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Mainstream Language Unit


About the Mainstream Language Unit

Specialist Language Class in Worcestershire 


What do we offer in our specialist language class? 

Children attend language class full time and every class is situated within a mainstream school. Each class offers: 

Access to the same curriculum as mainstream peers 

Specialist teaching and a high staff to pupil ratio 

Direct intervention from the Speech and Language Therapy team 

Collaborative planning and target setting between teachers, therapists and parents

• Opportunities for inclusion into mainstream lessons, activities and social events 

What is our aim? 

For children to return to their local mainstream setting without needing ongoing speech and language therapy, and where Speech, Language & Communication Needs are no longer a barrier to their learning potential.

What are the admissions criteria for language class? 

In order to be considered for language class provision, children: 

Are known to Herefordshire and Worcestershire Speech and Language Therapy Service

Have specific and significant speech and language difficulties 

Have cognitive skills within the average range 

Have received intervention from a Speech and Language Therapist and still require ongoing specialist support

• Do not require an EHCP in order to access this provision 

How does my child get a place? 

The referral is made by the child’s Speech and Language Therapist to the Local Authority, who will check that the initial criteria are met. They will then forward the referral to the language class panel for consideration for placement.

• Where there are no vacancies at the time of referral, the child will be put on a waiting list.

• Staff from the local language class will contact parents to invite them to visit the provision.

• Where this would be helpful, a functional assessment is carried out by language class staff in the child’s current setting.

• Termly multi-agency meetings take place to discuss children entering and leaving language class.

What our typical day looks like:

• Welcome and register in Mainstream Language Class

• Assembly

Morning sessions in MLU include:

• English (Reading & Writing & Phonics)

• Maths

• Lunchtime

Afternoon sessions in mainstream include all other areas of curriculum (e.g. History, Geography, Music, PE, PSHE, RE, Science, Art, Design & Technology)

• Afternoon 1:1/ small group sessions/ support delivered by the MLU team and Speech and Language Therapist

• End of day – leave from mainstream class.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sutton Park Primary has a Mainstream Language Unit with places available for 10 pupils. These 10 places are commissioned by Worcestershire Local Authority for pupils from across the Wyre Forest area, identified as having specific and significant Speech, Language and Communication Needs. Our pupils here are very much part of our highly inclusive school and follow the same curriculum as their peers at the level appropriate to their need. We have high expectations of all our pupils and take great pride in seeing their progress and confidence in their communication flourish during their time with us. These pupils have the potential to access mainstream education but currently struggle to reach their potential within a mainstream class primarily due to their Speech, Language and Communication Needs. The aim of the provision is to return pupils to a mainstream provision once they have acquired the speech and language skills to be successful.

Frequently Asked Questions:

‘How Do I Get A Place in the Language Unit for My Child?’

The referral for the Language Unit should be made by the child’s Speech and Language Therapist, who will check that the initial criteria are met. If they are, the Local Authority will forward the referral paperwork to the Language Unit Panel Admissions Team for consideration for placement. Pupils with an Education Health Care (EHC) plan with primary needs of Speech, Language and Communication may also be referred this way. Entrance into a language unit is via this placement panel. There is no entry into any of the language units by direct application to the school.

‘What Happens When They Attend the Mainstream Language Unit?’

Initially for the first term a new pupil will be dual registered with Sutton Park Primary and their local school. However, they will spend all their time at Sutton Park Primary. This is an assessment period to ensure that the pupil is correctly placed, and that the language unit is the appropriate place to meet the pupil’s needs. The dual registration is to ensure that should the pupil be incorrectly placed then a seamless transfer back to their local school can take place. After the first term if the placement is appropriate, the pupil is transferred fully to the roll at Sutton Park Primary.

While a pupil is a member of the Language Unit, they are also assigned to a mainstream class in Sutton Park Primary: they have two classes and two class teachers. The Language Unit class will be a mixed-age range class potentially including pupils from reception year to year six. The mainstream class will be in their age appropriate year group.

Timetabling tries to ensure that the pupils receive specialist teaching in the main core subjects and have individual targeted speech and language interventions within the Language Unit, but also have enough time to experience the mainstream setting and a wider curriculum. The aim of the provision is to return pupils to a mainstream setting and this time in a mainstream class is a vital part of their experience: a time to try and apply the skills taught in the small group setting.

‘When Is it time for my child to leave the Mainstream Language Unit?’

Once the pupil has gained the speech, language and communication skills needed to return to mainstream school the panel will be advised, and the pupil will leave the Language Unit. At this point the pupil’s parents will need to find a school to take their child. This may be the pupil’s previous local school, another school of the parents’ choice or, if places are available, some parents choose for their child to remain at Sutton Park Primary.

‘Who works in the Mainstream Language Unit?’

The teacher-in-charge of the language unit is Mrs L Harris. Miss Duignan is the SENDCo for the whole school. There are two teaching assistants who teach within the language unit - Mrs J Liggitt and Mrs M Jones. The Speech and Language Therapist for the language unit is Miss L Chatterton who has three ½ day sessions a week within the unit.

‘Where can I find helpful information for my child with Speech, Language & Communication Needs (SLCN)?’

Parental advice sites:

Curriculum Maps









Useful Links






Contact Us

Sutton Park Primary School,
Greatfield Road,
DY11 6PH

01562 67742