Value Talking – An affordable speech and language therapy (SaLT) service to supplement your existing SaLT service.
We have been exploring innovative, low-cost ways for local schools to access additional speech and language therapy. Our Value Talking service model involves final year speech and language therapy students, on work placement with Talking Outcomes, delivering a service to your school. They do this under the supervision of a highly specialist SaLT, who has considerable expertise around working in mainstream schools.
The SaLT service is tailored to meet your school’s needs and can include:
• inclusion advice & resources for school staff
• support & advice for parents
• INSET for staff
More than 10% of children have long term speech, language and communication needs which impact on:
• educational attainment
• social, emotional and mental health (SEMH)
• life chances and employment
Children living in areas of social disadvantage are at much higher risk. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, around 50% were starting school with delayed language development. (Figures from Bercow: Ten Years On report, ICAN & RCSLT, 2018)
Children who enter school with poorly developed speech & language are at risk of later literacy difficulties (Snowling et al, 2011). 81% of children with emotional and behavioural disorders have undetected language difficulties (Hollo et al, 2014).
“Language is crucial: the most important factor in reaching the expected levels in English and maths at age 11 was children’s language skills at age 5; more important than poverty or parental education.”
Save the Children UK, 2016.
• Better listening
• Raised literacy
• Improved behaviour
• Reduced anxiety
• Reduced attainment gap in deprived areas
• Improved access to curriculum
• Earlier identification of SLCN
• Improved language levels
• Raised attainment for CYP with disabilities
This will depend on your school’s needs. SaLTs have a unique skill set which includes:
• identifying and assessing speech, language & communication difficulties
• planning and managing intervention
• monitoring progress
• providing advice, resources and training for staff and parents
Where students lack skills around an intervention or training, they will be heavily supported by the supervising SaLT. For example, if part of the service agreed is an INSET for staff, the supervising SaLT may deliver the INSET with the students observing, or students may deliver parts of the INSET with the supervising SaLT present.
The diagram below sums up the different ways in which SaLTs can work. You can choose a ‘pick ‘n mix’ approach for your school which will be agreed in advance with Talking Outcomes according to your need. Each school has a bespoke contract with Talking Outcomes detailing the service that has been agreed with the senior leadership team. This is usually set up the term before the service begins. This is an excerpt from page 10 of the NAHT & Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists’ Guidance for education settings on commissioning (buying in) speech and language therapy services and training, 2020 which you can read if you click on the diagram or click the link here.
A 15-day placement with 2 students – totalling 30 days of service – £6600
A 20-day placement with 2 students – totalling 40 days of service – £8100
A 25-day placement with 2 students – totalling 50 days of service – £9000
This is approximately half of the cost of a service from a specialist SaLT at Talking Outcomes.
You would normally commission a service for one academic year which runs from Sept/Oct until up to March. The Value Talking service doesn’t run in the summer term as final year students have exams.
It starts in late September/early October and runs until late March – depending on whether you commission a 15, 20 or 25 day service. Students attend one day per week on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. There may be some flexibility on which of these days are available.
Research indicates that SaLT students require less supervision and feel better supported when they attend a school placement in pairs or groups. They learn from one another and can share travel if one has a car. So we only offer paired placements.
Talking Outcomes only provides school placements for final year students, who are expected to be working towards independence during their placement. Their skill sets, knowledge and experience vary. The supervising SaLT will provide more support for students who need it, and allow more capable students more independence at an earlier stage in the placement. The Universities choose which students they feel would benefit most from a school placement.
The National association of Headteachers (NAHT) & Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists (RCSLT) have written guidance for education settings on commissioning (buying in) speech and language therapy services and training, 2020 which you can find here.
By April is ideal, so that we can agree the detail over the summer term and get a contract in place ready for a late Sept/early Oct start. However, you can contact us at any time up to a year in advance as places are limited.
For several years, we have been gathering the confidential, anonymous views of our clients using the Talking Outcomes E-questionnaire (TOE). This enables us to measure client satisfaction and improve our service, ensuring quality remains high.
“I have been very impressed with the consultant who came to work with a child in my class. The child improved a great deal because I was given some good ideas in which to monitor the improvement in a few weeks. Having limited experience of children with speech problems I felt i had the confidence to help this child improve a little bit everyday.”
