The ‘Talk of the Town’ (ToTT) intervention was developed by The Communication Trust and ICAN – two UK-based speech, language and communication NGOs. ToTT was piloted across a small federation of schools (secondary and primary) in Manchester in an area of social deprivation in 2011- 2012 to address developmental delays in children’s speech language and communication (SLC). It is an integrated, community-led and systematic approach to supporting SLC in children and young people. The importance of detection and support of learners with learning difficulties before the problem is translated into school absenteeism is essential. Research has pointed to the need to identify at-risk learners and rapidly intervene at the appropriate level, in this case a targeted approach being the most applicable. ToTT follows a systematic process to embed strategies and achieve measurable positive outcomes.
It was piloted with four key aims:
1. Early identification of children and young people with SLC needs
2. Joint working between parents and practitioners across health and education
3. Positive outcomes for children and young people with improved SLC skills
4. A sustainable approach, so that policy and practice continues to support positive outcomes.