3. Effective Practice Between Schools and TherapistsMuch good practice between schools and therapists was observed and described during the Additional Support Needs review.
• Examples of good practice included the Language Enrichment Groups (LEGs) which focused on children whose significant language delay was as o result of deprivation and poor stimulation of home. The strength of this project was the impact of staff development for Support staff, Early Years practitioners and Class teachers by the Speech & Language Therapists. This professional development helped practitioners to understand and respond to children’s lack of development in vocabulary and language, including phonology, and the significant adverse effect on the ability to listen and comprehend, and/or effectively communicate. This in turn helped practitioners to accelerate learning, particularly in relation to literacy skills.
• A few Headteachers allocated o Pupil Support assistant to follow up and reinforce the work of the Speech & Language Therapist, including ensuring the Support assistant hod received specific training and support from the Speech & Language Therapist.
• Some Support teachers who hod benefited from very good advice and strategies from their Speech & Language Therapist were more able to support Class teachers, particularly at the early stages, to identify and address speech and language needs and promote learning in literacy.• The Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD) group, consisting of Occupational Therapists (OTs), Support teachers from 4 schools and Education Services staff produced a DVD which illustrates the benefits of setting up motor skills groups, particularly at the early stages. Several Support teachers with advice from their Occupational Therapist had set up motor skills groups to screen and identify motor difficulties. Good strategies helped these children to overcome their difficulties and promoted effective learning as o result of improved levels of concentration, better organisational skills and increased confidence.• All Therapists spoke about the importance of the support provided by the Support assistants. Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists in particular depended on Support assistants to carry out essential programmes. Effective partnership between the Support assistant and Therapists depended on there being time for the Therapists to advise and speak with the Support assistant on a regular basis.