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Janet Stephens

A headshot of Janet Stephens

Module Leader, Speech Language and Communication Needs,
Speech and Language Therapist (SLT)

Janet Stevens is an experienced Speech and Language Therapist (SLT). After studying French at Sussex University, she did voluntary work with Barnados and was a police officer for five years.

Returning to work after having children, she got a position as a French language tutor at Portsmouth Polytechnic, before retraining at UCL and gaining a Masters degree in Speech and Language Pathology and Therapy. 

She has worked extensively with the NHS in southern Hampshire, as a community paediatric practitioner, supporting children and their families from birth through to 19 years old. This has included work in clinics, Surestart Centres, infant, primary and secondary schools and colleges.

Janet has worked with many children experiencing a range of SEND, where SLCN is frequently a presenting factor.  She has specific interest and specialist training in Dysfluency, Paediatric Voice Disorders and Working with English as an Additional Language (EAL).  Janet has many years of experience working alongside and training teachers and SENCOs in Hampshire. 

Janet was the Programme Lead for Every Child A Talker (ECAT) in Southampton Local Authority from 2009; the programme was positively evaluated and continued as a training/support offer across the city for over ten years.  Janet retired after 22 years from her NHS role in 2021, but continues to work as an independent practitioner and as an Early Years Language Consultant, delivering bespoke training packages for Early Years staff in nurseries and schools locally.  She is also a regional trainer for the BLAST resource (Boosting Language Auditory Skills & Talking – Nikki Joyce)

A short Q&A with Janet

Q. Why study Speech Language and Communication Needs?

I would turn this question on its head and ask: why would you not seek to extend your knowledge and skills about a foundational, pivotal, crucial dimension of child development and early education experience?  Linking to literacy, behaviour, social and emotional skills, mental well-being to name but a few areas of teachers’ professional lives that frequently present a challenge…I truly believe this module can be life-changing

Q.What are the typical backgrounds of people who take the course?

We see a huge range of education professionals with a wide array of experience and qualifications. They work in many different settings, from Early Years through to post-16 Local Authority colleges, in international settings and in special needs settings.  Whether you are a teacher, classroom assistant, or in a leadership role; you can make the course material work for you.


Thompson M, Hooper C, Laver-Bradbury C, Gale C (2012) Child and Adolescent Mental  Health Theory and Practice (2nd Edition) Hodder Arnold London