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Hard health and soft schools : research designs to evaluate SLT work in schools

McCartney, Elspeth (2004) Hard health and soft schools : research designs to evaluate SLT work in schools. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 20 (2). pp. 101-114. ISSN 0265-6590

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While systems approaches are useful for evaluating speech and language therapists' (SLT) work in individual school contexts, there is a need to undertake studies detailing in a replicable format the interventions offered to children and for studies at all levels to assess whether these interventions work, using validated scientific techniques. There is a demand for such studies to meet the National Health Service objective of using evidence-based approaches, which offer the best interventions available. Education researchers are being asked to address similar issues, and an overview is given of the type and levels of research used in the two sectors. It is suggested that health and education research are moving closer together and that SLTs in schools should undertake exploratory, group and cohort studies to further develop effective therapies.