We are Speech and Language Therapists from Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
We provide ‘universal’ level support for any professionals working with children and families in Fylde and Wyre in the early years (from birth to the end of Reception year). As part of the wider Lancashire Early Years Communication Strategy, we work closely with other early years services to provide support (including Health Visitors, Early Years Consultants, Children and Family Wellbeing and more).
What is the role of a Language Lead?
- To take a lead in promoting a communication friendly environment in your setting
- To demonstrate good practice and support colleagues in your setting
- To support colleagues in identifying potential difficulties and with the process of referral to SLT
- To be a point of contact for local NHS Speech and Language Therapist
This leaflet outlines some of the support available to settings with a Language Lead in place.
What support will the Language Leads receive?
Regular network cluster meetings in your local area will be supported by a Speech and Language Therapist and will:
- Provide opportunity to share good practice
- Allow time to discuss any current difficulties you are experiencing
- Include updates on new resources/information from the SLT
- Help to identify training needs and, where possible, include these within the network meetings
Support also includes:
- Support to work towards confidence at the Enhanced level of the Speech, Language and Communication Framework (SLFC)
- Termly newsletters containing information on current initiatives, examples of good practice, resource updates and training dates
- To be part of the wider Lancashire Leads across Lancashire which includes specialist teachers, NHS SLT’s which also have termly cluster meetings
- Individual support for your setting in a range of areas (menu of options to be added when finalised)
- Support for your setting to complete the Early Years Commitment
How to sign up
We now have a Lancashire-wide network of Language Leads!
As part of the Lancashire network, you’ll receive invitations to our termly cluster meetings as well as our newsletter each term. Clusters are usually online and are hosted by a Speech and Language Therapist along with a range of other professionals, including Health Visitors, Specialist Teachers, and EYFS Consultants. If you’re not already part of this network, you can sign up here.
In addition, we have our own local smaller cluster in Fylde and Wyre – these smaller groups give us opportunity to get to know you and your settings, and for us all to share our good practice as well as those challenges.
Take a look at some of the feedback from our Language Leads!
When our Language Lead from Huckleberry’s nursery was asked for her thoughts about the support offered she told us, “the cluster meetings provided support and a safe place to ask questions and share practises”. She also valued the resources that were provided after the courses had ended as well as the information provided generally. The nursery reported feeling happy with the service and shared feelings that the service was “absolutely brilliant”.
"Absolutely brilliant, it means having the time where you can speak to speech and language therapists which is vital at the moment especially with the waiting list times. The meetings cover everything that the nurseries are unsure of" - Bonita Harding – Mayfield Preschool, St Annes.
At Skylarks in Fleetwood, Cheryl has been the language lead for quite a few years and has taken part in various programmes such as the ICAN’s Early Talk and the Hanen programmes in the past. The nursery has also been part of cluster meetings. Here is some of their feedback:
- The nursery found the programmes very handy and mentioned how (the SLT) would come back and see how they were doing
- They mentioned that they were pleased with how support was always readily available
- After cluster meetings or training programmes the nursery staff have meetings to discuss what has been learnt and what they can implement into the setting
- With children who are unable to access support , the training given has allowed staff to make targeted learning plans