Speech and Language Therapy for Children (West Sussex) - School Team

For children between 5 and 19 years of age

The Speech and Language Therapy Service works through supporting school staff in their management of pupils with speech, language and communication needs with the following:

  • Training about speech, language and communication needs.
  • Demonstrations of activities.
  • Advice on running speech and language therapy groups.
  • Advice on modifying lessons/ teaching approaches

Should I be worried?

You may have noticed one or more of the following in your child:

  • They are not saying as much as other children of their age
  • They have difficulty putting their ideas into words and sentences.
  • They have difficulty understanding some of the things people say to them
  • Their words don’t come out smoothly. 
  • They have difficulty with conversation and talking socially.
  • They have difficulty with speech sounds.

What do I do?

If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language first speak to your child’s teacher or the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) at your child’s school. 

The SENCo at your child’s school will ask for a consultation meeting with the Speech and Language Therapist.  At the meeting the therapist will discuss your child with the SENCo or other school staff. This is to find out what difficulties your child has with speech and language and how these affect your child in school.

Advice or activities may then be given to school staff to help support your child. Most schools have staff who have received extra training from our department in supporting children with speech and language difficulties.

What happens next?

For many children discussion with and advice to school staff is enough to meet their speech and language needs.  For other children, further assessment may be necessary in order to offer more detailed advice.  The assessment may involve working with your child individually and observing him/her in school. You will be invited to meet with the therapist to discuss the assessment.  Following assessment the therapist will write a report and a copy will be sent to you.  The report will recommend one or more of the following:

  • Advice for home
  • Advice and strategies for school staff
  • Further activities for school
  • Individual or group work with a speech and language therapist or speech and language therapy assistant
  • Discharge (no further action)

Contact the Speech and Language for Children (West Sussex) service if you would like to speak to a speech and language therapist.

Children in special schools

Many children in special schools have significant speech, language and communication difficulties. Sometimes these are in line with their general learning difficulties and sometimes these are more specific difficulties.

The staff at special schools know how to work with children with communication problems and the curriculum is adapted to ensure that children with language and learning difficulties are able to learn more effectively. This means that some pupils may no longer require direct support from the speech and language therapy (SALT) team and will not be on the SALT caseload.

Sometimes, despite the adaptations to their learning environment, a child's speech, language and communication difficulties may continue to affect their progress in class or their ability to interact and socialise with their peers. These children may benefit from a referral to our team.

We have a named speech and language therapist for each school and class. School staff are able to access advice and support about any child in the school.

Anyone can refer a child to the SLT Team. If your child is referred by school, you will be asked to sign a referral form to say that you agree to this. If you want to make a referral yourself, you will need to contact the school. You may be asked to give your consent again in the future for further assessments or therapy support.Please contact us on the number below if you would like more information about special and language therapy in special schools.

Your child's progress will be reviewed, and the input they receive will be dependant on their changing needs and abilities.