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Speech and language therapy and the Knowles Edge Standards Fund Project: An evaluation of the service provided to a cluster of primary schools

French, Lucy; Owen, Rosalind; Roulstone, Sue


Lucy French

Rosalind Owen


In 2000, 25 speech and language therapy projects were established in schools in England, funded through the Standards Fund. An evaluation commissioned by the Government reported positive results and gave an overview of all the projects at a point approximately six months after their inception. Although there were common themes, it was quite clear that the projects differed widely in their structure and interpretation of the original brief. In this article, Sue Roulstone, Professor of Speech and Language Therapy at the University of the West of England, and Rosalind Owen and Lucy French, both specialist speech and language therapists working for the United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust, provide an in-depth report of one of the projects and its evaluation after 18 months. The project, based on a systems analysis approach, targeted its interventions at the individual child, the parents, the teachers and therapists, the classrooms and schools, and more strategic levels in the health and education services. The article gives details of the 'interventions' for each component. An independent evaluation gathered qualitative and quantitative data that suggest that the new service had a positive impact on all aspects of the system. Children made gains in their speech and language; parents were informed and involved; therapists and teachers were more satisfied about their knowledge base; and systems changed within the schools to reflect and support the collaboration. The outcomes of the project led to a rolling out of the model to two more cluster groups of schools. A number of organisational structures were identified which support the ongoing collaboration. Details given in this article will enable others to identify whether or not this model might suit their local circumstances and be replicable in their context. © NASEN 2005.


French, L., Owen, R., & Roulstone, S. (2005). Speech and language therapy and the Knowles Edge Standards Fund Project: An evaluation of the service provided to a cluster of primary schools. British Journal of Special Education, 32(2), 78-85.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 1, 2005
Journal British Journal of Special Education
Print ISSN 0952-3383
Electronic ISSN 1467-8578
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Issue 2
Pages 78-85
Keywords speech, language, therapy, primary schools, evaluation
Public URL
Publisher URL