Speech, Language and Communication Progression Tools -
What are the Speech, Language and Communication Progression
We know some children can have speech,
language and communication needs (SLCN) that can impact
on their ability to listen, understand and express
themselves. However, it's not always easy to judge how well
a child is progressing with these skills; children may
have good skills in one area whilst struggling in
The Progression Tools aim to support teaching staff to
identify children who may be struggling to develop their
speech, language and communication skills. They can also
be used to track progression of these skills over time or
The Tools are based on theoretical information on typical
language development and also the Universally
Speaking booklets. They aim to provide a relatively
quick way of determining where children are against
where they should be for their age and provide more
information about how these vital skills
The Tools are not a diagnostic tool and do not in any way
replace the detailed speech, language and communication
assessment by a speech and language therapist that some
children will need. However, they will give you information
to help decide whether children would benefit from a
targeted intervention or whether they need
specialist assessment and support.
Please click here to
view our 'How to Use the Progression Tools' video.
Please click here to download more frequently asked
Please click here to download a 'Top Tips' sheet to
help you use the Tool.
How were the Tools developed?
The Progression Tools were developed
by specialists in speech, language and communication in
collaboration with mainstream teachers, teaching assistants, SENCOs
and school leadership teams. They have been tested on a large
number of mainstream schools, on a range of children.
The feedback we have received has been
invaluable in shaping the final suite of Tools.
Who should use them?
The Tools are for non speech and
language specialists who regularly work with children in a school
setting, such as teachers and teaching assistants. We recommend
careful reading of the instructions and familiarisation with
the Tool before using it directly with children.
"Again, the year that's just gone,
we did our own [assessment] using the Speech and Language
assessment [progression] tool and again, we were able
to use that to ability group our children, so when we were doing
the communication groups, they were pitched at the right levels,
and again we've seen an increase this year on the amount of
children that were leaving with age-related communication
Benchill Primary School, Wythenshawe
When should I use them?
Some schools have used the Progression Tools with whole class
groups to help them understand the level of speech, language and
communication skills across year groups. Others have trialled them
with specific groups of children who have either gone on to have a
targeted intervention or have been referred on to speech and
On each child's scoring form, there is space for you to repeat
the tool at a later date (repeating the tool is optional and can be
used to monitor progress or following an intervention). We would
recommend waiting at least a term before repeating the tool with
the same child.
What do the Tools look like and how do I order?
There are 8 Progression Tools, which
highlight children and young people's language skills at the
following key ages of development: 3, 4, 5-6, 7-8,
9-10 in early years and primary school, and 11-12, 13-14 and
16-18 in secondary school. They are based on research with
clear information about expected milestones.
Each Tool contains a colour booklet with instructions on how to
use it, questions to ask the children, guidance on how to observe
their behaviour, and methods to track the results. It also contains
black and white versions of the questions and observations sections
and the scoring tables for you to photocopy as many times as you
wish for the number of children you use the Tool with.
Please click here to order your copy at a price of £29.99
plus postage and packaging. If you order a set of the Primary Progression Tools you
will get a 15% discount.
The following Tools are currently available to order:
For more information about the age 3 Tool, please click here.
For more information about the secondary Tools, please
If you have any enquiries about the Progression Tools please
contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.