Developing a integrated speech, language and communication pathway

23 June 2020

Developing a integrated speech, langauge and communication pathway

In the same way as in the last phase of the project, The Communication Trust (TCT) support will focus on helping local areas to develop their integrated speech, language and communication pathway for children aged 0-5.

TCT will offer three opportunities over the course of the year to engage with  and work with strategic representatives from local authority, health, public health and care/early education providers. As part of this well received support, TCT can also broker additional specialist support on low incidence / high impact speech, language and communication needs from organisations within the consortium, such as SMIRA.

The intended output of the support will be progress towards a clearly articulated and jointly owned and implemented strategic pathway, focusing on the provision of quality first support for speech and language development as well as on the effective identification of and provision for speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

Comments from the six local areas in receipt of this support during the last phase of the project include:

“Services have been brought together to work collaboratively in order to have the most impact.”

“Helped alignment of other early years projects”

“Invaluable information on similar work going on in other areas – helps avoid ‘reinventing the wheel’ and also get some great ideas!”


In addition, TCT will support local workforce development by offering each local area in receipt of the strategic support described above, four fully funded places on an online Level 3 qualification in speech, language and communication needs. Individuals wishing to complete the Level 3 should be in a position to share the knowledge they gain as part of a local strategic plan for workforce development or quality improvement. For example, they may be a Lead Health Visitor; settings Manager; parent representative on parent/carer forum; area SENDCO or LA Quality Improvement Officer.  

Comments from individuals completing the Level 3 during the last phase include

Lead Health Visitor: ‘It had a massive impact - changed my perception of the importance of good SLC and how children who are identified can be supported to achieve.’

SLT assistant: ‘Portfolio tasks prompted me to create and write materials that are incredibly useful to our team.

Area SENDCO: I have a better understanding of milestones of all ages as prior knowledge referred to just early years. I feel more confident in supporting practitioners in identifying SLCN.’

Childminder rep on local quality forum: ‘Helped me to improve how I observe children and communicate with them. Despite being a qualified teacher and having nearly 20 years' experience in education I learnt a great deal.’

If you have the backing of leaders within your local authority and would like to discuss access to this specialist support, including four funded places on the Level 3 qualification for your local area, please contact Maxine Burns, Lead Speech and Language Advisor at


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