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

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STAS Communication and Interaction Mainstream Schools and Colleges (C&I) Local Offer (formerly Communication and Language Team CaL)

Who to contact

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

Where to go

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

Local Offer

Local Offer
What does your service do?

The Communication and Interaction (C&I) Team consists of Specialist Teacher Advisors and Speech and Language Therapists. Typical activities include:

  • Facilitation of transition from primary to secondary and from secondary to college.
  • Assessment of young people's Speech, Language and Communication Skills
  • Provision of a profile outlining a young person's needs and helpful support strategies
  • Training for school staff, parents/carers to raise awareness of the barriers to learning
  • Advice on personalised curriculum/target setting and outcomes 
  • Individual work with young people on specific skills as appropriate
  • Observation of young people within their settings and feedback  
  • Signposting parents, carers and staff to other useful agencies and contacts
  • Support and liaison with parents/carers so that they can make informed choices
  • Attendance at Annual Reviews where appropriate

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 training.

Who does your service provide for?

Specialist Teacher Advisors (STAs) and Specialist Speech and Language Therapists (SaLTs) support children and young people with an EHCP, including SLCN and/or Autism, from age of 7 to age 25 in mainstream junior or secondary schools and mainstream colleges in Hampshire. 

We aim to ensure:

  • communication needs are not a barrier to learning.
  • 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.
  • SENCos are given the tools and support to make and implement decisions about communication.
  • that pupils, with EHCPs, can receive additional specialist support and therapeutic intervention.
  • that support and intervention leads to observable functional progress and independence.
How can I start using the service?

SENCos are able to make a request for additional support if the child or young person has an Education Health and Care Plan and they are experiencing current functional challenges related to their communication or interaction skills. Our mainstream school team comprises specialists in education and learning, developmental and associated language disorder and Autism, however if the child or young person has a different need (e.g. a learning difficulty or SEMH) we have specialist Speech and Language Therapists that can provide this support.

Once a child or young person has been referred for support from the Service, a STA or SaLT is assigned to them and they will normally be visited within the next half term. Support is tailored to the young person’s functional difficulties and the school’s experience. Support is regularly negotiated and reviewed with young people, parents/carers and staff, and adjusted to reflect progress. 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. Once a school is confident in meeting the child or young person's needs, then C&I support is paused; a new referral can be made for further support when required. 

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?

The C&I Team liaise with schools to discuss appropriate referrals at regular intervals and in particular highlight children and young people who have recently been given an EHCP and may require additional support. STAS will ensure parents/carers/schools understand and appreciate any decisions made in relation to a referral and can be contacted for further discussion. STAs will refer back to the eligibility criteria, functional difficulties and the the child or young person's ability to access the school environment and curriculum. If the STA or SaLT thinks that the child or young person would benefit from seeing someone in the team with a different clinical specialism (e.g. speech, SEMH or ASD), they will refer them. Occasionally, STAs or SaLTs are directed to work with children/young people by the Local Authority SEN Service, even though the individual may not meet criteria.


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.

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?

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 LSA, class teacher SENCo or the 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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