Skip to content

View navigation

An initiative of Leeds Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Department, LCFS standard aims to embed effective communication skills though out your setting to enable children to achieve their academic potential. In an age of communication, getting the fundamentals right for everyone has never been more important. LCFS is designed to work at your pace over two years. By achieving the standard, you will have:

  • Developed your environment so it is communication friendly
  • Ensured opportunities for communication are common practice throughout your day
  • Quality adult interaction that is effective in supporting children in all areas of language development regardless of learning ability
  • Independent and communicative children
  • An ethos in the school that ensures communication is a core business strategy and practices are underpinned by an ongoing management commitment

By working on these skills together, it ensures that work completed by your Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) for individual children with speech and language communication needs is easily accessible and there is an understanding of how to support the child throughout the day, not just in a limited time with the SLT.

Start with principle 1, receive a range of quality resources and with the support of a Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist we will guide you on your journey to achieving the Leeds Communication Friendly Setting Standard, through audits, training and ongoing availability of advice as needed.

The Principles

  • Relating to physical and learning environment

    Use principle one to create consistency across your setting with visuals and timetables that promote independence for everyone. Your children who are new to English or have speech and language communication needs will be able to thrive when the classrooms are communication friendly. Settings who have achieved principle one, have reported a reduction in challenging behaviour.


  • Relating to structured opportunities available within the school day

    With the environment set up for effective communication, we now look at the opportunities adults create to communicate, so children feel valued and well being can be monitored more closely, making them even more ready for learning.


  • Relating to ways adults talk to children

    Do staff pause, use comments alongside questions and how do they promote vocabulary development within all their lessons? These questions and many more are answered again through audit, joint target setting and the bespoke training that accompanies every visit and audit.


  • The easiest people to change are ourselves, so with principles 1-3 embedded in the first 12 to 18 months of the Leeds Communication Friendly Setting journey, we now see how much more enriched the language of your children is becoming. The remaining training sessions can be used to enhance your staff’s knowledge even further.


  • Leeds Communication Friendly Setting standards can be delivered from the bottom up (classroom by classroom) or we can start with management as a top down approach. When top down and bottom up approaches are combined, we truly have our best results. Whichever way is right for your school, principle 5 will help you compile key documents you can proudly share with OFSTED and other outside agencies to demonstrate your commitment to communication and speech and language communication friendly setting standards.



  • As a teacher I feel more confident in supporting all the children in my class learn new vocabulary, but especially the children with speech, language and communication needs.

  • We never realised what we didn’t know about communication.

  • The principles are clear and I really like the fact they are ‘bite size’ so you can do as many or as few at one time as your staff can handle, especially with the continually changing pressures in the life of a head teacher.

  • I would definitely recommend Leeds Communication Friendly Setting standards, we have noticed an improvement in the quality of conversation from both our children and our staff!

  • The bespoke training was fun, enlightening and really benefited all the staff. It was great that the lunch time staff were able to join it, bringing the whole team together.

  • By using the visuals consistently across our day, the children have already become more independent and their behaviour is much more settled.

  • Thank you for your time and introducing us to Leeds Communication Friendly Setting standards, the impact on the children has been really positive. Instructions around school are followed so much better since the training.

  • We have learned how to create an inclusive learning environment that allows children to be independent and develop their communication skills.

  • It’s great to have a whole school approach that focuses on all children having the same opportunities. I feel it has developed a more inclusive ethos across school.

  • Staff feel more confident in teaching children with a range of Special Educational Needs. They have seen the difference in their classroom, a clearer environment and a more positive response from pupils.

Contact Details

Kate MacCowan, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist
Tel: 07732 802293

Contact and Referral Details

View our contact and referral page

What to do if you need to speak to someone urgently...