Experienced West Midlands based speech & language therapy

Monday, June 04, 2018

Budget cuts – tough times across the board

We recognise the dilemma and have been proactive in looking at different ways speech and language therapy might be delivered.  The traditional models of a once a week (or more) service is no longer tenable for many, but rather than throw the baby out with the bath water we can offer schools a more ‘task focussed’ approach. 

Skilling schools to do as much as they can themselves, well and with confidence now has to more of a priority than ever. 

 

We have always advocated training and guidance for implementing activities at a universal level as this is relatively inexpensive.  Once staff have acquired those skills they are sustainable: specialist SLT input isn’t needed.  There is an immediate saving here!

How can schools use their budget to best effect?  Here is our ‘essentials’ checklist:

  • Identify your budget
  • Identify work-streams: decide what you want to achieve – you may want some activity at each of the three levels
  • Mix and match according to the money available – training + some direct therapist time can cover most options
  • Work out how these activities are best delivered – the cyclical model (‘chunks’ of input over the year with spaces to allow time for staff to work on targets in between) works well and allows as many children as possible access to specialist help if they need it
  • Make sure that any learning is shared – TAs spend time with the therapist, training is disseminated
  • Keep an eye on the number of days you have commissioned – make sure each one is used to maximum effect

We are proud to say that, working in partnership, we are going to be able to continue to support all but one of our schools.  Thank you for continuing to commission our services and we look forward to the challenges of the year ahead.

                                                                        Diana, Jo & Associates