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A Chance To Talk…In Kirkby Presented by: Jill Dancer & Steve Dixon Date: 18 th Manchester 2013. Introductions. Jill Dancer Performance Manager Integrated Targeted & Specialist Child Health Service Community Health Services 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

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A Chance To Talk…In Kirkby

Presented by: Jill Dancer & Steve Dixon

Date: 18th Manchester 2013


Jill Dancer

Performance Manager

Integrated Targeted & Specialist Child Health Service

Community Health Services

5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

[email protected]

Steve Dixon

Collaborative Development Manager



[email protected]

background to actt
Background to ACTT

Child poverty in Kirkby Central - good speech and language skills seen as a key to tackling disadvantage

Early Years Initiatives:

Early Years Speech and Language Project

Early Talk accreditation with ICAN

Make Chatter Matter in Kirkby – road show

Strong partnership working already in place – allowed formation of the Operational Governance Group for ACTT

previous development work in kirkby speech and language interventions
Previous Development Work in Kirkby - Speech and Language Interventions

Training for teaching staff and TAs

  • Delivered by staff from the Receptive Language Unit
  • On aspects such as awareness raising around expressive/ receptive language difficulties, how to identify, activities to use in class

TA Training on delivering programmes

  • Delivered by community SLT colleagues
  • Focused on delivery of SLT programmes set by therapists


  • Speech and Language Early Intervention Project
  • Delivered by staff from Receptive Language Unit
  • Funded by AIMS
  • Early screening and programme of intervention for receptive language with reception classes
a chance to talk 2010 2012
A Chance To Talk 2010 - 2012

A Chance to Talk (ACTT) supports schools to develop a coherent school based strategy for improving the language and communication skills

of children aged 4-7.

developing the model
Developing the Model

Third sector organisations (ICAN, The Communication Trust) lead management of the programme and developed materials, resources, training for the programme e.g. the Wave 2 ‘catch up’ intervention, a tool for identifying children requiring support at Waves 2 and 3.

Built on what was already in place in ICAN’s Primary Talk programme e.g. tools to audit the school environment to see how well it supports children’s communication, and training programmes for class teachers

Worked with schools in the pilot to develop a model which met their requirements – identified through interview and audit.

the a chance to talk model
The A Chance to Talk Model

Focuses on early identification and intervention: children aged 4-7

ACTT employs a similar model to that used in Every Child a Reader and Every Child Counts

A speech and language therapist employed by a cluster of schools

Increased levels of expertise available in school enables all the children to be supported effectively and makes the whole school environment communication friendly

the a chance to talk model1
The A Chance to Talk Model

Tackles both the language and communication difficulties linked to social disadvantage and those linked to Special Educational Needs / Language impairment

Involvedpiloting an evidence informed “catch up” programme delivered by trained teaching assistants and/or volunteers for children whose language skills was just below the norm.

Provides 1-1 or small group support with a language specialist for children who have more persistent difficulties

Provides information and support to families appropriate to their child’s specific needs

actt wave 1 universal level whole school level
ACTT – Wave 1- Universal Level/ Whole School Level

A series of training modules that:

  • Train school staff in best communication practice to make the whole school environment communication friendly
  • Supports staff to identify children who have SLCN
  • Increase staff skill in understanding children’s language needs and supporting their development
  • Designed to be delivered flexibly according to schools’ starting points
  • Guidance and support for parents
actt wave 2 targeted level talk boost
ACTT – Wave 2 – Targeted Level - Talk Boost
  • A targeted “catch up “ programme - for 4 to 7 year olds,

whose language skills are just below the norm –

narrows the gap

  • The programme is simple to understand and use
  • Delivered by trained school support staff
  • Children are taught in small groups for 30-40 minutes,

3 times a week over a 10 week period

  • Whole class activities ensure a clear link between small group work and the classroom
  • Information session and weekly “take–home“ activities for parents
actt wave 3 specialist level
ACTT – Wave 3 – Specialist Level

