5 Steps to SLCN success in your school
Updated: Apr 30
“there is a significant under-identification of SLCN in schools”
The Communication Trust, 2018,
Many schools do not have enough support to identify SLCN and understand the types of difficulties faced by children, despite rising numbers of SEND and SLCN.
Schools are required to assess pupil need, plan how to support them, deliver high quality teaching and learning and review the children’s progress, but there aren’t always the right resources or high quality CPD for staff to access, let alone the little amount of SEND covered in initial teacher training.
SLCN impacts on most areas of learning, from literacy and maths skills, to social development and mental health.
These impacts can affect people later in life too, with struggles in workplace settings, having difficulties around relationships and some speech and language needs affecting parenting skills.
This include jobs which require a high level of memory and processing that may be avoided by a person who has considerable difficulties in that area, or a job that requires telephone or email communication, or parents not wanting to read bed-time stories to their children due to unresolved literacy or speech sound difficulties.
Schools need to have access to resources and training in SLCN in order to identify children’s difficulties and to help them make progress and overcome their barriers to learning and life skills.
Here are 5 steps you can take to assess, plan, implement and review SLCN in your school:
STEP 1: Assess Download the SLCN Checklist (click here) and print as many copies as you need, one per child either for children of concern or as a screening tool for entire cohorts.
It’s an easy to use 4-page checklist covering 7 different areas of SLCN. You can delegate to Teachers or Support staff to complete.
Questions within each section will help you to highlight areas where the child has the most need and where school-based interventions or onward referral are required.
The checklist is also available as a bonus resource in the SLCN course (see step 2 below).
STEP 2: Plan Once needs have been identified by the SLCN Checklist, next you can deliver classroom-based quality teaching using the strategies from the SLCN course (click here for more information on the course).
It’s a pre-recorded, online short-course which is available straight away with unlimited access so it can be re-visited as often as you like.
Includes the SLCN eBook (below) as BONUS features, as well as 9 downloadable PDFs:
➡ 7 with strategies for each area of SLCN,
➡ 1 with references and links for further information,
➡ 1 with a list of charities and organisations for you to keep in your resources bank.
Depending on the needs of the children, staff in school can deliver interventions using STEPS 3 & 4.
STEP 3: 'Do'/Interventions Deliver effective interventions via LSAs/TAs/Support Staff to support areas of needs, either 1:1 or in small groups. Use the activities and strategies from the eBooks available on my website (click here to visit the resources page):
STEP 4: Further Planning and 'Doing' Boost staff skills and CPD by using the online courses in Supporting Children with Memory difficulties, issues with Vocabulary and Word Finding, Speech Sounds or Stammers/Stutters (click here to read more information on the courses).
STEP 5: Review Monitor progress of the children each term by repeating the SLCN checklist.
Use the data from the checklists to show progress by counting the ticks in each column.
Write a super report for the SLT and Governors about how you've set up a great SLCN pathway for your setting. Impress them with a pie chart showing the data 😉.
This has been an incredibly difficult time for schools. Please feel free to email me if you have any queries, I’m an experienced and Highly Specialist Speech Therapist with plenty of advice and support for you.