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Email: info@stammeringineducation.net

Whole-school policy

Casual encounters with teaching or support staff in the corridors, or ancillary areas, often cause distress to pupils who stammer, as they are expected to talk to adults who may assume that they can do so easily.

Occasionally, their failure to reply may be seen as rudeness and a complaint may even be made to the guidance teacher. Some pupils may get a reputation for misbehaviour and start to live up to that if they feel that their needs are misunderstood.

In the clip, the new janitor, talking in the corridor to the two girls, does not personally know them but he follows good practice when Emma stammers as she replies. 

All teaching and support staff should be included in basic training on speech, language and communications needs, such as stammering (SLCN), preferably as part of an induction programme, so that they are alert to the possibility that a pupil may have a stammer and have the knowledge to give support.

This requires a whole-staff training policy for teachers, assistants, office, dining room, library staff, janitorial and cleaning staff, and volunteers working with the pupils. 

  • Pupils who stammer should be expected to behave as politely as other students but the acceptance by all staff for all pupils of alternative methods of communicating should be emphasised.
  • Greetings should be acceptable when offered by gesture, nodding, smiling, as well as conventional speaking.
  • Gestures, such as pointing to food in the dining-room or to an individual library book, should be permitted.
  • PSD/PSE programmes could be developed to include these issues and develop an understanding and acceptance of diversity.

Summary

  • All staff and volunteers should be trained to follow a consistent school policy to support the SCLN of all pupils. This sensitivity should be extended to communication with parents and the school community as statistically some of these adults will have a communication difficulty.
  • There should be whole-school acceptance of alternative methods of communication. 
  • PSD/PSE programmes for pupils could include these issues.

The new janitor follows good practice when talking with the pupil who stammers.