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Queensmead Primary Academy

What happens when a speech and language difficulty is picked up in school?

If a parent is worried or if a teacher thinks that a child may have a language difficulty the teacher will complete a 'speech and language screen'.

This is a set of questions that identify what sort of difficulties the child is having. It is provided by the Speech and Language Therapy Service.

Once the areas of difficulty are identified, appropriate strategies for helping the child, such as using their name at the beginning of sentences or modelling back to them words they have said incorrectly, will be put in place. 

After 3 months of trying the strategies, the child is assessed again, using the screen.

If the screen still shows that the child is having difficulties, a referral to the Speech and Language Therapy Service will be considered and parents will be consulted about this.

If parents agree to a referral, the teacher,SENDCo and parents will complete the referral form (called a SPA form) together.

If the Speech and Language Therapy Service agree to take on the referral they will contact the parents directly and offer them a clinic appointment to assess the child. Parents take the child for their assessment. School is not involved at this point.

A note about stammering

If a child has a stammer we don't have to try the strategies and wait for 3 months before referring them to the Speech and Language Therapy Service, we can do so immediately.

What happens next?

When the Speech and Language Therapist (SALT) has assessed the child's difficulties she may suggest one of a number of options.

  • The child may be seen in clinic for a series of therapy sessions.  
  • The SALT may write to the school to ask them to carry out some of the therapy work in school. 
  • The SALT may come into school to work with child or do further assessments.

Whichever course of action is followed, the SALT will inform the school about what has been done and provide advice and resources so that it can be followed up in school.

How will I know how my child is getting on?

Parents will be offered regular opportunities to  meet with class teachers, teaching assistants and/or the SENCO. These opportunities can take different forms. They may be:

  • Review meetings where the parents, SENCO, class teacher, teaching assistants and sometimes the Speech and Language Therapist meet to discuss the child's progress and the next targets for the child.
  • Parent Consultations (Parents' Evening) where parents can meet the teacher to discuss their child's progress.  The SENCO can also attend these meetings.
  • Informal feedback where parents and teachers have a chat with each other at the end or the beginning of the day about how the child is getting on.

Parents are always welcome to contact the SENCO to discuss their child's progress or the provision being made for their child.