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For Schools


How do SLCN effect school progress?

Speech, language and communication are the building blocks for a child’s learning and development and have a huge impact on a child’s ability to develop in a nursery setting. Early intervention has huge benefits for children who are displaying speech, language and communication difficulties. Some of the benefits include:

  • Increased self esteem and confidence
  • Increased independence
  • Ability to communicate with others and develop friendships with their peers
  • Upskilling nursery staff and parents on how to create a language rich environment
  • Supporting nursery staff and parents with the correct strategies on how to develop language and language and communication skills at nursery and at home.
  • Increasing access to education

How many children are affected?

  • 7% of children aged 5 years have specific speech and language impairment, and a further 1.8% have SLCN linked to other conditions e.g. learning disability, cerebral palsy or autism (Giving Voice Campaign)
  • 2-3 children in every classroom will have SLCN needs (Bercow Report – 10 years on)
  • In some areas of high social deprivation 50% of children start school with significant speech, language and communication needs. WIth help many of these children will make progress and not have long term difficulties (Bercow, 2019)

What are speech, language communication needs?

The term ‘speech language and communication needs’ describes difficulty with one or more area of communication.

Children with SLCN may have difficulty with:

  • Listening and attention
  • Play
  • Understanding instructions
  • Putting words into sentences
  • Producing sounds accurately and speaking clearly
  • Understanding and remembering new vocabulary
  • Remembering instructions and information
  • Understanding non verbal communication
  • Inferencing and ‘reading between the lines’
  • Answering how and why questions
  • Speaking fluently and confidently
  • Making and maintaining friendships
  • Understanding sayings and idioms (see below!)

Speech and Language Therapists work with children across all of these areas.

Picture taken from Vocabulary Enrichment intervention programme by Victoria Joffe (2011)