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Speech and language difficulties

Pre-school speech and language

The pre-school speech and language service provides assessment, diagnosis, and interventions for children with speech, language and communication difficulties, and eating and swallowing disorders.

Drop-in clinics are held in children's centres. These are the first point of contact for assessment and advice, if there are concerns regarding children’s speech, language and communication skills. The team work with parents, carers, nurseries and multi-disciplinary teams to provide high quality therapy to children. Specialist advice and training is provided for parents, carers and other professionals.


The service is available to children up to reception age, who live in Enfield or are registered to a GP in Enfield.

Accessing the service 

The service can be accessed via the drop-in clinics. These are advertised in local nurseries, children’s centres, or information gained from the speech and language therapy department. Children with complex needs may be referred by the children’s development centre.

Following a drop-in session, we aim to see all children for therapy within 13 weeks. Families will receive a letter inviting them to attend therapy two weeks before the appointment.

Help you can receive

Depending on your child’s needs, you may be referred to:

  • Talk Activity, a ten-week course with three parent workshops about speech, language and communication development. The next seven sessions support parents and their children with planned activities to help language development and achieve individual aims
  • Specific Care Pathways for speech, language and communication needs. In group sessions we support the development of language and social skills. Each group has around six children and lasts 4 to 6 weeks, with a follow-up if needed

Individual support is also available for children with the most severe and complex needs.

Children starting school

Children will be reviewed before they start school in September. The school will then be given advice about what support will benefit your child in their development.

For more information, visit the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Trust.

School-age speech and language

School-age speech and language services are jointly funded by Health and the council. Speech and language therapists are allocated to mainstream schools and specialist provisions, though some schools also employ their own therapists.

Every mainstream school has a speech and language therapist who works closely with the school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) to  screen for possible difficulties as early as possible, and set up interventions to support children using the school’s own resources.


Any child is eligible if:

  • they attend an Enfield school from reception upwards
  • live in Enfield but attend a school outside of the borough, including independent schools or home-schooling situations

Special schools and Additionally Resourced Provision

Each of these settings has an allocated SLT who works very closely with school staff to support children in this setting. Details can be found in each school’s SEN information report on their website. The SLT works in class in order to support embedding language and communication targets into the curriculum.

Accessing the service 

Your child’s teacher and the SENCo  will discuss what intervention they think your child will benefit from and whether a referral to speech and language services would help. If your child attends an out of borough or independent school, or is home schooled, you can refer to this care pathway yourself.

Your child will be seen within three terms of the referral, although most children are seen much quicker. Urgent referrals will be seen within six weeks.

The SENCo in your child’s school will let you know when the therapist is due to see your child and will arrange an appointment for you to meet them. If your child attends an out of borough or independent school, or is home schooled, you will receive a letter or phone call directly from the department.

For more information, visit the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Trust or contact the team on 020 8375 2945. 

You can also visit RALLI campaign on YouTube for videos of young people with specific language impairment, talking about their needs, what specific language impairment is, and how it is identified.

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