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Identifying and Supporting Children's Early Language Needs

We developed, piloted and evaluated an early language assessment tool and resources to support action by Health Visitors and early years practitioners.

About this project

This project started in 2019 and completed in the autumn of 2020. This project was commissioned in 2018 as part of the UK government’s Social Mobility Action Plan [1]. It was one of three dimensions to a programme of work delivered by Public Health England (PHE) and the Department for Education (DfE) in England.

The programme of work included:

  • the provision of enhanced training for health visitors to help them address the needs of children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and their families
  • the development of guidance to local areas to support the development of local evidence-based Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) pathways
  • the development of an early language assessment tool and intervention (the present project) designed to facilitate a conversation between practitioner and parent about the child’s communication skills

Data were collected in five sites across England namely:

  • Derbyshire
  • Middlesbrough
  • Newham
  • Wakefield
  • Wiltshire

[1] Department for Education (2017). Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential A plan for improving social mobility through education London HMSO.

The full report for the project was put on line in the University repository in September 2020 at Law, J., Charlton, J., McKean, C., Roulstone, S., Watson, R., Holme, C., Gilroy, V., Wilson, P. & Rush, R. (2020) IDENTIFYING AND SUPPORTING CHILDREN’S EARLY LANGUAGE NEEDS. Newcastle University Repository.

The full data set will be available in due course.

Research team

J Law

J Charlton

C McKean

S Roulstone

R Watson

C Holme

V Gilroy

P Wilson

R Rush