Special education provision we expect

Speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) support guidance

The SEN Support provision we expect all schools and settings to offer for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs.

Suggested whole-school approaches:

  • Have a supportive ethos and environment which promotes respect and values diversity
  • Use an audit tool to review whether the environment is ‘communication friendly’ e.g. Communication Trust and generate an action plan
  • Use a recommended screening tool to enable teachers to identify need and plan provision
  • Implement a whole setting approach (e.g. ELKLAN Communication Friendly Settings)
  • Provide training for all staff to develop understanding and confidence around supporting SLCN
  • Use consistent visuals across the setting to reinforce key routines and expectations and support learning
  • Use The Communication Trust ‘Universally Speaking’ resources to help staff understand progression through ages and stages
  • Use The Communication Trust ‘Universally Speaking’ resources to help staff understand progression through ages and stages
  • Identify a lead professional for communication (e.g. Communication Champion)
  • Support parents/carers by signposting resources and sources of information and support

Suggested SEND support strategies in the classroom:

  • Confirm with parents/carers that hearing has been checked
  • Actively teach children and young people (CYP) strategies for what to say and do when they do not understand
  • Support your oral presentations /explanations with pictures, real objects, symbols or actions
  • Create a ‘one-page profile’ involving parents/carers and the CYP in identifying how best to support
  • Begin work on a new topic with CYP’s existing knowledge and experiences
  • Put up a list of key vocabulary for a particular topic or lesson and teach the meaning of each word
  • Consider pre-teaching of key words and concepts needed in lessons
  • Use the CYP’s name before asking a question or giving an instruction
  • Use visual summaries of discussions – mind maps, flow charts, diagrams, comic strip format
  • Give time for ’partner-talk’ before expecting them to answer a question
  • Use symbols to support spoken language and text (e.g. www.widgit.com)
  • Provide ‘scaffolding’ for talk (e.g. talk prompts, key phrases) and writing (e.g. writing frames, word mats)
  • Keep verbal instructions simple and use them in the order you want them carried out
  • Give directions before starting the activity or stop the activity to clarify if needed
  • Give CYPs thinking time (at least 10 seconds) to respond and then, if necessary, repeat what you said
  • Check for understanding - ask the CYP to tell you what they have to do
  • Cue the CYP into a change of topic of conversation/presentation - say ‘Now we are going to talk about …’
  • Regular personalised or small group work
  • Frame questions carefully (decide whether to ask open or closed questions)
  • Allow extra time to complete tasks and be aware of the additional fatigue the CYP may experience

Suggestions for the SENDCo:

  • Identify need and monitor impact of intervention using a recommended screening tool
  • Run a targeted intervention consisting of a minimum of two times a week for 10 - 12 weeks and measure impact, prior to referral
  • Plan targeted support and seek advice from external providers, including referrals to appropriate services
  • Continue the cycle of support (assess, plan, do, review) while specialist advice is sought
  • Access training required to deliver interventions (e.g. Word Aware, Talk Boost, ELKLAN or similar)
  • In KS1/KS2 settings, speak to your link speech and language therapist
  • Consider referral to Speech and Language Therapy 
  • Consider a referral to the Access Through Technology team
  • Consider a School 2 School Support (S2S) referral for advice, support and/or training (e.g. PECS)
  • Consider outreach advice and support from an appropriate SLCN Specialist Resource Base (SRB)
  • Signpost parents/carers to the ‘Communication’ section of NHS ‘Just One Norfolk’
  • Seek advice on specialist arrangements for examinations and assessments

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