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  • Writer's pictureBeth Morrant

How a SENCo developed a SLCN strategy for her whole school

Updated: Aug 31, 2021

Rebecca is a SENCo who is new to the role. Looking to rejuvenate the SEN provision in her school with a view to providing quality data to the board of Governors and making sure all of the SEN provision is at a good to outstanding level before the impending Ofsted inspection.

She has her lists sorted: which children are on the SEN register, who has an EHCP, who has been seen by outside professionals (Educational Psychology, Speech & Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, CAMHS, etc). Her paperwork and folders are organised and she has a good idea of the needs of the children.

There are Teaching Assistants in most classes and Rebecca needs to find a way to make sure the needs of the children are being met within the classroom through quality teaching or through TA-led interventions, or a combination of the two.

But she isn't sure of the skill level or confidence of the staff to work with SEN children.

She needs a way of making sure that the staff have an understanding of the difficulties and diagnoses of the children in their classes. She also wants to find out what resources and training options are available to support them. She has a limited budget and some old resources in a cupboard.

Here's what she did...

She downloaded the free Self-Evaluation Audit tool from the Speech & Language Garden, printed out enough copies for all of the staff and asked them to complete it.

It has yes/no statements for her colleagues to write their evidence next to, like:

  1. I understand and can describe what the term speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) means.

  2. I know where to go to find information about typical speech, language and communication development.

  3. I have experience in supporting children with SLCN.

  4. I am aware of a number of strategies to help the pupils in my class.

  5. I have had training in the last 3 years on SLCN.

Once her colleagues had filled out the 2-page form, Rebecca was able to collect the evidence that some members of her team had strengths and experience, while others needed further training. A quick type-up of the results helped Rebecca to approach the senior leadership team of the school with data and evidence to show how fabulously she had started her new role and supported her request for a small amount of funding for staff training and resources.

My online course in SLCN was on her mind. It’s instant access and therefore is available to be completed any time. With a single purchase and login, Rebecca could train up her whole team (it worked out at a ridiculously bargain price per person- less than a fiver!)

There are 4 modules, totalling 1.5 hours of pre-recorded videos so she planned to deliver two 45-minute training sessions over 2 weeks for her LSA team, and also use the course for the Teaching staff at the next inset day. There would be no more prep required, all she had to do was play the videos.

The course covers:

  • Module 1: Definition of SLCN, prevalence and patterns, profiles and case studies, barriers to learning, wider impacts of SLCN, What does a SALT do?

  • Module 2: Discussion and definitions of the 7 different areas of SLCN.

  • Module 3: Strategies to support the children you work with.

  • Module 4: a recap of information, onward planning, further reading and sources or support.

With the extra bonus features of printable strategy sheets for each of the 7 areas of SLCN (Attention & Listening, Comprehension, Memory, Expressive Language & Vocabulary, Speech Sounds, Play & Social Skills, Fluency (stammering)) Rebecca was planning to select the relevant ones for the children on her SEN register and SEND lists and:

  • Send the sheets home to share with parents

  • Print out and share with the teachers of particular children to ensure quality teaching in the classroom

  • Include suggested strategies in the paperwork (One Plans and IEPs) for the children

  • ‘borrow’ some of the strategies to upload to the SEND section of the school website

Rebecca had a plan for the two bonus resources too! They were the SLCN E-book and SLCN checklist. She was going to:

  • Save the SLCN E-book onto the shared staff server for future reference

  • Print out the ‘Profiles’ page to stick up in the staffroom for her colleagues to refer to and highlight individual pupils to Rebecca for further support

  • Use the SLCN checklist to assess some students of concern and see if the tool highlighted any areas of need for those individual children.

  • Following this she could indicate to the staff in that class the strategies from the training course which would work best for those children.

  • Refer on to Speech and Language the most concerning children with ticks in the always section of the checklist.

Rebecca had a great plan and was off to a strong start in her new role, confident that she could improve the SEN provision in her school and excited to improve the skills of the whole team. She had very little to create by herself, just some printing and setting a date for the training to be delivered.

Are you a 'Rebecca'? New to your SENCo role or just want to plan something impactful for your school? If you feel like you could really do with a plan like Rebecca's or just want one of the SLCN resources, click on the images below.

Worried about budgets? Read this article:

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