Communication support service

The Primary Speech and Language Centre is part of the Department for Children, Families and Learning and is managed by Communication Support Service (CSS). It is based at Applegarth Infant and Junior School.

Who attends the centre?

The centre has places for 18 pupils of primary age who have been identified as having speech, language and communication needs and who would respond to short term therapeutic educational placement

How are the children referred to the centre?

Pupils are referred to the centre by speech and language therapists or educational psychologists. An annual panel meeting is held in the summer term to discuss and agree the autumn term allocation of available places.

Centre staff

The centre is staffed by experienced teachers, three of whom have additional qualifications in the teaching of children with speech, language and communication needs. There are also three full-time specialist support assistants. The centre has an attached specialist speech and language therapist and therapy assistant.

All staff work closely as a team.

What does the centre provide?

The centre offers flexible teaching arrangements with an emphasis on increasing mainstream integration as pupils progress through the key stages of the national curriculum.  Teaching programmes build on listening and attending, play and social and emotional communication and interaction in order to encourage the development of a pupil's language skills. The national curriculum, including literacy and numeracy teaching, is differentiated according to individual pupil need.

As the pupil's skills increase there is a gradual progression towards more mainstream class-based teaching, which is supported by centre teachers and assistants. Pupils continue to be withdrawn for some individual and group teaching with centre staff and the therapist.

A signing system called Paget Gorman is used when appropriate.

A symbol system and cued articulation are also used with some pupils.

Who brings the children to the centre?

Parents are encouraged to transport their children to and from school where possible. The LA transport policy sets out arrangements that can be made to help families living at a distance. A copy of the policy can be found after the contact details below.

What happens next?

The aim of the centre is to equip pupils with levels of skill that will enable them to transfer to their local mainstream school and to work successfully within the framework of support available there. This may entail some outreach support visits by centre staff to the receiving school in the early stages of transition. The length of stay at the centre varies between individual pupils and the decision to transfer is made in relation to the progress a pupil has made. Most pupils achieve a successful transfer.

Parents and carers are kept fully informed about their child's progress and are supported throughout transfer discussions, whether this is to a mainstream primary, secondary or special school setting.

Why not visit us?

Parents are always welcome at the centre and should contact the head of centre to arrange a visit.

Staff work within the child safeguarding procedures of the local authority.

Contact Details

Association for all Speech Impaired Children
Telephone 0845 355 5577
Head of speech and language centre
Telephone 01689 800447
Address Applegarth Junior School
New Addington
Croydon CR0 9DL
Telephone 0845 2254071

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