Reply To: Newly appointed SENCO

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Speech and language therapist here, hello!

It’s worth thinking about speech and language screeners as there are so many children with speech and language difficulties, and moreover, hidden language needs. 10% of children will have persistent speech, language and communication needs in the UK. As many as 50% in socially deprived areas in the UK, for example, start school with poor language skills. Language needs can be hard to identify via observation, as many children mask their needs (often subconsciously) and it can show up as behaviour, emotional dysregulation, passivity or be mistaken as an overall learning need or thought to be due to literacy difficulties. If a child is identified as having a language need, then that area can be worked on and this may then prevent or reduce the likelihood of other such difficulties and also help to improve the child’s self-esteem, confidence and future outcomes in life. Here are some articles pointing to the evidence:

Speech & Language Link might be able to help you: As a speech and language therapist, I have worked in schools that subscribed to their screening and intervention packages, and it made triaging the children really simple and also meant that more children could be seen at any one given time, and I could concentrate on those that needed that much more specialist level of support. The impact reports are great, one of which shows that after 6 hours in total (12 x 30min sessions) Language Link group interventions, children made on average a 5 month’s extra progress than what would have been expected. See below pdf for impact, if you are interested!

It could be worth having a look with the free 2-week trial:

Do ask if you have any questions! Myself or
Good luck in your new role as a SENCO! Exciting times ahead!

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