EPIC Speech and Language Therapy Services is a school led partnership established to meet the speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and/or eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties of local children, families and schools.
EPIC Speech and Language Therapy Services has been established to work in harmony with local NHS providers. All of our partner schools should continue to seek provision from their local NHS service as per their statutory rights. It is our aim as a service to bridge the gap between what is required by those in need and the services available within the increasingly stretched NHS.
EPIC Speech and Language Therapy Services can support primary aged children who may experience a range of Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN). SLCN encompasses a wide range of needs that require different levels and types of provision. The following definitions are taken from The Balanced System™ and are supported by the new SEND Code of Practice (2014):
Universal interventions support the entire population, i.e. whole class or whole school and ensure all children have appropriate language and communication opportunities. This level includes workforce development, access to appropriate information, creating communication friendly environments and whole class/setting/school intervention approaches.
Targeted interventions offer specific support for those children and young people who are felt to be vulnerable in relation to speech, language and communication. The group is wide ranging and includes children with delayed language and communication skills who following targeted intervention will return to the universal tier, through to identification of children who may go on to have more persistent needs. This level includes small group and individual targeted intervention approaches such as language groups, narrative groups, social communication skills programmes and phonology programmes.
Specialist interventions are in addition to the universal and targeted offer for those children and young people who require a highly individualised and personalised programme of work. This group includes children with complex learning and communication needs and those children who are cognitively able and have specific speech, language or communication needs.
In working in partnership with schools, we aim to:
- To provide an insight about the child’s speech, language and communication needs to key adults: EPIC Speech and Language Therapy Services would like all school staff to have an in-depth understanding about a child’s holistic development from a speech, language and communication perspective and a true appreciation of environmental factors so that they can help the child to thrive in all areas of functional communication and academic progress.
- Provide a highly effective Speech and Language Therapy service, comprising Speech and Language Therapists, Speech and Language Therapy Assistants, Student Speech and Language Therapists, volunteers and admin support, working creatively and flexibly with school communities in order to identify their priorities towards becoming communication friendly environments. Using evidence based practice, we adopt universal, targeted and specialist approaches, in consultation with schools, to identify and assess areas of speech, language and communication where Speech and Language Therapy support can make a positive difference.
- Build capacity in school communities by helping staff and parents to understand speech, language and communication development and plan interventions with clarity to nurture children’s well-being and develop their speech, language and communication skills.
- To make sure all systems and communications with stakeholders are clear so that the Speech and Language Therapy provision is transparent and schools feel supported.