'Due to cutbacks in schools, value for money is everything, and something we were very aware of when reviewing out speech and language provision. The NHS has had a monopoly on speech and language therapists in the past, but with a £42,000 annual bill, we decided it was time to look into other options.
Mable Therapy is an innovative way of delivering the same service, but instead of coming into school, the therapists work from home or at Mable HQ, interacting with pupils via video call, enabling them to offer the service for £22,000 a year.
With this new technology, pupils video call their speech therapist using a webcam and headset, with interactive games and prompts on the screen to engage them further. Parents also get access to the software, enabling them to reinforce learning at home. We have 22 children who have two to three weekly sessions, and they're buzzing like a fridge whenever they use it!
We can track the pupils' progress at the click of a button, which means no paper trails when it comes to funding, and it's easy for staff to view pupil development. Mable holds CPD training sessions with school staff, along with monthly webinars that staff can log into. If a therapist is ill another can easily take the session, and if a child is ill the sessions can be moved around to avoid any blank spaces.
Mable also provided us with a 20-inch screen to use at no cost to the school and it has an expert tech team on hand to help with any issues. They're always at the end of the phone or an email if we need support and are able to resolve problems quickly. We're no longer tied to one provider for provisions like these, and I would encourage schools to explore alternative options. We love Mable at Parklands. Engagement and progress has been fantastic. It's one of the best decisions we've ever made in terms of both cost and impact.'
Chris Dyson, Headteacher, Parklands Primary School, Leeds, Yorkshire (328 pupils)