How can Effective Collaboration be Implemented between Education and Speech and Language Therapy services?: Exploring the Perceptions of School Staff.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Past research has suggested that there are barriers to collaboration between education, parents and Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs). However, there is comparatively little research focusing specifically on teachings staffs‟ perceptions as to how these barriers can be overcome. Using an interview design, the aim of this study was to explore the perceptions of school staff regarding collaborative practice between Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) and teaching staff within education, and to explore how these perceptions may be used to contribute to future planning. Six teaching staff were interviewed to openly express their views in response to pre-planned questions. The questions were designed to include obstacles to collaboration, such as those found by McCartney (1999) and Baxter, Brookes, Bianchi, Rashid, ad Hay (2009), in order to be able to explore how these obstacles may be overcome. With the use of qualitative thematic analysis, the results highlighted that teaching staff experience some of the following barriers to collaboration with SLTs: structural issues such as access to the SLT service and funding; poor relationships such as lack of communication and lack of contact with parents; and practical advice such as confidence and continuing therapy. This research has provided an insight into the views of teaching staff as to how such barriers to collaboration may be overcome. Some of the suggestions highlighted by teaching staff have included: school-based SLTs on a weekly basis; further training for those working with children with speech and language difficulties; and practical suggestions such as the use of communication books to provide feedback to parents. Implications for policy and practice are discussed and suggestions for future research have been raised.
B.Sc.(Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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