Skip to content

View navigation

What is the Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Traded Service?

The Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Traded Service describes the opportunity for settings to enhance or ‘trade’ in order to increase the amount of support that they have in settings. This is over and above the NHS mainstream service. The NHS Speech and Language Therapy service allows for children to be offered support and be prioritised according to their individual need. This may include a re-assessment, a package of direct 1:1 intervention, group sessions, or specific advice and recommendations for parents and/or school staff to carry out. Appointments for assessment and/or intervention can be offered in school or clinic settings.

The support that the Traded Service provides is individual to each setting. We can help a setting to decide what will meet the needs of their pupils and staff by talking through various options. The list below is not exhaustive, but gives some idea of what we can deliver:

  • Screening for children on entry into nursery or foundation stage.
  • Direct 1:1 and group evidence-based intervention.
  • Development of the skills and capacity of all staff through formal or informal training.
  • Engaging parents to actively participate in their child’s speech and language development.
  • Trialling of new evidence-based practices for whole school communication approaches to empower settings to implement change.
  • Providing detailed assessments and reports.
  • Supporting teachers to differentiate the curriculum.
  • Onward referrals to, and ongoing liaison with, appropriate involved professionals.
  • Provision of data for senior leadership teams and governors, evidencing the impact of targeted intervention

We will discuss with you the amount and type of support your setting will need and will work flexibly to meet the identified needs of the setting staff and children. For primary and high schools we have a minimum contract of one session per week (3.75 hours). We feel that contracts of less than this amount do not benefit settings / children and impact is not easily demonstrated.  All our staff working in traded settings are specialist speech and language therapists. This means that they have a minimum of two years post qualification experience and the large majority of them have considerably more.

Traded Services is not a new concept to the Leeds Speech and Language Therapy Service. Specialist Inclusive Learning Centres have commissioned additional speech and language therapy services for over 15 years and mainstream schools for 10 years.

Our service is dynamic and forward thinking and we promote and encourage innovation and new initiatives to enhance evidence-based practice.

If you commission support from our service this guarantees that our staff will:

  • Work as part of a large service (100+ members of staff) which has a long history and a nationally recognised reputation for delivering high quality services to settings.
  • Work in a service which has a broad range of highly specialist speech and language therapy clinicians who are available for second opinions and who can provide support to therapists working in settings.
  • Have direct access to clinical specialist individuals and teams (e.g. paediatricians, audiology, Child Development Centre colleagues) from the wider NHS services to enable a holistic view of a child’s difficulties.
  • Have access to and input into one shared care NHS patient record for each child we support.
  • Have access to outside agencies with which we have long standing, effective relationships e.g. STARS, SENIT, SENSAP, social care, etc.
  • Have quarterly clinical supervision as a mandatory requirement. This professionally supportive framework ensures high quality safe practice.
  • Level 3 Leeds Safeguarding Children Board training as mandatory for all staff and quarterly safeguarding supervision.
  • Have a minimum of three year’s post graduate experience.

The cost for Traded Speech and Language Therapy will vary according to how much time your setting needs and what level of expertise you require from the service. For example, some settings choose to buy half a day per week but many value the impact that one day per week term time only makes to its pupils.

There are benefits to joining with neighbouring settings and/or buying in support as a cluster. Where one setting agrees to be the contract holder on behalf of the other settings, Leeds Community Healthcare can offer a percentage reduction on the overall cost of the contract. The minimum number of settings required to trigger this reduction is five.

By having a therapist on site, we have upskilled staff via training sessions, facilitated parent/therapist meetings, provided some children with much needed regular therapy and also accessed other medical professionals whose assessments have led to a diagnosis in some cases. - Andrea Salter, SENCo, Westerton Primary School

Our therapist is really part of our staff team and has a very good relationship with children, staff and parents, all of whom really value her input. - Sarah Parry, Deputy Head, St Peter’s CE Primary School

Together we have built up a robust early identification process, trained staff to high standards and established regular effective interventions. - Jane Wilson, SENCo, Hunslet Carr Primary School

Interested? Here's what to do next:

We recognise that buying speech and language therapy for your school needs to be as easy and straightforward as possible. In order to do this, we need to make sure that the service you are commissioning from us is bespoke to the needs of your school and pupils. If you would like to know more about buying in additional speech and language therapy, please talk to a member of our staff visiting school in the first instance or contact our Children's Speech and Language Therapy Traded Team on 0113 843 3601 or email

Once you give us confirmation you want to proceed, we will draw up a detailed service specification which describes the service that you are buying. The contractual performance measures will allow you to assess the benefits of the additional support to benefit your pupils and staff.

Contact Details

Contact our CSLT Traded Team on 0113 843 3601 or email

Contact and Referral Details

Contact and referral page

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