The aim of the NHS Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT) Team is to help develop each child’s communication skills. We do this by making sure our targets and advice are a part of their daily routine and linked to their learning.
The service is commissioned by Hertfordshire County Council, East and North Herts Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Herts Valleys CCG, to provide a school based service to promote the development of communication skills, thereby supporting access to the curriculum.
The service follows a 3 tier model of delivery, which recognises that communication occurs all the time in every situation. There is therefore a need for everyone working with, and spending time with children to be skilled in supporting children’s speech, language and communication skills.
We see pupils from when they enter the school if Speech and Language Therapy is identified in Section 3 of Education, Health and Care Plan. We assess their need and work with classroom staff to set specific targets. Children may be referred at other times if there is concern from parents or class teacher.
The therapy we provide will depend on a child’s needs. We may work directly with some pupils if appropriate, either individually or in groups. We often support them in the classroom as research shows this is where most progress can be made. We may also support staff to make adaptations to the classroom environment to ensure communication needs are supported in the best possible way and to identify the appropriate level of spoken language that the students can understand.
We contribute to annual Education, Health and Care Plans reviews by writing reports; these identify progress made over the past year and highlight new targets and general communication strategies to be used at home and at school. We are also available to provide informal advice to teachers and families, should there be general queries about communication.
School staff are trained to support and facilitate the development of all children’s communication skills through the curriculum. The SaLT team will assess children where there is a discrepancy between a child’s communication skills and their overall abilities. We also support children who have unclear speech and children who are dysfluent and stammer.
We work closely with teaching staff and with any other professionals involved with the child. As a team we actively encourage parents and carers to be involved in each child’s therapy programme, so their developing skills are supported across all environments. Parents, carers and other professionals are encouraged to contact us at any time through the school’s main office or their child’s form teacher.