The Balanced System is now live – updates from Speech and Language Therapy
In September 2023 the Children’s NHS Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT) Service in Birmingham began to implement ‘The Balanced System® framework’ across the city.
We would like to say a big thank you to Schools staff for your patience and understanding during this time of change and this period of adjustment. Many schools have been very welcoming and supported the SaLTs to understand the needs within the schools and to get started working with the children, parents and staff.
Work started in schools:
95% of schools have a SaLT allocated to them and most have started working in their schools at some point during this autumn term . The Initial visit has usually involved a meeting with school SENCo focussing on developing the Whole School Communication Plan
This has allowed us to review the whole school graduated approach to SLCN support using the 3 levels and the 5 strands of the Balanced System® framework, discussing what is currently in place, and devising an action plan for the term/academic year.
Other focus for this term has been on discussing and seeing the children/young people on the current SaLT caseload. We have also needed to prioritise providing advice for EHCPs as requested by SENAR. This work comes out of each school’s allocated hours and so the time in many schools has felt quite limited in the face of high need.
Please bear with us
It was difficult to predict, as we prepared for The Balanced System®, how long each part of this process would take.
It may be that things are not happening as quickly as you had hoped with regard to SaLT support in your setting. Please be assured that all of our team are working their very hardest to become familiar with the new processes and ensure that the transition to the new way of working is as smooth as possible for everyone.
Please continue to bear with us as we all work together to instigate and embed this new system which aims to achieve positive and long-lasting outcomes for children with speech, language, and communication needs. We welcome your support and all the collaborative working.
Many schools have supported SaLTs to access their Wifi however in a few schools there are still issues with connectivity to Wifi which we are reliant on schools IT teams and our NHS IT team working together to resolve. Please continue to help us resolve these issues which are time consuming and take up some of the valuable time allocated to schools.
Schools with no allocation – Successful recruitment!
There are still a small number of schools without a link therapist, due to vacancies across the city, but following a successful recruitment drive, we have now recruited to most of these posts and these new SaLTs will be starting early in the Spring term and so we expect that most of these remaining schools will have met their link SLT by the summer term .
School Age Coordinators (SACos) for each locality have kept in contacted with the SENCos in unallocated settings to keep them updated. Some of these settings have accessed advice meetings which have been supported by SaLTs.
In the meantime, these schools can call the SaLT Advice Line with any clinical queries on 0121 466 6231 or contact us via email at email@example.com
Feedback from schools
Finally, here are just a few of the many comments we have had this term:
“It is great having someone in school.”
“It feels much more joined up, it would be good to have more SaLT time”.
“I’m delighted to have quicker access to SaLT.”