Olivia Garner, Research Officer
Anneka Dawson, Principal Research Fellow
  1. Perceived impacts on practitioners: Both approaches showed that through training and coaching sessions with the SLT, practitioners had increased their understanding of children’s speech and language and learned skills to interact with the children to support their development. There were also changes made to the nursery environment, as practitioners shared their learnings, facilitated by nursery managers. The one-to-one coaching sessions allowed practitioners to further embed ideas and strategies and reflect on their own practice, reinforcing learning. The presence of a SLT in the setting and through the coaching was the central value of the programme and practitioners and nursery managers alike valued the SLT’s input and expertise.
  2. Perceived impacts on children: Both programmes appeared to be universal interventions which practitioners felt supported the language of all children at their settings but were particularly beneficial for targeted approaches with children who were struggling or had additional support needs, e.g. children with English as an Additional Language (EAL) or shyer children. Improved language and communication skills also had benefits for personal, social and emotional development with increased turn-taking and verbal negotiation between children.
  3. Barriers to working with PVIs: Staff shortages due to Covid-19 and the time commitment required meant there were some issues with releasing staff to take part in the training or coaching, and this was made extra challenging as staff could not be transferred between rooms or bubbles. There were also barriers around the use of technology, including some technical issues with accessing training, coaching and learning material e.g. filming videos. Overall, staff and programme deliverers adapted relatively well to the need for remote learning.

Considerations for working with PVIs in future:

  • Providing settings with resources e.g. printing materials in preparation.
  • Delivery of training and coaching delivery should be face- to- face wherever possible.
  • It may be practical to use a venue local to settings if they have limited space or availability.
  • Managers should liaise with staff to determine key priorities for training.




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Institute for Employment Studies

Institute for Employment Studies

The Institute for Employment Studies is a centre for research and evidence-based consultancy in employment and human resource policy and practice.

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