Special Educational Needs (SEN) teachers’ views on Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) support in the classroom
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Collaboration between those working to support children with language and communication needs is not a new theme for practitioners, academics or policy makers. It is now widely recognised that collaboration is the only effective solution to the management of complex problems Law et al (2000). Teachers ultimately are the key to educational change and improvement it is essential that their perspective and views are explored .In mainstream it has been identified that there are a range of factors that are perceived to be barriers to successful inclusion of children with special educational needs, one of those which include the lack of support services (Hellier, 1988). Studies have found that Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) were seen as the external professionals but the support they provided, or could provide, was limited within mainstream. This study aims to investigate Special Educational Needs (SEN) teachers’ perceived level of SLT support within the classroom. A focus group was conducted that involved six SEN teachers from a SEN school in order to explore their views and attitudes regarding the SLT support they receive. Results suggested that views were varied regarding the SLT support received. Participants felt that SLT programmes were useful but issues such as time, and organisational issues should be addressed. Staff changes was also deemed to be a hindering factor in accessing support and maintaining collaboration. Overall, the participants stated that successful collaboration was maintained however, some barriers such as time, further team working and the possibility of having an onsite SLT, needed to be overcome in order for collaboration to become fully successful.
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