Welcome to our newsletter from Bedfordshire and Luton Schools’ Speech and Language Therapy Team. We hope you have all had a good summer holiday and have been able to keep safe and well.  

Thank You

Firstly, we would like to thank you for your continued patience and support to the team as we provided face to face and virtual working through the summer term. We have been pleased with the positive feedback from families and schools in relation to our continued service throughout the pandemic. We are goiing to continue to provide a mixture of face to face and virtual working as we move through the next phase of the pandemic.

COVID-19 update

School visits will be mainly face to face including liaison meetings with staff and parents as per the school’s guidelines. Where parents cannot join the meeting in person we can offer a phone consulation to provide feedback.

We will continue to observe Covid safe guidelines and using appropriate PPE including wearing face masks as per CCS guidelines. CCS continue to encourage all staff to carry out bi-weekly Lateral Flow Tests.

All training will be carried out virtually.


We are accepting referrals to the service and will assess the children at school.

Please continue to use the  referral form which is available on our website:

This can be emailed into our central SPA office or posted in the usual way – details on the referral forms. 


Training continues to be an important part of our support for families and schools. The  training is free when it has been recognised as a clinical need for individual children and it is an important part of their episode of care. Additional places can be purchased, please see our website for more details.

Places on our training can be booked via our website:

The Blanks Model Developing Language Skills Speech Sounds
Communications Friendly Environments Communication Books/Boards Using Picture Exchange for Communications
Stammering Makaton Signing Taster  

Communication Champion Training

As part of a joint delivery model, the NHS Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy are promoting an integrated, collaborative approach to developing capability and capacity in the schools workforce to support children and young people with Speech, Language and Communication Needs. 

Each school  will create a ‘Communication Champion Team’ by sending up to  three members of staff (SENCo, Teacher and Teaching Assistant)  to attend either an Elklan training course (Central Bedfordshire and Luton) or a Talking Success course (Bedford Borough). These courses are running throughout 2022; please see our website for details on how to book your place.

So far we have trained:
  • 46 schools in Bedford Borough (109 staff)
  • 28 schools in Central Bedfordshire (75 staff)
  • 22 schools in Luton (55 staff)
That’s 239 Communication Champions across Bedfordshire & Luton!
Communication Champion Network Meetings (CCNM)

Once you have completed the communication champion training you are invited to attend a termly network meeting. This is an opportunity to extend learning; share examples of best practice, case studies and resources; network with colleagues and ask questions directly to a Speech and Language Therapist.

The next meetings are being held via MS TEAMS and the theme is Vocabulary.
To book a place please email

CCNM Autumn Term 2021

Central and Luton Primary 20 October 2021
14:00 - 15:30
Bedford Borough Secondary 2 November 2021
14:00 - 15:30
Central & Luton Secondary 10 November 2021
14:00 - 15:30
Service update

We are delighted to welcome Fiona Scarlett, our new service manager, who joined our service in August. An introduction from Fiona:
"Hello, I was welcomed to the Luton and Bedfordshire Speech and Language Therapy Service in August and have been busy getting to know the wonderful team as well as meeting other services and organisations who I will be working alongside in my new role. I previously worked within the Cambridgeshire Speech and Language Therapy service but grew up in Bedfordshire, so am quite familiar with the area. I am working with the Team to identify what is working well currently in addition to identifying areas for improvement and development.
"One of our big priorities in the coming months is addressing the service to school age children and we are busy working on a plan for that and will update you when we know more. I am looking forward to working together with colleagues across Luton and Bedfordshire to address the needs of all children with Speech, Language and Communication needs in the future."
The service is experiencing a very high level of demand for a number of reasons.As a result some children are having to wait longer to be seen.

We are working with our education and community partners to support service delivery in a collaborative way for all children with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) e.g. joint delivery of training,skilling up and empowering staff who work with the children in their daily environments,liaison meetings.

Our Speech, Language and Communication Toolkit for Schools is a really useful source of strategies, resources and ideas to meet the needs of all children with SLCN. This can be accessed via our website:
Future Newsletter Items

It is our intention to send regular newsletters each term, to provide updates on our service provision and pathways. In addition we will also include information relating to specific initiatives which we hope you will find useful. If you have any suggestions for items / information that you would like to be included in the newsletters, please email us on

Contact Us

The Speech and Language School aged service can be contacted via our SPA Team or call us on: 01234 310163 or 01234 310712

If you have specific enquires about a child please speak to their therapist – if you are unsure who that is please contact SPA and they will pass on a message.

Please provide any feedback that you have on our service to the SPA team and they will forward this onto the therapist.
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