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Glinette Woods, I CAN Licensee, tells us about her experience working with I CAN and what being a Licensee means to her

I first heard about I CAN and their work 32 years ago, whilst working in a Language Unit in the London Borough Havering. I am now retired however I worked previously as an Inclusion Advisor, specialising in speech and language. Working closely with therapists I was able to assess children’s needs, advise schools on interventions and help them to measure progress, for over 10 years. This professional experience gave me a strong understanding of the provision of special education and the education of children with speech and language difficulties. I have spent the last five years training with I CAN and now hold licenses for Early Talk Boost, Talk Boost KS1, Talk Boost KS2 and Primary Talk.

Part of the motivation to train to become an I CAN Licensee was to spread the word and get as many schools on board as possible. Having worked in education for years, I am well aware of the range of speech, language and communication needs in schools and how important it is that staff members are properly trained in how best to support children and young people with their speech and language. I found the training clear and well organised. It was particularly helpful to see how the package was initially constructed, how it was developed and the research behind the initial concept.

I know the training has a really positive impact in helping school staff to understand the variety of ways to support all children in class with speech and language and the impact is clearly evident. The majority of schools I trained still continue to use Talk Boost KS1 which is testament to the success of the programmes and how accessible they are.

My experience with I CAN has been fantastic! I love being a Licensee, despite being retired this role allows me to utilise my previous experience and help train others to support children with speech and language needs. Working as an independent Licensee is not always easy and at times it can be hard to generate interest, but its early days as I have only been retired since last October. However I have received requests via the I CAN website map and I am currently pursuing new opportunities in my local area. I have trained numerous schools in Talk Boost KS1 including most of the schools in Barking and Dagenham as well as a few outside the borough, along with six schools in Primary Talk. I’ve also trained several in Early Talk Boost and have one booked for Talk Boost KS2. I’ve lost count of the number of staff members I’ve trained which can only be a good thing! The majority of participants are hugely enthusiastic and I find Teaching Assistants are particularly engaged.

The feedback following training has been hugely positive so far, with schools reporting significant progress in their pupils and revealing how much more confident they are. It’s great to hear firsthand the difference these interventions are making and that I play a role in making this happen.

I would definitely recommend becoming a Licensee to my colleagues, I have told lots of people about the training and I will continue to do so. The interventions are easy to deliver, clear and informative. I’ve never been asked a question whilst training that I couldn’t answer. I CAN are incredibly supportive and encourage all their Licensees to stay in touch and remain engaged. The Licensee network is an invaluable scheme and I would encourage anyone to get involved.