A REVIEW OF 2020 AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2021
We would like to offer a massive thank you to all the Speech Link Multimedia Ltd team in a most unique year. It’s been our busiest year but our most creative. While it’s been a difficult one for everyone, it was surely the hardest year for our community of schools, and we’ve strived to provide all the support we can. We are so proud of our team, who have shown ongoing dedication and a strong desire to support all children with SLCN. And the ability to have a laugh when possible! Here at Speech Link Multimedia Ltd we’re keeping our heads up and looking forward to continuing to support children, families, and schools in 2021.
Here’s what we did as a team in 2020
We remained fully open
We remained open and available for all school subscribers. Thanks to a business continuity plan, we were fully functional and working from home from the beginning of lockdown. Our Help Desk continued to provide unlimited support to Speech Link and Language Link subscribers.
FREE 8 week Extension to Subscriptions
We decided to share the burden of lockdown with schools in the most practical way possible by adding a FREE 8-week extension to all schools’ subscriptions. We understand that many schools are suffering with constrained budgets.
Speech Link Parent Portal
As many schools were unable to support their children with SLCN, we created this website, award-winning and approved by the DfE, for ALL schools to share with parents. It includes fun activities, resources, advice and information. We are continuing to offer the Parent Portal free to all. Find the latest content at https://speechandlanguage.info/parents.
The Ultimate Guide to SLCN
‘The Ultimate Guide to SLCN’ has been written by our qualified speech and language therapists, Louise Bingham and Sophie Mustoe-Playfair, who have extensive experience working in mainstream schools and specialist education settings. We aim to demystify SLCN, and the common childhood conditions which may be related, so that you can better understand the children in your classroom. This definitive reference book offers:
- Guidance for your whole school so that your community can become truly inclusive and communication friendly.
- Practical and specific advice on how to support children, in the classroom, with regard to the particular diagnoses or needs that they may have.
The book can be bought here: https://shop.speechandlanguage.info/product.php?prod_id=the-ultimate-guide-to-slcn-ebook.
The Link CPD (Speech and Language) Training Programme
Our team has developed and launched The Link CPD - our new Speech and Language training package for school staff. We have poured our passion and expertise into the development of this innovative new approach to short online courses, with a flexible modular structure to meet the individual needs of learners and their real-life practice. The Link CPD includes:
- Live webinars
- Content videos
- Online Forum
- Reflective Practice Journal
- Flexible Learning
Learners can choose the number of modules they wish to complete to craft their own learning. We will be launching the first two of our modules in the New Year: ‘Introduction to Speech and Language’ and ‘Language Intervention’. Future modules will address speech and social communication.
To find out more about The Link CPD, including pricing and to register your interest, go to: www.speechandlanguage.info/CPD.
Here’s what we plan as a team in 2021
Find out how much Children’s Speech and Language has suffered during lockdown
Looking at the October results from the universal screening of 15,000 children with Infant Language Link in Reception year (vs similar last October), there is an increase of approximately 20% more children achieving scores below the 6th percentile. These children have the most severe receptive language difficulties so this increase year on year is clearly very concerning.
We have the numbers to track this - each year approximately 70,000 Reception Language Link assessments are completed, with about 50,000 of these during the Autumn term. In January 2021, we will be publishing our full report, ‘An initial review of Reception assessment data collected in September and October 2020’.
The Link Live Virtual Conference – an SLCN Journey from 4-14 years
Date 21-22 May 2021 Venue: online
Our first ever virtual conference will take place next spring and will showcase specialist SLCN content, including a range of evidenced interventions, to help you and your school boost Speech, Language and Communication skills and close the attainment gap.
Our seminars will be delivered by specialist speakers and we are delighted to kick off our guest line-up by announcing our keynote speaker, education expert and former Communication Champion, Jean Gross CBE. This conference is open to all, and places are free to subscribing schools.
Secondary Language Link Intervention Research Study
We will continue to produce the evidence for our interventions and are currently working with a group of secondary schools to measure the effectiveness of the Secondary Language Link Talk Fitness Intervention programme.
Hold prices down until Sept 2021
We will hold our set up and subscription prices until September 2021.
Finally, we will continue to help all school staff identify and support SLCN successfully so that no child is left behind at school or in life. We aim to bring speech and language therapy knowledge and expertise to every one of our community of 4,000 schools in order to help all children reach their full communication potential.