Burlish Park Primary is commissioned by Worcestershire Local Authority to provide 10 places for pupils within its Language Unit. These places are for pupils identified as having a Specific Language Impairment (SLI) or speech disorders and have the potential to access mainstream education, but without the provision would currently struggle to reach their potential within a mainstream class. The aim of the provision is to return pupils to a mainstream class once they have acquired the skills to be successful.
Entrance into a language unit (either at Sutton Park Primary, Burlish Park Primary or King Charles I Secondary) is via a placement panel which is formed of representatives from the local authority, the speech and language service and the three schools. Inclusion on the list of pupils for consideration is made by a local school’s SENCO, a child’s speech and language therapist or following an annual review of an Education Health Care (EHC) plan. There is no entry into any of the language units by direct application to the schools.
Initially for the first term a new pupil will be jointly registered with Burlish Park Primary and their local school. However, they will spend all their time at Burlish Park Primary. This is an assessment period to ensure that the pupil is correctly placed and that the language unit is the correct place to meet the pupil’s needs. The joint registration is to ensure that should the pupil be incorrectly placed then a seamless transfer back to their local school can take place. After the first term the pupil is transferred fully to the role at Burlish Park Primary. When the pupil has gained the skills to return to ‘mainstream’ school the panel will be advised and the pupil will leave the language unit. At this point the pupil’s parents will need to find a school to take their child. This may be the pupil’s previous local school, another school of the parents’ choice or, if places are available, some parents choose for their child to remain at Burlish Park Primary.
While a pupil is a member of the language unit they are also assigned to a mainstream class in Burlish Park Primary: they have two classes and two class teachers. The language unit class will be a mixed-age range class potentially including pupils from reception to year six. The ‘mainstream’ class will be in their age appropriate year group. Timetabling tries to ensure that the pupils are taught the main core subjects and have individual targeted speech and language interventions within the language unit, but also have enough time to experience the mainstream setting and a wider curriculum. The aim of the provision is to return pupils to a mainstream setting and this time in a mainstream class is a vital part of their experience: a time to try and apply the skills taught in the small group setting.
The teacher-in-charge of the language unit is Mrs N Thomas, who is also the Leader of Access and inclusion (SENCO) for the whole school. There are two teaching assistants who teach within the language unit Mrs C Holbrook and Mrs M Loach. The Speech and Language Therapist for the language unit is Mrs E Milne who has three ½ day sessions a week with the unit.
Teaching in the language unit takes clear account of the specific needs of individual pupils. Pupils achieve well in the unit. Good links are made with relevant additional professionals. Staff also provide good support to class teachers to enable them to help these pupils achieve well in class. (Ofsted 2017)