Speech and language therapy

Speech and language therapists (SLTs) work with children who have difficulties with speech (e.g. speech sounds), language and communication, and the skills needed for this such as attention and listening and interaction. We also work with children who have eating and drinking difficulties.

Image of children engaged in conversation

What we offer

  • assessment of children’s speech, language and communication, as well as eating, drinking and swallowing if appropriate
  • targeted intervention for children with identified speech, language and communication needs
  • specialist input for children who have more complex speech, language and communication needs
  • universal work with all children to improve their speech, language and communication and to raise the awareness of speech, language and communication needs amongst parents, carers and those who work with children and young people.

Our approach
Speech, language and communication skills are fundamental to a child’s learning and well-being. Our approach is based on the knowledge that good communication allows children to achieve, be happy and healthy and to make positive contributions.

We work as a team around the child or young person. This means we collaborate with all of the people who spend time with the child or young person on a regular basis to ensure that speech and language therapy is built into their daily routine to maximise its effectiveness. This involves training other people to deliver therapy, such as parents and carers, teachers and other professionals.

How we work
Therapy may come in a number of different forms:

  • groups with other children
  • one-to-one sessions
  • whole-class sessions
  • training for people working with the child
  • programmes carried out by support staff.

Where we work

  • schools (mainstream and special schools)
  • academies and colleges
  • nurseries
  • children’s centres
  • clinics e.g. Hackney Ark
  • home visits (if appropriate)
  • the community.

Who we are
The SLT team is made up of over 60 people, including Speech and Language Therapists, managers, assistants and administrators.

Each school and Early Years Setting has a link SLT who provides the Speech and Language Therapy service for that setting.

Children with Speech, Language and Communication needs who are not in a school or nursery will have a named SLT responsible for their therapy.

How to access services
We are an open-access service so if you have any questions or concerns you can contact the service directly at any time.

To refer a child or young person to the SLT service:
In Early Years (under 5s):
Parents can drop in to a ‘Talking Walk-in’, a drop-in assessment session which runs once a month in each children’s centre area.
In Schools:
Parents and school staff should speak to their school’s SENCO who will be able to refer a child to the service.

Open access:
If a child or young person is not in a school or educational setting, you can contact the service directly.