The aim of this project is to create ‘SLCN Leads’ for schools in Poole so that each school has someone who is able to identify, support and work with pupils who are currently struggling with their communication. This will be achieved through a training programme run by a highly experienced team of Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) run over a period of a year, from January – December 2017. This will include 6 training days between January and July and 2 follow-up days in October and December. The days will cover all the common areas of difficulties in communication and staff will then be set assignments and cascade training after each day. The course will be very practical and will include a screening tool that staff can use, following training, to help them identify children who have SLCN and require support.
The training package aims to train unqualified staff to be a ‘communication coordinator’ for their place of work. They are trained and supported over a period of 9-12 months to have a better understanding of the communication needs of people with a learning disability and to improve the communication experience for them. They are also trained to be able to deliver training to their staff groups in different aspects of communication. The programme includes training workshops for the participants; a workbook of assignments; a cascade training programme; follow up days; and pre and post visit to their place of work.
Research studies show us that children who struggle to develop communication often struggle with other aspects of their life and schooling:
The incidence of SLCN in mainstream education
- More children are being integrated into mainstream schools with additional needs. 7% of 5 year olds entering school in 2007 had significant communication difficulties
SLCN and the Criminal Justice System
- 60% of the 7,000 young people who pass through young offender institutions have a communication disability and 46-67% have poor or very poor skills
- In comparison, a separate study showed that there is a high level (91%) of communication disability in young people known to the youth offending team. This is significantly greater than in the general population (10%)
- A survey at Polmont Young Offender’s Institution found that 70% of young men had significant communication problems
SLCN and SEBD or challenging behaviour
- Studies show substantial proportions of children with specific language impairment experience social and behavioural problems as they reach secondary school age, and that these problems increase over time6 as they cannot access the curriculum and becoming increasingly frustrated
- Up to 95% of children with SEBD have been found to have social skills difficulties and 86% have narrative difficulties
The cost of the full programme will be £1500 per school if 8 participants on the course and £1000 if there are 16 participants
We will be holding a briefing session for Headteachers early in the Autumn Term