Teachers and campaigners say more needs to be done to provide rising numbers of children with Speech and Language Therapy.

After being diagnosed with apraxia at two years old, Mikey Akers had 13 years of Speech and Language Therapy (SLT), just to be able to communicate with others.

The 23-year-old’s latest petition, calling on the Government for more investment in SALT, reached over 12,000 signatures in just a matter of weeks, prompting a response.

Click the link below for the full story:


Summer with Signalong

The Learning Advisory Service is pleased to announce the next

Signalong Foundation Course.

It will run at the PDC 229 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 6AB

Signalong is a key word signing system. Signs are always used alongside spoken language. It is particularly suitable for children and young people who have delayed language and/or learning difficulties. Our course will support you to sign effectively and naturally, and you will learn over 300 signs.

SESSION 1Wednesday June 5th   9 am. to 12.30 pm  
SESSION 2Wednesday June 19th 9 am to 12.30 pm  
SESSION 3Wednesday June 26th 9 am to 12.30 pm  
SESSION 4  Wednesday July 10th 9 am to 12.30 pm

Cost: £75 per person

Full attendance is required to gain your Foundation certificate.

To book: use SLA online

For more information: contact reshna.khanom@towerhamlets.gov.uk or dil.begum@towerhamlets.gov.uk

SENCo Conference Thursday 9th May 2024

SEN provision – mapping and measuring impact for all

The conference will take place at the Professional Development Centre (PDC):

229 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 6AB

Conference Booking

To book your place please click on the link: https://www.ths4s.co.uk/Event/215137

For any further questions please contact:

Linda Hall linda.hall@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Key note Speaker

Abigail Hawkins is a SEN specialist with over 25 years of experience as a SENCO. She has been a SENDCO, DLS, an Education Consultant, and has a Founding Fellowship of the Chartered College of Teaching (FCCT), which is an accolade held by some of the most committed teachers and leaders who have shown a significant and sustained contribution to the teaching profession and their own professional development.

Workshops include: SEN Section Hannah Glennon: Requesting an EHCP: What’s useful and What’s not.”, Educational Psychology Service “MeLSA/ mediated learning.”, TH CAMHS East London NHS Foundation Trust “Understanding ADHD”

#WAAW World Autism Acceptance Week 2024 ‘Study links reading comprehension challenges in autistic children to specific early and pre-reading skill gaps’

Many children with autism struggle with reading comprehension abilities throughout their school years.

In language development, narrative skills are a pre-reading skill, such as retelling the events of a story in order and understanding how the parts of a story work together. Inference skills develop early in reading and include the ability to link the ideas in two sentences together.

For children with autism, challenges with these two early skills were linked strongly with reading comprehension challenges as they got older. (Grimm, McIntrye and Mundy, 2020)

The Reading Framework Report published by the Department of Education in July 2023 emphasises the value of reading comprehension in supporting SEN pupils. Their suggestions for mainstream classroom teaching adaptions include group or peer reading, utilising audio, visual aids such as picture books, graphic organisers, flow charts and diagrams; multi-sensory stimulation of several senses to help convey meaning and dedicating enough time for reading for pleasure at school and at home.

Tips and ideas to support children with autism who are non-verbal: Teaching children with nonverbal autism to read | Autism Speaks

World Down Syndrome Day 2024

Marner School Celebration

The Learning Advisory Service celebrated World Down Syndrome Day with a performance around “End the Stereotypes”at Marner School. It included pupils with Down Syndrome who attend mainstream schools coming together to celebrate how amazing they are now and thinking about what they would like to be when they grow up.

World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), Thursday 21 March, is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012.

The theme for World Down Syndrome Day 2024 is ‘End The Stereotypes’.

Please click on the link below. Register to access the free educational resources for all age groups.


World Down Syndrome Day March 21, 2024

The Language, Literacy and Communication team have introduced an intervention this year to improve reading and language outcomes for children with Down Syndrome this year. We are using The Reading and Language Intervention for Children with Down Syndrome (RLI) developed by DSE UK.


The intervention is an evidenced-based teaching programme which supplements and supports regular teaching with daily 1:1 intervention sessions and is carefully targeted to the needs of each pupil.

We are currently working with 10 primary schools, and about 17 pupils, and we look forward to seeing how well they progress.

We offer 2 half day training days, as well as visiting schools before and after the intervention begins to provide support and guidance to the Teaching Assistants running the programme.

We hope to run the programme again in the Autumn term for any schools that did not take part in the first cohort.

Please note we are only currently offering this to Tower Hamlets Schools but if numbers allow, this may change.


World Book Day, Thursday March 7th, is about celebrating books and reading all year round.The best way you can support your child’s reading is by encouraging a love of reading, and spending time looking through books, talking about the pictures and story, and reading together each day

Children with SEND needs lots of repetition and over-
learning of reading skills, both at school and at home.
Reading is about much more than getting your child to read to you, it is
just as beneficial for you to read to them, particularly
early on.

Signalong Get ready for Easter

Signalong, The Communication Charity, provides resources, training and free advice, and readily works with others in the field to promote communication skills for children and adults with speech, language and communication needs and English as an additional language.

They produce a free education resource every Friday. This week’s theme is ‘Get Ready for Easter!’

Signalong – The Communication Charity

Download the song and recipe PDF file here:

Special Educational Needs in the Mainstream Classroom-EEF recommendations (2020)

Essential reading for educators-‘This report presents five recommendations for mainstream primary and secondary schools seeking to improve their provision for pupils with SEND. Some of the recommendations included here will also be helpful for pupils in special schools.’
Recommendation 1 Create a positive and supportive environment for all pupils,
without exception. Recommendation 2 Build an ongoing, holistic understanding of your pupils and
their needs. Recommendation 3 Ensure all pupils have access to high quality teaching.
Recommendation 4 Complement high quality teaching with carefully selected
small-group and one-to-one interventions. Recommendation 5 Work effectively with teaching assistants.

Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools | EEF (educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk)

Download the poster summary here-Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools—Recommendations (d2tic4wvo1iusb.cloudfront.net)