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School Age Speech and Language Therapy Service

School Age Speech and Language Therapy Service


Who is the service for?

We offer support with speech, language, communication, feeding and swallowing for children and young people aged four to 19 years who are in full time education or are being educated out of school.

We support school age children and young people who have a GP and live in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. We usually provide support within schools, unless the child or young person attends a school outside of the area, attends an independent school or is educated out of school.  Then support then takes place at a local community clinic.

Children and young people referred to the service are offered an appointment within 18 weeks of receipt of the referral.

Priority is given to children and young people with severe dysphagia, who are offered an appointment within four weeks of receipt of the referral.

What we do

Our service supports children and young people with:

  • Developmental Language Disorder
  • Speech sound disorders
  • Dysphagia (swallowing disorders)
  • Alternative and augmentative communication needs (using technology, such as an ipad, as a communication system)
  • Stammering
  • Communication needs associated with complex medical conditions and acquired brain injury

We work in educational settings and aim to support education and reduce speech and language difficulties, in order to improve social success and academic progress.

We support schools to put communication at the heart of the curriculum, enabling staff to create a supportive communication environment. We provide training on specific interventions, advice and recommendations.

We can also provide assessment and direct support for children and young people with the most complex communication needs.

Other professionals we work with:

We work closely with our health and education colleagues to support children and young people.  These include occupational therapists, physiotherapists, paediatricians, CAMHS, social care, educational psychologists, teachers and special educational needs and disabilities coordinators (SENDCOs)

We also work with local authority partners on Education Health and Care (EHC) needs assessments, contributing within the six week time frame for children known to our service in the last 12 months.


Communication is a complex skill, which begins to develop even before a baby is born.  There are many areas of development that build together, for a child to become a confident communicator. Please see our communication pyramid video to understand how all the skills develop and link together.

Here is our training team explaining all the parts that make up good communication: The communication pyramid: The Communication Pyramid – YouTube

Please click on the boxes below to find out more information and access resources for each area of Speech and Language Therapy. 

Understanding Language

Using Language

Speech Sounds



needs &

Deafness/ Hearing impairment

English as an additional language/ bilingualism

Social communication and interaction



& top tips

How to get help from our team

Early Years Speech and Language Therapy

Making a referral to our team

Related Information Pages

The following information pages may be of interest:

speech and language

Information and signposting

See our Speech and Language Therapy Toolkit pages that contains helpful advice, resources and signposting to useful websites to support all children and young people with their communication skills.

Any family member or professional who has concerns about a child or young person’s speech, language and communication can get in touch with us to discuss their concerns. Call our School Age Telephone Advice Line which is available for enquiries on Wednesday mornings, 9:00am- 12:00pm on 0300 125 5140 . You can also email the team using

We also offer an extensive training package for educational professionals, please see our training team webpage for details of what is offered and email for more information.

Getting help

For children and young people at school, one of the best ways to access more support and advice through our team is through your school Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCo). Most schools have regular meetings with their locality speech and language therapist, the SENCo may then advise that the pupil is seen at a school-based drop in or discuss concerns with a therapist at their next meeting.

Getting more help (more extensive goal-based help)

Some children and young people may require more specialist support from our service. Where possible, we encourage schools to refer into the service through discussion with their link speech and language therapist. This enables all the relevant information to be collected prior to a referral making it more likely to be accepted.

Where this is not possible, schools, families and professionals can refer directly into the service. Please see our making a referral to our team section to find out what is needed.

Referral to our service may take place for children who meet the criteria.

Where a child or young person meets our criteria for direct assessment, this may include:

  • Formal assessment
  • Informal assessment
  • Observation in class or the playground
  • Liaison with class teacher and teaching assistant
  • Liaison with parent

Following this, a report will be written and sent, this will have recommendations and next steps clearly identified.

Some children and young people may go on to need a block of therapy. Therapy sessions are delivered in school setting, or clinic for some children. The sessions are delivered alongside teaching staff or parents to ensure the skills learnt can be developed.

The number of sessions offered is determined by the child/young person’s need, responsiveness to therapy, and ability of school or family to facilitate.

I am a professional...

Please see the School Aged Speech and Language Therapy Service REMEDY page for full details of making a referral to our service.

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