Class teacher, Winchester
“Jan is providing a bespoke support package based on the individual needs of a child in my class. The child is extremely engaged in the work Jan has been doing with her and the impact on the child’s confidence and speech has been brilliant in such a short time. Jan is extremely professional and feeds back progress and activities with us to enable support to be followed up in class. Jan also adapts the work to suit the child and to enable the child to succeed despite her challenging behaviour. This would be a great use of pupil premium money for schools wanting to target specific speech and language needs.”
Early Years Team Leader, Winchester
“Jan is brilliant at demonstrating and explaining how to support our pupil. She always makes time to help with any queries and issues which may arise, achieving practical solutions on every occasion. She listens and adjusts according to feedback received.”
Teaching Assistant, Independent School, Hampshire
“I don’t just have the one strategy to try next week, now I have two or three. I am excited to put [them] into practise, not only with children with SaLT but my whole class can benefit.”
Excerpts from Feedback forms: Winchester Teaching Schools Alliance (WTSA) INSET day – January 2017:
Q: What were the most interesting/useful bits of the speech and language INSET?
• The recording and drawing from the child saying how she felt
• Video showing children good listening with teacher and TA / active listening demonstration
• Individual strategies and the understanding that we, as a school can do something for these children even if they aren’t ‘bad enough’ to qualify for a SaLT referral.
• Being given useful, practical activities to do
• Having a teacher with me from the same school so we could agree to start strategies
• I don’t feel overloaded with information, you totally met your aim.
• Links with literacy and language
• The vocab learner/Word Wise Whizz strategy
• The narrative ‘Hand’ and glove strategy
• Active listening flash cards
• Waiting 10 seconds strategy
“Jan is a superb tutor, we are lucky to have her involvement at our school.”
“I have learnt something new in each session and everything I have learnt is already benefiting the children in our setting. Jan was a fantastic tutor who was extremely encouraging and inspiring. Thank you.”
LSA, Year R/1 Primary School near Andover
“Jan was a brilliant tutor who made everything relevant to my teaching practice. I have seen many differences with the children I teach and I hope to continue to use the different strategies in the future.”
Class Teacher, Winchester
“I didn’t realise how helpful this course would be in not only supporting our students in the MFL department, but also people of all ages…my friend’s 3 year old grandchildren, my Rainbows, and elderly folk that I know. I am particularly eager to implement communication cartoons with my ELSA students. There was a good balance between the theory which was really thought-provoking and gave me a better insight into the difficulties faced by SCLN students, and the practical strategies and visual aids that can be put in place to support them. Thank you!”
Teacher, Henry Beaufort School (Secondary)
“Before the course I had never appreciated just how complex the process of communication is (this was highlighted in our first session with the communication chain) and how much this can impact on a pupils learning and self-confidence… Following the course I am much more aware of the signs that a pupil that may be having difficulties in communication and the course has encouraged me to really think about the problems a pupil might be having and be specific in my approach to helping them. The course has giving me a bank of really good strategies that can scaffold the pupil so that they can work effectively and then as independently as possible. I found the whole course really motivating and positive and I think this is reflected when I go into a class and work with pupils.”
Learning Support Assistant
Henry Beaufort School (Secondary)
“It has completely changed my practise (for the better!)”
Jody Cook, LSA Year R, Weeke Primary School
“The Elklan training enables me as a teacher to really think about the language interactions in my class. It highlights the need for a clear understanding of the process involved in providing for children to develop as confident and social individuals.”
Sarah Cross, Year R teacher, Weeke Primary School
Leanne’s view on what her favourite teachers do differently to help:
“[They] speak clearlier and say it like slowlier so we can understand it as well. They don’t rush”
“I really struggle with my writing, but now we have talked about it and drawn pictures, I understand what I have to write.”
Secondary school child following support from LSA who attended training with Talking Outcomes.
“I think it’s going to be useful for the entirety of my life.” Feedback from a 14-year old with difficulties understanding language, who has learned to ask “What does that mean?” in class, without shame or embarrassment.
“Thank you very much for being my speech and language lady. It was fun and I loved all the fun games that we played. I learned lots of things and it has helped me to be more clear and confident”.
Secondary school aged child with Down Syndrome.
The videos below show a group of Year 2 children receiving small group intervention based on the Talk Boost programme – a Tier 2 intervention.