Experienced West Midlands based speech & language therapy

Monday, August 07, 2017

Language Difficulties Limit Life Chances

There’s no denying that times are tough and, for some, if the most adverse publicity about the new funding formula comes true, they will get worse.

Spending per pupil is set to fall by 6.5% by 2019/20, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)……  the introduction of the national funding formula, which will redistribute money to schools in a way that ministers say will be fairer, is the "largest shake-up in school funding in England for at least 25 years".

The timing is alarming in that hard-pressed schools already had their backs very firmly against the wall

Making the case for SLT specialist advice

Children with SEN in mainstream schools are numerous and amongst the most vulnerable

  • Most children with SEN have Speech, Language and/or Communication Needs (SLCN)
  • Language disorders are 7 times more prevalent than other developmental conditions such as autism
  • Around half the children in areas of social disadvantage can have SLCN
  • Children with SLCN start school without the language they need in order to learn and are disadvantaged from the start
  • Up to 90% of pupils with SLCN will have problems learning to read
  • Children need language to learn, socialise, manage their behaviour and develop emotionally
  • Language difficulties limit life chances


The good news is that the right support can make a huge difference, so it’s worth taking time to explore the options.  Nowadays SLT is far more than the ‘broom cupboard’ model, where the therapist operated in splendid isolation, no one really quite sure what was happening or why, and the opportunity for the wider workforce to take advantage of those specialist skills was lost. 

Make the most of all the skills and expertise your SLT has to offer, at the very least so that school can support a child to generalise new skills.  With the best will in the world no one person can deliver therapy for every child who would benefit.  We need to pool  scarce resources and embrace the opportunities to do things differently.  It is sometimes in the face of significant adversity that the best new ideas come to the surface.

The single most important aim has to be for schools to become empowered to do as much as they possibly can for themselves.

At Soundswell experienced therapists work as part of the school, each bringing particular skills to contribute to the overall strategy – i.e. what the school wants to achieve for pupils with SEN/ SLCN within a given time-scale.  We provide schools with virtual ‘Toolboxes” - ideas, resources, skills and abilities to manage as much tier 1 and tier 2 activity yourselves as possible.

 For more information read our article in SENCO magazine- we are on page 61 !!