A visit to Newcastle….

At the GM School Readiness Summit in February 2019, Children and Families Minister, Nadhim Zahawi spoke about the government’s investment in training for over 1,000 health visitors to support children‘s early language and communication needs and how Health Visitors in 5 areas of the country (Derbyshire, Newham, Middlesborough, Wakefield and Wiltshire) will trial a new early language assessment tool being developed by the University of Newcastle, led by Professor James Law with a planned rollout in late 2020.

More details are in the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-training-for-health-visitors-to-boost-early-language-skills

In May 2019, a small group of GM colleagues went to meet with Professor James Law to find out more about the early language assessment and how this might be used alongside the WellComm Language Toolkit which is the evidence based assessment tool included in the GM 8 stage assessment model and used my most of the GM areas. It was a really helpful meeting and we are keen to maintain our links with Professor Law. He was very interested in our use of the WellComm language toolkit and encouraged us to write up some case studies and analyse the WellComm data that has been collected in some localities.

More information will be shared at the EOF ‘ GM Pathways to Talking’ launch on 13th June and hopefully we can have a useful discussion about how we can align early years assessment tools across GM and continue to effectively use WellComm as the shared communication and language toolkit (including the big book of ideas) across health visiting services, early years settings and schools.

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