Support in schools

Guidelines state that Speech and Language Therapy should aim to support school-age children with speech, language and communication needs in school whenever possible, provided there has been legal guardian consent.

Speech and Language Therapy care is agreed with the school according to:

  • the needs of the child
  • the availability of resources in the school
  • discussion with school staff and parents/carers 

This grid shows what support Speech and Language Therapy can provide based on the support available in school: 

School/classroom/staffing resources Typical models of support
Support available from class teacher/subject teacher
  • General advice on strategies to support communication
  • Ideas for helping child to access school work, e.g: use of simple straight forward spoken language, visual support including use of pictures, objects, symbols, signs and gesture
  • Lesson aims and key words for lesson on board or handout
  • Contribution to Individual Education Plan (IEP)/ target setting
  • Liaison with Inclusive Education Service (IES)/ Inclusion Support Service (ISS)/ parents and carers /partner agencies
  • Training for school staff
Support available from class teacher/subject teacher and teaching assistant (TA) available in class

As above, plus:

  • Specific prompting re speech, language, communication targets e.g. remembering a specific speech sound, speaking slowly and clearly
  • Further opportunities for strategies, e.g. providing additional explanations, demonstrations of activities
  • More personalised use of signs and symbols
  • Use of direct or indirect modelling
Support available from class teacher/subject teacher and TA support shared with others in a group

As above, plus:

  • Increased opportunities for prompting, modelling and use of strategies within a small group
  • Specific group activities linked to literacy strategy and other curriculum areas
  • Group work, e.g. phonological awareness, vocabulary building, narrative, social communication
Support available from class teacher/subject teacher and specific allocated TA time

As above with increased focus on tailoring classroom learning, environment and communication strategies to child's individual needs.

Specific emphasis on:

  • Contribution to IEP/target setting
  • Liaison with IES/ISS/parents/partner agencies
  • Training for school staff
Support available from class teacher/subject teacher and specific allocated TA time

As above plus written programme of targeted activities to be carried out by school staff where the child's area of need is with linguistic skills e.g.

  • Phonology
  • Articulation
  • Word-finding
  • Spoken language

Taken from: Position Statement for Specialist Children's Therapy Provision (Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy) Models of Collaborative Practice in Mainstream Schools, 2005

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