Meath – a Speech and Language UK school – awarded “Outstanding” by Ofsted  

July 20, 2023

Speech and Language UK is pleased to announce that Meath – a Speech and Language UK school – for children with complex speech and language challenges has been awarded “outstanding” in all areas following its June Ofsted inspection. 

The Ofsted report rated Meath’s overall effectiveness as “outstanding” in all four key areas:   

The quality of education: Outstanding 

Behaviour and attitudes: Outstanding 

Personal development: Outstanding 

Leadership and management: Outstanding 


When highlighting the experience of pupils, the Ofsted report highlighted that:  

“Pupils at Meath flourish. The values of ‘talk, learn, grow’ are at the heart of all that the school does. Every aspect of learning is centred around equipping pupils to become confident and independent communicators…they learn to overcome any barriers to learning, and… develop their resilience and motivation to succeed. Pupils are happy and safe, and they enjoy being in school. They comment that ‘everyone can have friends here.” 

The report also shared the experience of parents stating: 

“Parents praise the school, with one comment summing up the views of many, saying, ‘Meath is a truly special place’.” 

The report also highlighted that:    

“There is a purposeful buzz of learning around the school. Routines and expectations are well established. Lessons are active and engaging, and this helps pupils to focus on their learning. Because staff know pupils so well, they easily perceive when to intervene and prompt or when to allow a pupil to persist and achieve tasks independently. Pupils know that all staff have high expectations of them, and so they consistently behave exceptionally well. All staff recognise that behaviour is a form of communication. They skilfully enable pupils to learn strategies to self-regulate and take responsibility for their choices.” 

When addressing the provision provided by the therapy and education teams, the report said: 

“This powerful blending of expertise means (the) team uses its rich specialist knowledge to plan, deliver and monitor learning. Therapy programmes are seamlessly intertwined throughout all lessons, and every pupil benefits from this enrichment. Where personalised adaptations or specialist equipment is required, this is put in place without delay. When needed, skilled staff facilitate the use of a wide array of supported communication devices…help pupils to be as independent as possible. Consequently, they thrive and make rapid progress in their functional and social communication. They are well prepared for their next steps in education.” 

Majella Delaney, Principal at Meath, said:  

“We are delighted that Ofsted has rated Meath as ‘outstanding’. We are fully committed to ensuring that our young people enjoy all aspects of their school life whilst developing their independence and speech, language and communication skills.  We want our children to be as prepared as they can be for life after Meath and that is why we are so delighted that our recent Ofsted report reflects this.”  

Jane Harris, Speech and Language UK’s Chief Executive said: 

“We are hugely proud of our colleagues at Meath. Not only did they remain open almost every day during the pandemic, they also increased the number of children developing their communication skills. Without help, children who have challenges with talking and understanding words are six times less likely to pass English at the end of primary school and twice as likely to develop mental health problems as well as being twice as likely to be unemployed when they grow up. Our staff have transformed the futures of many children and we now want to work with more schools in Surrey so that more of the 1.7 million children with speech and language challenges in the UK can face the future with confidence.” 

Click here to the view Meath’s Ofsted report.  



Notes to editors:  

For media enquiries, contact Simon Walsh, Speech and Language UK Press Manager via  

Meath is a Speech and Language UK Services Ltd school, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Speech and Language UK.   Meath’s Ofsted inspection took place between the 6thst and 7th June 2023. Inspectors met with Meath’s principal, pupils, staff and Speech and Language UK’s Chief Executive. Detailed inspections took place across subjects including early reading, mathematics, art and design and geography. This included meeting with subject leaders, reviewed curriculum plans, and spoke to teachers and pupils about their learning and looked at samples of pupils’ work. 

Meath’s residential service was also awarded “outstanding” following its separate Ofsted inspection in April 2023. 


About Meath School  

Meath school helps children aged 4 – 11 with complex speech and language challenges build the foundations they need to thrive. We have been rated Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ since 2007. The school is part of Speech and Language UK, whose mission is to give children and young people the skills they need so they are not left behind, waiting to be understood.  

About Speech and Language UK  

On 12th October, 2022, I CAN changed its name to Speech and Language UK: Changing young lives as part of a brand refresh. Over the years, our focus has centred on supporting children with challenges talking and understanding words. This is now our sole area of work and an area where we hold vast expertise. We develop innovative tools and training for schools and nurseries like our Talk Boost programme. We give advice and guidance to families through our enquiry service. We run two special schools for children with the most complex speech and language challenges. And we push for policy change. Last year, following consultation with professionals and families of children with speech and language challenges, we recognised our name needed to change to reflect the work we do.