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Reply To: Looking for a model of school commissioned work that works really well

Chris Platt

Hi Sarah,

Looks like you have lots of people who will talk with you so that’s great 🙂 Having been in this space for a few years now, and with lots of schools on our books, I’d say an awful lot comes down to the senior leadership team and not every situation is ‘fixable’. If there is a strong senior leadership team and you have their ear / they are invested in Speech Therapy then they’ll still be ups and downs and tricky situations at times, but those can nearly always be navigated. But if it’s a weak leadership team that the staff aren’t very responsive too, or there’s just not the organisation / time within the leadership team to devote to making things work, or the senior leadership team aren’t fully invested, then it can be very problematic.

I sometimes liken it to a gym membership. I know I need to get fitter, exercise more, be healthier. I can buy a gym membership – but I still need to go regularly and work at it to make that happen. And honestly at the moment there are just far too many balls in the air for me to manage that. I sometimes think schools are like that – they know / recognise they need it so buy in speech therapy but without sufficient understanding of just what is required to make that work e.g. in terms of time for follow-up, organisations of referrals and consents, meetings for caseload reviews etc. We are really clear with schools at the outset what is required for an effective service, and we will ALWAYS give schools a really good go and try and make things work whenever we can. Most of the time it does, but there have been some schools where we just haven’t been able to make it happen despite huge efforts from the therapists on the ground.