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Speech and Language Therapy Assistant

Arden CollegeSefton

Arden Care & College, Southport, Merseyside, PR9 0TZ

Arden College is situated on 2 sites in Southport, a vibrant and cultured town on the west coast of Lancashire. The college makes the most of its position and much of the extended college curriculum is located within the community and vocational settings within the region. Arden is a specialist college for students aged 16-25 with autism, complex learning difficulties and challenging behaviours. Some of the students live in one of our eight residential homes in the local community. Individual College programmes of day or residential  support are available as either 38 of 52 week placements. The college and residential provision work in line with the Preparing for Adulthood Agenda in promoting the health needs, independence skills, employability and community inclusion of the students.

Arden college provides an inclusive and therapeutic environment that supports students with their individualised communication, sensory and behavioural needs.

Arden college is inspected by OFSTED and is graded as Good (2019).  Under new leadership, the college is seeking to further develop its specialism in autism and is working towards an outstanding future for its students and staff.

About the role:

This is an exciting opportunity for promotion within the staff team at Arden college and residential care.  We are offering this opportunity for the right candidate to progress their career in a therapeutic specialism to work alongside our therapy team.  This role will be developed over time to include support for students and staff in both the college and care settings.

Principal duties may include, but may not be limited to those below:

  • Setting up and maintaining communication systems for students – based on direct work/collaborating with the Speech and language Therapist and College/Residential  staff to identify what type of system is required (objects, photographs, or symbols), and format (symbol keyring, symbol book, choice boards, etc)
  • Producing communication systems using Picture Communication Symbols from the Boardmaker software programme, photographs, and objects and training staff to do the same.
  • Ensuring individual communication systems are maintained and available for each student e.g. ensuring vocabulary in symbol book is relevant.
  • Auditing communication systems to ensure standards remain high.
  • Ensuring students have access to effective communication systems including objects of reference
  • Developing and embedding communication approaches amongst staff teams – e.g. total communication approach, key word level understanding.
  • Collaborating with the Speech and Language Therapist to develop communication systems, social stories, comic strip conversations, talking mats and social skills programmes.
  • Collaborating with therapists to inform Speech and language Therapy assessments e.g. observations from the sessions/direct work done
  • Modelling the use of communication strategies, e.g. burst-pause, sentence completion, forced alternatives for staff and pupils
  • Delivering 1:1 programmes, e.g. colourful semantics, key word listening to pupils.
  • Delivering small group social skills programmes
  • Modelling and delivering specialist Speech and language approaches, e.g. intensive interaction, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
  • Writing reports for a range of purposes.
  • Providing training for staff.
  • Supporting the development of outstanding autism practise throughout the service

This is a full-time, permanent (40 hours per week) post and can be offered as either term time or a full year contract.

Experience of working with students with complex communication needs is essential.

The successful candidate must have good written and spoken communication skills, good interpersonal skills and be able to work well within a staff team.

She/he must be aware of her/his own strengths and areas for development and be proactive in filling their own gaps in knowledge.

All relevant training will be provided and the successful candidate must be willing to engage with this.

Should you wish to discuss this opportunity further please contact Siobhan Partington.


For all roles we require a minimum of two references.  References provided must cover the last 3 years, for all of our services we will need to request all references from where you have worked with either Children or Vulnerable Adults. Please be advised that references may be requested prior to interview for roles within our schools.

About us

From education to hospitals, care homes and secure facilities, the Priory Group of Companies offers individually tailored, multidisciplinary treatment programmes for those with complex educational needs or requiring acute, long-term and respite mental healthcare.


Priory Education Services is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. All applicants must be willing to undergo safeguarding screening appropriate to the post, including checks with past employers and disclosures with the relevant body at an enhanced level. We are an equal opportunities employer. Priory Education and Children's services will cover the cost of a DBS.

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