhanced practitioners are known as language leads.

Language leads need to have a passion for driving forward crucial messages and have the enthusiasm and determination to ensure that speech, language and communication (SLC) is considered in all planning, delivery and evaluation of services for the children and families within their care.

Becoming a language lead

Practitioners wishing to become language leads need to access the following support and training:

Language leads should work towards completing the following documents which all support the development of the language lead role:

  • The Speech Language and Communication Framework (SLCF) at universal and enhanced levels.
  • The Nottinghamshire County Council document ‘The Role of the Early Language lead’. This gives evidence of how you are developing your role as language lead in your setting.
  • The Every Child A Talker (ECAT) continuum document. This document helps practitioners to track all the elements require to become a language lead.

Your link to this support is your local Children's Centre's speech and language therapist.


Language Lead Accreditation

Some practitioners who have developed their skills as language leads have become very interested in the role. Nottinghamshire County Council support a number of practitioners through Language Lead Accreditation, a process which acknowledges the enhanced skills of language leads through a nationally recognised level 3 award.

To become an accredited language lead, practitioners need to fulfil the criteria for language leads (outlined above) and the requirements of the level 3 award in supporting children and young people’s speech, language and communication. The level 3 award is delivered in partnership with Vision West Nottinghamshire College and is a nationally recognised qualification awarded by CACHE.

Level 3 award in Supporting Children and Young People’s Speech, Language and Communication.


The Level 3 Award

This award has been designed for anyone working with children and young people to enable them to:

  • understand the importance of communication
  • be able to support all children’s communication development
  • recognise and support those children and young people with speech, language and communication needs, based on knowledge of typical speech, language and communication development

The award is a national qualification at Level 3, has been recognised by Ofqual and is on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).

To achieve the award learners must achieve six credits from two mandatory units plus a minimum of three credits from the optional units available. Each credit is around 10 hours of study, including learning and assessment time. As a 9-10 credit award, there is a fairly significant time commitment required for people to gain this qualification. This time includes:

  • Direct teaching/structured learning
  • Reading and research
  • Application of learning to practice and reflection on that learning, evidence by the portfolio
  • Portfolio building and completion
  • Assessment feedback and support.
  • In Nottinghamshire, all the training you have completed in SLC counts towards this learning.


The units

Each learner must achieve the following two mandatory units:

  • Support speech, language and communication development (City & Guilds unit 300)
  • Support children and young people’s speech, language and communication skills (unit 301)

Learners must also complete one of the following optional units:

  • Support the speech, language and communication development of children who are learning more than one language (unit 302)
  • Support positive practice with children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (unit 303)
  • Understand the speech, language and communication needs of children and young people with behaviour, social and emotional difficulties (unit 304)
  • Work with parents and carers to support their children’s speech, language and communication development (unit 305)


Each unit has a clear specification which includes its learning outcomes and assessment criteria. have to demonstrate their knowledge or practice as set out by the assessment criteria for each unit. The criteria represent the standards that learners are expected to achieve in order to meet the learning outcomes.  If a learner is unable to provide evidence that they know or can do one of the assessment criteria, they will not be able to achieve the award.

Students are expected to complete workbooks for each unit plus observations of practice for both mandatory units and for three of the optional units. These observations will be supported by expert witnesses from Nottinghamshire County Council. These pieces of work will make up a portfolio which will be assessed by Vision West Nottinghamshire College.


Still interested?

Remember, entry requirements for the award are attendance at Talking Matters, Let’s Interact and Communication For  All. Make sure you have attended all of these before you apply. You should also be attending Language Lead networks regularly.

There will be a charge of approx £395 for the qualification which can be shared by yourself and your setting if needed.

If you would like further information or wish to attend a briefing session, contact Sue Hillier on 07920082152  or via email at