Learning Support Assistants’ views on the implementation and use of Speech-Link and Language-Link packages.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Research shows numerous links between impaired speech and/or language and difficulties accessing education. An effective way of combatting such difficulties is through effective inter-agency working and collaboration between all involved with such children. In light of recent funding cuts to Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) provision, Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) are having to find new ways of working in order to maintain an adequate service in line with government recommendations. This is particularly important since the introduction of inclusive education, which sees our clients spread through mainstream schools as opposed to being grouped together in special schools. SLTs are having to take on a more consultative role, which when supported by Speech and Language Therapy Assistants (SLTAs) and Learning Support Assistants (LSAs), has been proven to be cost effective. This study focuses on the implementation and use of Speech-Link and Language-Link packages within a school. The packages have been designed to aid schools in supporting children with speech and language difficulties, and to facilitate more accurate referrals to SLT. A focus group discussion was used to elicit the views and feelings of 5 LSAs regarding their role in schools and in the delivery of Speech-Link and Language-Link packages, and the ways in which this role could be enhanced. The findings suggest that the implementation process, in particular consultation and training are especially important in the success of the packages, and in ensuring that the LSAs responsible for the delivery of such packages feel adequately prepared and valued.
B.Sc.(Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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