Private / Independent Speech and Language Therapist for Schools and Child / Family work, covering Somerset and surrounding counties (including Bath, Frome, South Bristol, Yeovil, Trowbridge)



Quality Assurance, Accountability & Indemnity

I am a fully qualified and registered Speech and Language Therapist ('Speech and Language Therapist' is a protected title). I have a Bachelor of Science degree with honours in Human Communication Sciences (from University College London in 2000). I have worked for local authority services for 12 years.  This has given me wide ranging professional development and a deep understanding of supporting children and families, and the complex issues involved.  

Having now left statutory services, and entered into independent services, commissioners are rightly drawn to question the integrity of independent practitioners. I assure commissioners that my values, attitudes and commitment remain the same now that I am an independent practitioner. I recognises that the reputation of TalkOut and the services I offer through the company, rely on my active demonstration of and commitment to these values, as reflected in my day-to-day practice.

Continued professional development is critically important to me. Speech and Language Therapy is both a professional and a personal passion. My central desire to improve children's outcomes requires that I keep abreast of current research and as such, I view my career as a continuous journey, constantly challenging and widening my professional knowledge and understanding. It is a requirement of my registration with the Health Professionals Council (HPC) and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) that I demonstrate my commitment to professional development, for example, completing an online diary, detailing my CPD activities, outcomes and length of time spent involved in CPD activities. I am also required by the HPC and RCSLT to engage in regular supervision and evidence this. In addition, because of the specific issues involved for independent SLTs, I am a member of the Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice (ASLTIP). This is also of great benefit as it means I am part of a wide network of experienced independent Speech and Language Therapists, which is of great support, particularly when dealing with unusual children or circumstances. 

My professional indemnity insurance is part of my RCSLT membership. I am accountable to the HPC and the RCSLT.

Search my memberships:You can search online to validate my current memberships of HPC, RCSLT and ASLTIP.

About the HPC: The HPC regulate health and care professionals in the UK and were set up to protect the public. They only register professionals who meet their standards for their training, professional skills and behaviour. They can take action against health professionals who fall below these standards. They can also prosecute those who pretend to be registered.  HPC publish professional standards that all professionals on their register need to adhere to - this includes a requirement to keep a detailed written log of all CPD activities, which HPC can request to see. - input either my surname 'Kayum' or HPC registration number SL07728. 

 About the RCSLT: The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) is the professional body for speech and language therapists in the UK; providing leadership and setting professional standards. They provide CPD opportunities, a journal and bulletin.  The RCSLT provides an insurance policy that indemnifies all its practising members in the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. This covers proven liability arising from alleged professional negligence, breach of professional conduct and damage to property (there is no search for individual members on this site).

About ASLTIP: The Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice (ASLTIP) provides information on independent Speech and Language Therapy throughout the UK and supports Speech and Language Therapists in independent practice.  It is a requirement of the HPC that anyone wishing to join ASLTIP provides a named supervisor and comits to supervision. - input my postcode BA4 5NJ and click on any age-range between 0 - 16 years.


Working in partnership

When I work within a school, I am aware that I am entering into a child's community. I welcome questions, professional challenging and discussions - this all leads to a common understanding and enables effective working relationships. As a professional working within a school, I enter with the humility required to work as part of the team, towards a common goal - improving outcomes for children, particularly vulnerable children. I am always open to honest feedback - this attitude supports me to constantly reflect on and develop the quality of my work and keep children's outcomes central to the services I offer. 

Consistency - I deliver all TalkOut services personally. The children benefit from seeing the same therapist throughout the course of treatment - ensuring the continuity and quality required for effective progress.  The staff and I mutually benefit from building trusting relationships and awareness of each others' skills and roles - enabling us to work effectively together to meet the needs of the children.

A reliable and complete service - I take a holistic view of the needs and provision for children with additional speech, language and communication needs. I work dynamically to advise and implement strategies that improve children's outcomes. I provide assessment, diagnosis, report writing, attendance at reviews, IEP target writing, treatment plans and therapy. I offer a range of off-site training courses, including TalkOut short courses and a number of Elklan OCN accredited courses. I can also provide the required training and facilitation to enable schools to achieve the Elklan 'Communication Friendly Schools Status', which is nationally accredited by OCN and comes with its own recognized 'kite mark' and certificate, to make your commitment to communication very visible. I also offer bespoke training and am available to provide inservice days to schools. 

Strengthening your school - In addition to supporting individual children, the services I provide through Talkout strengthen schools in the long term. By working in respectful partnership alongside staff members (offering training and facilitating workshops according to needs), staff develop a shared understanding and capacity to respond effectively to children with Speech, Language and Communication Needs. This drives a culture which in turn supports all of the children in a school to flourish and achieve their potential.

A wide perspective of communication needs - language, speech and communication skills are a requirement of accessing the curriculum. Some children on your SEN register will have communication needs and clearly need specialist support from a Speech and Language Therapist. Other children - those with low-level need, vulnerable children, children who are underachieving - would benefit from a whole-school approach that would target development of their:

  • Language and communication skills
  • Underlying phonological awareness (sound phonological awareness skills allow children to access and benefit from synthetic phonics programs)
  • Social involvement and participation and promoting self-esteem. 

This approach is particularly pertinent to those schools covering areas of deprivation.  I have extensive experience working with children from socially deprived home situations and have strategies to develop communication skills in children where there is history of attachment disorder, early trauma (such as domestic violence), neglect or low opportunities for quality early interactions. 

Complementary to other SLT services - TalkOut can build on the services you already buy in or are provided with - giving you a more robust and flexible approach in providing for children's communications needs at school.

Specialist support for a wide range of communication needs - As an experienced Therapist who has continuously developed professional skills, I have deep knowledge of many specialisms. I can offer support for a wide range of communication difficulties, including disorders and delays of speech and language (including dyspraxia, phonological delay or disorder, specific language impairment), autistic spectrum disorders, selective mutism and stammering. 

Transparent fee structure - The hours the school pays for are the hours I work for the school. There are no hidden costs. The school is not charged additional time or expenses for travel, costs of assessment forms or any other expenses.  Schools committing to a contract with TalkOut, can also use my time to provide training for the school, as required and at no additional cost (with the exception of Elklan Courses, which have a set fee).  Please contact me for a copy of the current fee structure.

Arrange a free consultation visit

To arrange a free consultation visit, which could be with the head teacher and/or the school SENCO, please either ring 07521 323639, or email would be a very informal session where we come together to discuss the communication needs of the children in your school and options for developing your communication support for children. There is no obligation or pressure to take up any of the services.

I do hope this information has demonstrated the range of services which Talkout can offer and the value it can add to the life of your school and the children.

With kind regards

Gemma Kayum - Speech and Language Therapist- TalkOut