For children who have more persistent difficulties:

SLT assessment and intervention plan

Small group / individual support delivered by trained and supervised LSA +/or SLT

Information and support to families appropriate to their child’s specific needs

what schools needed to provide
What schools needed to provide

An ACTT coordinator – on SMT

Commitment to staff training and development (both TA and teaching staff)

Data for baseline/post intervention

Support for interventions – wave 2 and 3

Enthusiasm and lots of feedback

specialist speech and language therapist
Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

Co-located with child health team:

  • Increased integrated working and information sharing with school nurses and health visitors
  • Increased support for ‘hard to reach’ families
  • Rapid response to queries regarding support received by children by both teams (e.g. A&E notification, safeguarding concerns)
what happened in the project schools
What happened in the project schools
  • Wave 1 whole school training
  • TA training for Wave 2 programme
  • Training specific to school need
  • Wave 2 groups implemented
  • Wave 3 interventions

From Autumn 2010 – July 2012

what went well feedback from schools
What went well – feedback from schools
  • Great resources and really easy to follow
  • Lovely reward system
  • Children love attending the group
  • Chance to feedback to whole class
  • Improves confidence as well as understanding of language
  • Children learn from their peers
  • Staff enjoy delivering it
outcomes in kirkby
Outcomes in Kirkby

Staff have more awareness of SLC/N and an increased understanding of the role of the SLT

They are more able to identify which children need wave 2 and which need wave 3 intervention

They have developed communication supportive classrooms

They have found the wave 2 intervention (Talk Boost) really valuable, and it has had a significant impact on children’s language levels

Children who would otherwise not get to clinic have been able to access SLT support on a regular basis

a chance to talk
A Chance to Talk

“Staff in the schools involved have commented positively, not just on changes in children’s language, but on their confidence and their readiness to learn and engage in activities with their peers.”

a chance to talk has provided
A Chance to Talk has provided:

An evidence base that demonstrates improved outcomes for children and families and cost effectiveness

Improvement in the knowledge, skills, practice and confidence of all school staff in addressing the needs of children with SLCN

Enhanced the language and communication skills of all children in the project schools and ensure that those who need additional help are identified and supported early

Accelerated the rate of progress of children with delayed language – “closing the gap” between them and their peers

Ensure children with more persistent difficulties are effectively supported to maximise their progress and access the wider curriculum


A Chance To Talk In Kirkby

July 2012 – August 2013

Original 7 project schools plus 5 new schools

wave 1
Wave 1
  • Since September 2013 - all new schools have completed the Primary Talk Supportive Training
wave 2 talk boost
Wave 2 – Talk Boost
  • TAs in all 12 schools trained to carry out Talk Boost Groups
  • TAs assessing children before and after the 10 weeks
  • Scores guide schools to place children in Wave 1, Wave 2 or Wave 3
wave 2 talk boost1
Wave 2 – Talk Boost
  • 73 children assessed since September 2012.
  • 33 children have completed groups and have been re-assessed.
  • Majority of children showing improved scores in all or most areas assessed.
  • Where there are still difficulties recommendations made by SLT (e.g. referral to SLT / Wave 3, further wave 2).
wave 31
Wave 3

Since September 2012 - 66 children seen for assessment (or reassessed from first phase of project).

43 children currently being seen for 1:1 therapy or group therapy with advice for support in the classroom.

15 children being supported through advice / programmes.

8 children discharged.

Parents encouraged to attend sessions where possible

acttik the future
ACTTIK – The Future

In the Kirkby Collaborative a further commitment from schools allowed for the pilot to continue beyond its expiry- all primary schools in Kirkby were able to access the programme - this is now likely to be extended for a further two years from Sept. 2013

A family of primary schools in the Central area of Knowsley have worked together with ICAN to access TalkBoost Training.

Jill & Steve will be speaking to the Collaborative of schools in the Southern area of Knowsley about ACTTIK in the near future.

actt ik

Any Questions?