The aim of the SLCN project is to create ‘SLCN Leads’ for schools in Poole and the surrounding area so that every school has someone who is able to identify, support and work with pupils who are currently struggling with their communication. Research studies show us that children who struggle to develop communication often struggle with other aspects of their life and schooling. The aims of this project will be achieved through a training programme run by a highly experienced team of Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) all employed by Alex Kelly Ltd and run over a period of a year, from January – December 2017. This will include 6 training days between January and July and will also include 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 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. As part of this project, we will complete a pre and post communication audit on each school which you will be able to share with Ofsted.


Who is Alex Kelly?

Alex is a speech & language therapist with over 30 years’ experience of working with children & adults with SLCN. She left the NHS in 2009 and now runs a successful business jointly with her husband, a teacher, employing 23 staff. She is the author of the best-selling TALKABOUT resources which develop children’s social skills and friendship skills using a hierarchical method of teaching. Locally, she runs a day service for adults with ASD / LD; offers a range of training courses in communication; and provides SLT into 35 schools across Hampshire.


Who is the course for?

You will most likely be a teaching assistant working in a school with a special interest in SLCN. You may be in a mainstream school (primary or secondary) or a special school (any age). You will be required to complete tasks in between modules and so we recommend that you are given some non-contact time to develop your SLCN lead role throughout the course. You will be supported in your work by a member of the Alex Kelly Ltd team of SLTs and will receive 2 visits to help you complete your audit and measure your outcomes.


Course details:

There will be 6 modules / training days and these will occur over 6 months. Following these, there will be 2 follow-up days after 3 months and 5 months. The training days will cover:

  • Receptive Language
  • Expressive Language
  • Speech Sounds
  • Learning Disability & Autism
  • Social Skills
  • Other Communication Needs
  • Implementing a strategy for children with SLCN
  • Feedback and measuring outcomes

The training will be delivered by a group of 4 or 5 SLTs from Alex Kelly Ltd. There will be 1 SLT who is the main tutor for the course (Chris McLoughlin) and he will be present at every session. However, each day will have a second facilitator who will be brought in to bring expertise in certain subjects (for example, autism, social skills and selective mutism).



All data will be collected by Alex Kelly Ltd, anonymised and then presented in a report and published for all participating schools in Poole. We will write up and publish the results of this exciting project and you will be able to share your results with your governors and OFSTED.



£1650 (10% discount for Sigma Alliance Members)