I met with a speech and language therapy student last night who I hadn't seen for a while. She is a second year student who has just completed a placement with a schools-based team. She had visited many schools with two different therapists and was discussing how one of the schools had stood head and shoulders above the others. It had as many children with problems, as many pupils overall, the staff were of a similar range of ages and experience but the overall impression was that the school were superior in dealing with children with speech, language and communication difficulties.
The student, who wants to remain nameless, saw that In many of the schools they'd visited, the receptionist had to trawl the school to find the child despite a prior appointment being made, staff weren't available, the SENCO didn't know if the programme had been carried out, symbols had been lost, or resided in a folder in a drawer, targets remained in sealed envelopes, rooms were unavailable: We all know or have experienced these issues. In this particular school, however, the TAs were waiting with the children, folders to hand, progress written and pen and paper ready. The knowledge of the TAs was obviously really good. All in all, the experience was pleasant, productive and most importantly the children were all making good progress.
The student couldn't understand why this could be so different. The therapist replied: 'They've done the Elklan training!'
We need to let more schools know about the Elklan range of courses and especially the accreditation so more schools can be like this one. We would love to hear your views on this.