Speech Language and Communication Needs Informed Practice (June 2016)

Summary: This programme aims to reduce the likelihood of reoffending and offer children improved resettlement outcomes.
Age:  10-17
Sex:  n/a
Cost:  yes



  • Reduced likelihood of reoffending and improved resettlement outcomes
  • Improved engagement with interventions and better behaviour while serving sentence


At Barton Moss, there are processes in place to ensure that every child is screened for Speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). Most staff have undertaken, as a minimum, awareness raising training which means that interventions can be adapted once needs are identified rather than being reliant on referrals to specialist services for assistance.

Screening is undertaken within 5 days of arrival by trained intervention workers who use a Social Communication Skills Checklist. It includes engagement with family members/carers to ensure that the results are well informed. This also ensures better buy in from the family when the child is released from custody and leads to better resettlement outcomes.

Once the checklist is complete the interventions worker and teacher analyse the findings and prepare an individual needs led intervention plan. Options for the plan include:

  • Immediate referral to Salford Royal Foundation Trust SLT Service for a more detailed assessment
  • The education and intervention teams adapting lessons and producing resources relevant for the child’s needs
  • Regular updates to the Social Communication Skills Checklist to ensure that assessment and monitoring is robust and continuous

Evaluation of the success of the interventions is provided by:

  • Getting children to complete an SLCN self-assessment rating on arrival which is repeated on completion of interventions and/or at the end of their placement
  • Improvements in behaviour and communication skills are monitored by staff and recorded in the child’s file                  

This has led to the identification of:

  • Improved ability to understand and express thoughts, ideas and feelings
  • Increased ability to problem solve
  • Increased ability to follow instructions

Within education progress is assessed in relation to:

  • School readiness skills
  • Pre-literacy skills
  • Practical social skills
  • Reading ability

Children are also supported and monitored throughout their licence period which means that Barton Moss are able to evaluate the success of this approach. They have found a correlation between children who have been assessed for SLCN and had their needs successfully met and those children who have a positive resettlement and complete their licence period without further offending/ASB.

Implementing the practice:

  • Staff training/understanding: this approach needs to be incorporated fully into processes and practice to ensure consistency. Barton Moss trained 60% of residential staff via the Communication Trust which taught them how to recognise SLCN and understand its implications as well as providing strategies for appropriate adaptations to interventions. The education and intervention staff teams were all trained in the Eklan Communication Support for Vulnerable Young People Level 3
  • All children are screened on admittance and their learning plans are then completed according to their individual needs
  • Parents/carers are actively engaged in the assessment process, this means that there is understanding and buy-in to the aims of the engagement
  • Results and progress are monitored at all stages meaning that interventions can be tailored or amended part way through and the child can be engaged with and also see the results of the interventions
  • Resettlement is being planned from the time a child enters Barton Moss


Secure Estate: Barton Moss Secure Children's Home
Name: Linda James/Lisa Gray
Telephone: 0161 686 5949