CLCH and Hammersmith & Fulham council unite to support children’s communication needs

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Published: 12th August 2016
Central London Community Healthcare (CLCH) and Hammersmith and Fulham local authority are celebrating the end of a successful partnership project with 13 primary schools in the borough, aimed at developing children's language and communication skills.

Each school nominated a member of their senior leadership team with an interest in speech, language and communication, as a Communication Leader and a member of skilled support staff, as a Communication Champion.
The 13 Communication Champions participated in a 10 week accredited course to develop speech and language support for 5 to 11 year-olds, delivered by CLCH's Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) Sarah Childs, Hannah Taylor and Sara Bagheri.

Following the course the CLCH SLTs provided each school with a series of mentoring visits to support the 'in school' team to develop whole school systems, strategies and tools for other staff whilst also supporting children directly with their communication needs.

Sarah Childs, Principal Speech and Language Therapist at CLCH said: "Language and communication happens in every area of life so training a single member of staff in school isn't enough - it needs to be all those responsible for a child's learning.

"This project has influenced school culture, putting communication on the agenda at the highest level and making it a recognised element of a child's school development plan. It's changed the way these schools support children's communication skills across the board.

"I was delighted by the enthusiasm and passion demonstrated by all the teaching staff and would like to congratulate everyone involved."

"Good language skills are fundamental to our education and everything we do throughout our lives," said Cllr Sue Macmillan, H&F Cabinet Member for Children and Education.

"Helping children communicate from an early age is essential to improving their life chances. This scheme puts language skills at the heart of everything schools do."

The next phase of the project will be rolled out across schools in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea, jointly funded by CLCH and the respective local authorities.

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