Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in schools


Among The Link magazine’s goals is helping school staff to develop their professional skills and knowledge, providing the most effective support for pupils with SLCN. We want to inspire and support you in school, so that you can help children to reach their best potential in and out of school. We firmly believe that developing a skilled workforce through easy access to up-to-date evidence-based information for immediate use in the classroom will nurture happy and successful pupils. CPD – high quality, relevant, and engaging training – is an investment with far-reaching impact, rewarding the whole school community.

Speech and Language Link is proud to announce the launch of The Link CPD – our speech and language training package for school staff. Our passion and expertise enabled this innovative new approach to professionals’ online learning, focusing on real-life practice and individualised support for all stages of your career.

Our modular courses build on participants’ everyday practice using different learning tools, developing practical knowledge and easy to apply skills for support children with SLCN. Our team of speech and language therapists will support your learning and development throughout the course – helping you achieve the best outcomes as learners. Your speech and language therapist tutor provides regular feedback and practical guidance, developing your confidence in applying your learning with real pupils. Courses are suitable for all staff working with children with SLCN in schools, including teaching assistants/learning support assistants, SENCos, teachers, and speech and language therapy assistants.

This term welcomes our Language Course, comprising two flexible modules, suitable for those new to SLCN as well as more experienced practitioners.

“Schools will benefit from staff who are knowledgeable about speech, language and communication development and how effective SLCN support can be implemented every day in all facets of school life.”

Module 1*

Introduction to Speech and Language

This module develop participants’ understanding of the terms ‘speech’, ‘language’ and ‘communication’, and how children acquire speech and language skills. Participants learn about the impact of SLCN on learning and how to create a communication-friendly environment within the classroom and the wider school environment, supporting all pupils to access education.

Cost £150+VAT per person

Module 2

Language Intervention

This module** focuses on understanding language difficulties in education. Participants learn about effective strategies to support the understanding and spoken language skills of children within the classroom (and around school!), as well as staff skills for planning and delivering successful language interventions at targeted and specialist levels.

Cost £150+VAT per person

*Module 1 is completed before Module 2. **Both modules complete The Language Course.

Our training utilises a blended learning approach:

  • Each course starts with a short introductory live web meeting hosted by the qualified speech and language therapist course tutor, introducing the course to each small group of learners.
  • Next, participants complete lessons, which include short videos with real examples of high-quality practice and explanations of key concepts, work through interactive activities, and undertake assignments transferring the skills they have learnt into classroom practice.
  • Participants are encouraged to join their course online forum, open only to each small group, discussing learning points and classroom practice, and sharing observations, ideas, and questions with peers.
  • Throughout the course, your speech and language therapist tutor provides personalised feedback on activities and assignments, coaching you through your learning and practice and ensuring you meet your goals.
  • The online platform facilitates flexible learning, with participants able to access the course materials at their convenience, working through each lesson and activity at their own pace.
  • The Link CPD offers a practical workforce development solution for school staff.
  • Schools benefit from staff who are knowledgeable about speech, language and communication development and how effective SLCN support can be implemented every day in all facets of school life.
  • Effective CPD promotes staff engagement and role commitment. Individual staff wellbeing improves with increased confidence and skill.
  • Pupils benefit from an inclusive environment with increased understanding of their needs and effective support strategies.

We look forward to supporting your professional development this Autumn.

To find out more about The Link CPD and to register your interest, go to:

The Link CPD: A Case Study

By Natalie Crawley, HLTA, Chartham Primary School

Sofia’s story

I have used Language Link for several years in our school, but I felt my understanding of SLCN was limited. When the opportunity arose to complete The Link CPD course, I jumped at the chance to participate.

I now have more confidence in identifying children with SLCN and being able to adapt the way I support them to meet their individual needs.

A Case Study

Just as I began The Link CPD Language Course, the second Covid-19 lockdown changed ‘school life’ to ‘bubble life’. I was assigned to work with a year 2 group of children and here I met 7-year-old Sofia*. Sofia attended school regularly but had low-level behaviour issues, poor concentration skills and was working at a lower-than-expected level for her age. She had a family history of ASD.

I decided to use the course to find out what difference I could make to the support we were offering her.

Observations about Sofia from my course notebook


Sofia’s language is often limited to the subjects that interest her most and she uses quite simple language most of the time. If she slows down and has the time to think she can use a wider variety of language. She can generally express her needs and opinions although these don’t always follow a logical sequence.

Sofia can ask questions and talk about things she has done using simple language. Largely, she can explain why she thinks something has happened and she can retell a story using straightforward language. I feel her language level is similar to what we might expect for a 4-5-year-old, as she is not yet demonstrating the understanding and use of language skills that would be expected for her age.

Social Interactions

Sofia often plays alone but appears happy to do so. She doesn’t always understand codes of behaviour and rules and isn’t always aware of who is around her or how to differentiate her language for adults to children. She doesn’t always listen well to others and has poor concentration. She does not always pick up on body language or make eye contact.

Supporting Sofia

After speaking with her teacher and following the videos in the second module, I realised that Sofia’s difficulties lay in her expressive language. When speaking she does not always take the time to think about her responses and that is where we see grammatical errors.

Sofia will often mix up pronouns when speaking and some of her language is not in context, resulting in her struggling to get her message across. The way in which she orders words to create phrases, clauses and sentences are often mixed up as well as confusing tenses/pronouns.

Targets for Sofia

I set the following targets as the next steps for Sofia in the hope that we would see improvements in her speaking skills which would help support her social interactions.


  • I am trying to use plurals and past tense verbs
  • I can use pronouns, like ‘he’, ‘she’ and ‘they’
  • I can take more time to think about my responses
  • I can slow down my talking

After completing the course, I shared my findings with Sofia’s class teacher and TA and made them both aware of different strategies they could use with her.

Sofia is now in year 3 and doing well, she interacts better with her classmates and her concentration has improved.

From my Reflective Journal

The biggest impact The Link CPD course had on my own practice, is my increased knowledge and confidence when supporting small group work or 1-1 interventions. The course has equipped me with a host of strategies to use when working with children that I wouldn’t have even considered before. I would say I have a good sound knowledge of SLCN now and feel able to share this knowledge and advice with other members of staff with confidence.

*Name has been changed for the article.

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