Experienced West Midlands based speech & language therapy

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Disadvantaged children have poorer language outcomes – fact. At last a call to action!

The following link was hidden within another email.  It sparked our interest and so I sent a message to say we’d like to be involved.


Before I knew what I’d let myself in for I was invited to 2 days of training to become an Early Years Peer Reviewer – it seemed an interesting and worthwhile piece of work and so off I went to Warwick University .

Perhaps you are thinking similar thoughts to mine on that first morning - namely: what is Peer review?

  • Local authorities (LAs) invite a peer review team to look at their Early Years Services (EYS) – ‘warts and all’. The process takes about 4 days: it is not an inspection, and is entirely voluntary
  • The process is designed to be safe, supportive and constructive, beginning with an invitation from the LA for the team to look at specific areas of their EYS.  As the process evolves however, the team may request to look at other areas
  • A team of 4 reviewers look at documentation and meet with a  range of people from all areas of EYS
  • At the end of the visit the team present their findings and this is followed up by a written report with recommendations – to support the LA to improve their services

The Local Government Authority (LGA) have been peer reviewing safeguarding, fire and rescue, corporate services etc. for years: EYS are a new addition to their portfolio.

What are the benefits for the LA that invites a Peer Review?

   Genuine feedback

   Reassurance and recommendations

   Celebration of successes

   Advice and guidance


There are positive outcomes, too, both for me as an individual and to other team members:

   Learning and reflection

   Sharing knowledge and expertise


   Challenging existing ways of thinking

   A chance to champion speech and language in the Early Years



If you'd like to know more about 'closing the word gap' click here