Join our national research project

Improving outcomes for children with SLCN

We are delighted to be partnering with the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and Sheffield Hallam University to deliver a national study investigating the impact of schools using Infant Language Link across year 1.

Infant Language Link is an award-winning package that enables schools to identify and support children with speech, language and communication needs. It facilitates working more closely with both families and multi-agency specialist teams and encourages schools to develop a whole school approach to supporting SLCN. It is currently used by 1 in 5 schools across England and Wales.

Watch our video to find out why this approach is so needed and what it involves.

The Benefits of Research

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, much attention has been paid to children starting school and catch-up funds have been allocated to Reception years. However, language development continues beyond early years and a large number of schools report increasing numbers of children identified with SLCN across all years. This project will investigate whether using targeted interventions and whole class strategies can improve oral language outcomes for pupils in year 1.

There are many benefits to schools participating in research. Your school will be adding to the evidence base of what works in education in England helping drive forward reform and excellent practice. Your knowledge, skills and experience will help children and education staff to be better supported in the future.

Ofsted also look very favourably on schools who undertake studies and recently supported schools taking part in EEF trials.

“…we don’t want innovators to see the new framework as a brake. For example, if you are trying out new models as part of Education Endowment Foundation studies, or are working on new approaches to curriculum or teaching or assessment, that will be recognised.” Amanda Spielman, HM Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills.

The Project

The study will take place across the academic year 2023/2024. It aims to investigate whether a class-based and targeted language intervention can improve oral language skills for year 1 pupils. We will be looking to recruit schools across England to take part but are particularly looking to work with schools from Education Investment Areas in the North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humber.

Criteria for schools We are looking for schools that:

  • Will have 20+ year 1 pupils in one class in September 2023
  • Have not used Infant Language Link previously
  • Will not be undertaking another research project in Year 1 during 2023/2024.

Website2017Icons FontAwesome  0014 HPM Attachment ill 2 Read our project overview to find out more

Next Steps

If your school is interested in taking part, please complete the short form below. Once we have established that your school fulfils all the criteria we will be in touch with some more detailed information about the project and the next steps. We are expecting interest to be high in this important work so schools will be accepted on a first come first served basis. Thank you for your interest in our project.