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STAS Communication and Interaction Special Schools and Colleges (C&I) Local Offer

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STAS Communication and Interaction Special Schools and Colleges (C&I) Local Offer (formerly SEND Speech and Language Therapy Service SENDSALT)

Who to contact

Contact Name
Lynne Ralston
Contact Position
Communication and Interaction Team Leader
0370 779 0779
STAS Communication and Interaction Special Schools and Colleges

Where to go

Specialist Teacher Advisory Service - STAS Communication and Interaction Special Schools and Colleges
Hampshire County Council, Winchester Local Office, Clarendon House
SO22 5PL

Local Offer

Local Offer
What does your service do?

Specialist Therapists work collaboratively with NHS SLT colleagues and with staff in schools. Therapists will assess a child or young person’s speech, language and communication needs and provide support at different levels - whole school, class and pupil level.

Activities are then broken down into waves. Wave one is through whole school work with access to advice and guidance of the therapist. Wave two is pupil specific support. Wave three is specialist support with school staff trained and supported by the therapist who plans and monitors the work. Wave four is direct work with a therapist for a defined period of time to enable the child to develop well at either Levels 1-3.

We also provide training for school staff and support the school to use language rich approaches in the classroom. We work holistically with schools to ensure the support that children need to learn and the practice that they need to develop their speech, language or communication skills happens throughout their school day. All our work is based on evidence based practice.

Specialism teams provide training for groups of staff across the County, accredited training courses as well as bespoke training solutions in individual schools and settings. Most of the support provided is free however a charge is made for some training.

Who does your service provide for?

All children and young people with communication and interaction needs within a Hampshire Special School. This service is a consistent, evidence-based provision, of 1 day per week, for all settings. Provision is focused on supporting schools to embed Speech and Language Therapy strategies, and enhance communication development, across the school; via whole school projects, class-based support, and some focused work with individual pupils.

We aim to ensure:

  • communication needs are not a barrier to learning, independence or social development.
  • staff are trained and confident in supporting communication needs in the classroom.
  • the school is communication rich and inclusive of young people with communication needs.
  • that Teachers are given the tools and support to make and implement decisions about communication.
  • that all young people in a special school environment benefit from access to Speech Therapy services.
  • that pupils, with additional functional difficulty, can receive additional specialist therapeutic support.
  • that support and intervention lead to observable functional progress and independence.
  • that parents and carers are key partners in supporting and developing their child’s communication.
How can I start using the service?

All children and young people within a Hampshire Special School are eligible for our universal level of support and benefit from our whole school and class-based strategies. Parents are able to meet with the Speech and Language Therapist for informal discussions about their child’s speech, language or communication needs and extra support can be requested by the Class Teacher. Therapists work with school staff to identify the nature of the child’s need and how this can best be supported; higher levels of support are put in place when required. This may be through screening, observation or discussion in the first instance and then through more specialist assessments if this is indicated. Decisions about the appropriate level of support are based on the assessment of need and the most appropriate model of support for that need, based on the available research evidence. We work to strict professional guidelines and to clear decision making pathways.

Where is it located and what areas does it cover?
STAS C&I is located within three offices around the County, providing an equal level of support and advice to all children and young people within a Hampshire Special School. There are Speech and Language Therapists for C&I in all 3 offices.
  • Specialist Teacher Advisory Service Children’s Services Department Dame Mary Fagan House Chineham Court Lutyens Close Basingstoke RG24 8AG Tel: 0370 779 0779
  • Specialist Teacher Advisory Service HCC Children’s Services Havant Public Service Plaza Civic Centre Road Havant PO9 2AX Tel: 0370 779 0779
  • Specialist Teacher Advisory Service Children’s Services Department Winchester Local Office Falcon House Monarch Way Winchester SO22 5PL Tel: 0370 779 0779


How are decisions made about who can use your service?

All pupils can access extra Speech and Language Therapy Support if they are having functional difficulties relating to communication or interaction. This may be provided on a different day to the schools allocated Therapy day as it will be additional support to the school’s main offer. If the school Speech Therapist (SaLT) thinks that the pupil would benefit from seeing someone in the team with a different clinical specialism (e.g. speech, SEMH or ASD), they will refer them.

How do you communicate with service users and how are they involved in decision making?

We involve children and young people in decision making by gathering their views of their strengths and difficulties, and what they would like to achieve. This is always part of their assessment process. They are involved in reviewing how they progress at key points and we regularly gather their views of the service they have received through completing surveys either verbally or through alternative communication methods.

Regular communication is made with parents and carers through meetings at school, written reports, telephone contact, emails and annual reviews where appropriate. From the information shared in these situations, you will be informed of any progress your child/young person is making and whether any additional support/intervention is required if the expected progress is not being made. We also regularly ask parents for their feedback and hopes for their children’s communication through questionnaires. Parent support groups/coffee mornings and training events are also offered to parents.

Is your service fully accessible?

Yes, as we use the school and college sites that are fully adapted and accessible for their students.

It is unusual for service users to have to attend meetings at the Local Offices, as most meetings take place in the educational setting or occasionally the service users home, however all three offices are accessible. All of the offices have accessible toilets, but they do not have accessible changing facilities.

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEN and Disabilities had or are having?

SaLT or SLT – a professional, qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist to degree level and registered with the Health Professionals Council. All our therapists have at least 5 years post qualifying experience and have specialist experience and further training in the area of supporting the speech, language or communication needs of children and young people with special needs. All our therapists are qualified and experienced at a specialist level in their field. STAs Service is a multi-disciplinary service with all members of staff qualified and trained in their specialist area and it is a requirement for them to continue to update their knowledge through continual professional development. Specialist staff include • Teachers • Speech and Language Therapists. We work closely with the Hampshire Educational Psychology service and NHS Children’s Therapy service.

How will I know my child is safe?

This service complies with and adheres to all Hampshire County Council policies regarding safety at work, child protection and data protection including Keeping Children Safe in Education.

In addition, speech and Language Therapists adhere strictly at all times to professional codes of conduct, monitored by the Health Professionals Council and are professionally regulated in all areas and at all times.

What communication methods are you familiar with?
Signs and symbols
Does your service include children and young people with:
Signs and symbols
Who can I contact for further information?

You should contact the school first, for more information and discuss your thoughts or concerns with the therapist in your child’s school, the LSA, class teache,r SENCo or Head.  You may contact the Special Needs Officer (SNO) within the Local Authority SEN service for more information in relation to Education Health and Care Plans and school placement.

Useful websites: • [ I CAN] – Children’s communication charity. • [ The National Autistic Society] • [ Cerebra] – Charity for brain injured children. • [ Handy Handouts] – Free information sheets. • [ Talking Point] – Information on children’s communication. • [ The Communication Trust] – Information, booklets and leaflets • [ Sentence Trouble] – Resources and information to support Children with SLCN. • [ Afasic] – Parent led website to support SLCN’s.

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