Speech and Language Therapy
The Schools Speech and Language Support Team (SSLST) is speech and language therapy service employed by the Local Authority to support students with speech, language and communication needs to access learning to the best of their ability, to develop confidence in communication skills and to actively participate in wider educational experiences. The team is made up of Speech and Language Therapists,
The team provides support to following education settings on the Isle of Wight:
all mainstream primary schools (from year 1 upwards),
all mainstream secondary schools,
The four specialist units for students with ASD attached to mainstream schools (Broadlea, Greenhaven, The Cove and The Einstein Centre),
St George’s Special School,
The Island Learning Centre,
The Isle of Wight College (statutory support only)
HTP College (statutory support only)
NHS Speech and Language Therapy
Speech and language therapy support children and young people with complex needs, hearing impairments, voice disorders, cleft palate, selective mutism, eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties and stammering is provided by the NHS speech and language therapy service. The NHS Speech and Language Therapy service provides support for students in mainstream primary schools in year R and for students attending Medina House, the special school for primary age pupils. The Schools Speech and Language Support Team works collaboratively with the NHS speech and language therapy team wherever possible and links between the services are positive.
To view the NHS speech and language therapy website please click here.
The Schools Speech and Language Support Team works directly with students with speech and language therapy support specified in their Education Health and Care plans (EHCPs). This also involves providing the relevant training and support to school staff to implement recommendations relating to support for communication needs detailed in student’s Education Health and Care Plan.
The team provides advice as part of the statutory assessment process. When a student with identified communication difficulties is going through education health and care needs assessment process, professional advice will be provided as part of this assessment by The Schools Speech and Language Support Team.
Referrals for speech and language therapy involvement can be made for students with EHCPs who have not previously been known to the service or those who have previously been closed to the service but require further specialist involvement. Referrals need to be made by the schools Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) during the setting’s termly planning meeting.
Non statutory support
The team also has a strong focus on working collaboratively with education settings. A primary aim for the service is to support schools and settings to make sure that the communication needs of all students are identified, supported and developed in their learning environment.
In order to achieve this aim, the following additional support is offered to all primary and secondary settings:
All schools can receive an accredited ten week Elklan training programme (this develops specialist knowledge and skills in supporting students with speech, language and communication on Elklan courses
All schools can receive a two day Elklan training specifically designed for teachers
All schools will have access to a termly Elklan network meeting, which allows Elklan trained members of staff to share good practice and build on their skill set.
All schools will receive a minimum of one hour of support per term for Elklan trained members of staff to implement recommended advice and strategies within the school environment
All schools are offered one parent contact session per academic year. This could take the form of a parent coffee morning, attendance at a parents evening or a parent workshop for parents and carers of students with speech, language and communication needs. This will be agreed with each school on an individual basis, in line with what works best for each school community
All schools are offered an additional bespoke training session of two hours per academic year according to school training needs and priorities
Termly planning meetings
All schools and settings on the Island receive a termly planning meeting with the Schools Speech and Language Support Team (SSLST). This provides an opportunity to talk through the students open to the caseload, plan any training or staff input required for the term and to provide advice to school staff on supporting wider communication needs within the setting. The first planning meeting of each year is used to evaluate the service provided by the SSLST and to set outcomes for speech and language therapy support for the next academic year with individual education settings. Progresses towards outcomes are measured on an annual basis and feedback is provided to settings.
In order to make a referral to the Schools Speech and Language Support Team (SSLST), the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) must first discuss concerns about supporting a students’ speech, language and communication needs during a planning meeting. The SSLST professional will provide advice and where appropriate will agree to accept the referral.
To view the Schools Speech and Language Support Team referral form click here (PDF, 387.20 KB, 2 pages).
The Schools Speech and Language Support Team is currently working with education settings and external organisations to develop a menu of sold services which can be bought in by education providers.
The sold service offer is due to be launched in July 2019 and further information will be made available on the Local Offer as soon as this is published.