Improving identification of children with SLCN at school entry

Infant Language Link - School Entry Assessment Project

We have an exciting opportunity for teaching staff to get involved with a research project that we are completing with the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre. Our language screening assessment for children on school entry is evolving. With ever greater pressures on your time we are aiming to make the screening assessment even quicker with no loss of accuracy.

The impact of Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) for children cannot be overstated; from difficulty developing literacy skills and poor academic attainment, through to challenging behaviour and school non-attendance. In order to support these children, we have to firstly identify who they are. This is a huge challenge for schools when, for many of these children, their difficulties are hidden.

It is crucial that schools have a reliable and efficient method to identify children on school entry, so that support can be put in place. Our research project aims to improve the identification of children with difficulties understanding language, whilst also reducing the average screening time.

Benefits to schools in taking part

All schools that take part in the project will receive the following incentives as a thank you:

  • We will pay for the time required for a member of TA staff to complete the assessments
  • A summary report for the group of children assessed
  • A free subscription to our award-winning Infant Language Link for 1 year

Infant Language Link is an award-winning package designed to identify difficulties understanding language and provide timely targeted intervention, as part of a whole school approach. It allows schools to track and support children from Reception to the end of Key Stage 1, so no one is missed, or misidentified. Every school year approximately 120,000 Infant Language Link assessments are completed in the UK.

Watch our video to find out more about our Infant Language Link package and why this approach is so needed.

The Project

The project is taking place over the next academic year from September 2024 to July 2025. Each school will need to complete our online assessment with a minimum of 20 children. The assessment takes 15-20 minutes and is delivered online through our website. Each school will be asked to assess their pupils at one time point in the year. Whilst the assessment will ultimately be suitable for all on school entry, at this stage in the process we need pupils who have grown up speaking only English, so not bilingual or EAL.

Criteria for schools to take part:

  • Are a mainstream state primary school in the UK
  • Will have 25+ pupils in Reception in September 2024
  • Do not currently use Infant Language Link

How to get involved

If your school would like to help with this research, complete the form below to express your interest - there’s no commitment at this point. We are expecting interest to be high, and places are limited, so please register to secure your place.

We are working with the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre on this project