SBT at the London SLT Student Placements Partnership annual workshop

Making student placements work

Last week, SBT practice manager Sarah Buckley represented the independent speech and language therapy sector at the annual practice educators’ workshop ‘Collaboration and Innovation in Practice Education’, hosted at UCL’s Chandler House.

The only independent speech and language therapist speaking at the event, Sarah gave one of the afternoon presentations: ‘Making student placements work in the private sector.’

During her talk, Sarah explained why independent practices should offer students placements, the differences between NHS and independent placements, and best practice in managing placement schemes. She also highlighted SBT’s student placement offer, which includes:

  • Ad hoc observation days for work experience
  • Overseas placements
  • Research projects
  • Screening initiatives

Other speakers included Jodie Davies from Whittington Health on sharing experiences and professional skills, Nina Bury from Homerton Hospital NHS Trust on providing positive placements, and UCL’s Sarah Nash on multidisciplinary placements in special schools.

Student placement offers

SBT student placements

SBT has its own student coordinator, Sophie Hay, and this academic year, Sophie has already organised two student placements:

  • Gemma, who is on the second year of an MSc at City University, and was with us from September through to April.
  • Alison, from McGill University in Canada, is currently on a 20-day placement with us until June.

However, they won’t be the last this year, we’re sure!

Disability Confident Committed

Disability Confident Committed

Sarah Buckley Therapies has today been certified a Disability Confident Committed employer.

There are nearly six million people of working age in the UK who are disabled or have a health condition. Overall, the estimated percentage of the population who are disabled is around 19%.

Historically there has been a large gap between the numbers of disabled people employed compared with non-disabled people. In September 2015 the employment rate for non-disabled people was 81% whilst that for disabled people was 46% – giving an ‘employment gap’ of around 35%.

The Disability Confident scheme is designed to encourage employers to recruit and retain disabled people and those with health conditions and replaces the previous Two Ticks Positive About Disabled People scheme.

The government’s Disability Confident scheme explained

As Disability Confident Committed employers, we:

  • Ensure our recruitment process is inclusive and accessible
  • Communicate and promote vacancies
  • Offer interviews to disabled people
  • Anticipate and provide reasonable adjustments as required
  • Support any existing employees who acquire a disability or long-term health condition, enabling them to stay in work
  • Provide at least one activity that will make a difference for disabled people.

SBT has already achieved all these aims, but ‘committed’ is just the first level of the scheme and we intend to progress to further levels in due course.

The SBT Spring 2 2019 newsletter is now available

In the fifth edition of our newsletter we have all of this in store for you:

  • SBT team updates
  • Gemma writes about her Speech and Language Therapy student placement
  • Upcoming training
  • Feedback from our Work Experience workshop

You can read all of that in the newsletter above or download it as a PDF.

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A sad farewell to Grace Maguire

Grace Maguire
Grace Maguire

Sadly, last week we had to say goodbye to Grace, who’s returning to Ireland. We wish her all the best and hope she’ll be able to come back one day! We miss you already!

Farewell to SBT!

I am sorry to say that my time at SBT has come to an end. The past seven months of working here have been amazing and I can’t think of anywhere else I would rather have started my journey as an NQP. The team are all so supportive and lovely, providing the perfect nurturing environment to progress and develop both professionally and personally.

Looking back, I have learned so much and gained skills that will stand to me in the journey ahead. The standard of supervision has been excellent, and my supervisor, Lucy, helped me reflect and continuously re-evaluate my practise in a supportive and encouraging way, allowing me to grow and be the best I could be.

The team have regular socials and the channels of communication are always open meaning that I really felt part of a strong support network. It made learning and developing as an NQP so much easier and enjoyable!

Thank you so much Sarah for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this fantastic team, I will never forget it.

Goodbye for now,

Grace xx

Two new Communication Booster courses for Summer Term

Communication boosters

SBT is going to hold two new Communication Booster training courses in Summer Term. Communication Boosters are designed to provide a combination of information, strategies and top tips to support communication through fun, informative and practical sessions.

This term’s courses are:


1pm-3pm, 3rd May

Non-verbal ASD

1pm-3pm, 5th July

Both courses will be held in Bromley Central Library (High Street, Bromley BR1 1EX). The price for each course is £25 per person.

Download the Communication Booster Booking Form and return it to us by email or post to request your place.

Thanks to everyone who attended our Work Experience workshop

Attendees at the Work Experience Workshop with SBT’s Shivani Lad (centre)

Thanks to everyone who attended our Work Experience Workshop on March 22. It was great to meet such an enthusiastic group, aspiring to study and work in speech and language therapy.

Feedback from attendees included:

“Very informative and interesting”

“Very well presented and easy to engage with”

We look forward to you joining us again to observe an SBT team member in school.

Congratulations to Rebecca on obtaining her Pitman Office Manager Diploma

Rebecca Kemsley in the office

Congratulations to Rebecca on not only obtaining her Pitman Office Manager Diploma but also achieving a distinction.

Rebecca studied a range of modules including Book Keeping, Leadership, Business Communication and Event Management. She’s already been putting her skills to good use at SBT, and is already looking to further training in leadership as her role expands.

Well done, Rebecca!

Rebecca Kemsley celebrates six years at SBT

Sarah Buckley and Rebecca Kemsley
Sarah Buckley and Rebecca Kemsley

Today is my sixth anniversary of working at Sarah Buckley Therapies!

Sarah took me on as a part-time admin assistant in 2013 when the team was just six speech and language therapists. As the team and company expanded, my role within the practice evolved and developed. Diane, who was accounts manager and admin support at the time, showed me the ropes, supporting me in getting to know the ins and outs of the practice.

Sarah has invested and supported me in my career, challenging me to pursue training and studies such as first aid training, a Diploma in Business Administration and most recently I achieved a distinction in an Office Management Diploma!

Personal and professional development is highly regarded within the practice – so much so that it is reflected in the training opportunities offered by SBT and the commitment to supporting SLT students throughout their studies.

In the six years that I have worked at SBT, I have witnessed the company thrive and flourish, leading the way in many aspects of speech and language therapy; Sarah Buckley and every speech and language therapist who has worked at SBT truly has a passion for the profession.

Though I am not a speech therapist myself, I feel devoted to speech and language therapy, the education system and allied health professionals working together to support children and young people.

Thank you Sarah and the SBT team, past and present, for an exceptional six years!