Through the work of the Talking Takes Off project, we have two new professional toolkits in use to enable practitioners to start to screen children’s communication skills and implement appropriate support. The toolkits are for Early Years and School Aged children respectively for use across Bedfordshire and Luton. They have been designed by local Speech and Language Therapists, with the guidance of local education, health and children’s centre colleagues as well as parents.
The toolkits work in conjunction with the Early Years and School Aged graduated pathways for communication and language. The pathways show and describe universal, targeted and specialist support options available for children and families from a range of agencies across Luton. Professionals may choose to use a toolkit to offer them further information if they believe the child may have targeted communication needs and/or to check progress after they have implemented targeted support.
Both toolkits contain screening tools to enable the professional to examine the child’s skills and progress in different areas of communication. There is also guidance and specific resources to help identify and plan support needed for the individual child. The toolkits aim to support professionals in implementing informed, targeted support in a timely manner, as well as providing evidence for specialist referrals if needed. The toolkits are integrated with wider existing services, such as SEND support and the school curriculum, for a streamlined service.
You can see guidance videos with information on both of the Toolkits on the Speech, Language and Communication Needs section of the Local Offer, alongside links to the full toolkits and the graduated pathways.
Further information about the toolkits, including guidance to help practitioners use and embed them into their practice, can be found on the local NHS Speech and Language Therapy website under the ‘info & advice’ section. Details of training sessions for practitioners on using the Early Years toolkit can also be found on the Flying Start website. Although our face to face training sessions are currently cancelled, we are still currently offering this training virtually using a digital platform.