The Box training

The Box training

The Box training

The Box is a free e-learning tool designed for professionals working in the justice sector.

It is designed to give professionals in the justice system the ability to identify communication issues and the skills to work successfully with individuals who have such issues.

Research shows that a high number of offenders have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) (PDF). Antisocial behaviour, school exclusion and custodial sentences can be a direct result of these needs.

The Box aims to develop your understanding of what communication difficulties are, and the possible impact on the individual and on your work with them.

It can be completed in any order, at your own pace – the modules will save your progress so you do not have to do it all at once.

The course can be accessed remotely, which:

  1. saves learner’s time away from work (which is often hard to arrange for those working in the justice system) and
  2. saves learner’s travel costs, compared to attending a face-to-face course.

In addition the RCSLT is delighted to be able to offer it free of charge.

To access The Box learning journey, please go to our CPD website.

Read updates about The Box, one year and two years after the launch. Watch our webinar on supporting people with SLCN in the justice system.

Access The Box

To access The Box learning journey, please go to our CPD website.

Learning outcomes:

  • Develop your knowledge and understanding of speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) – what they are and the effect they can have on someone’s behaviour.
  • Recognise the signs that someone may have SLCN, and know where to go for further support.
  • Find out how to use screening tools to check for SLCN.
  • Learn how to apply different support strategies to help people with SLCN to understand and engage in the justice process.
  • Understand the legal responsibilities and how they apply to you and your work with people with SLCN.

Spread the word about The Box

We continue to promote The Box via social media and sharing with colleagues across the justice system.

If you are a speech and language therapist and would like to help spread the word, here are some ways you can help:

  • Contact your local justice agency and share this with them
  • Consider making a business case to your commissioners to support people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN)
  • Let RCSLT know if a contact is interested in getting access to speech and language therapy

We have also created some posters for you to share in your networks or print for staff rooms:

Delve inside The Box

The Box contain a series of modules from which people can choose.

Module Sub module
1. Introduction to SLCN To raise awareness of speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and who it can impact
Why is it important to recognise individuals with SLCN?
To further raise awareness and understanding of SLCN and their complexity
2. Recognising individuals with SLCN To be able to recognise individuals with SLCN
To understand the potential impact of SLCN on an individual
3. SLCN – why does it happen? To be aware of the research into the communication needs of offenders
To be aware of interrelated issues
4. Understanding communication breakdown

(to improve interaction/relationships)

To understand how communication may breakdown
To practice managing communication breakdown
5. Screening for SLCN To be able to screen for SLCN
RCSLT & AssetPlus screen (a screening tool for SLCN and neuro-disability)
6. Accessible information To be able to design and adapt written information to make it more accessible
7. Language strategies How to support an individual with SLCN (using language strategies)
8. Visual strategies How to support an individual with SLCN (using visual strategies)
9. Legislative responsibility To understand the support available at the Police station and why this may be required
To understand the support available at Court and why this may be required
To understand how SEN legislation applies in the CJS
10. Commissioning a service Understanding the evidence which demonstrates the need for SLT services in the CJS
Practical guidance on developing a bid for SLT input
Providing links with local services

Case studies

Using The Box in mainstream secondary school settings

More than 60% of young people who are accessing youth justice services present with speech language and communication needs (SLCN) which are largely unrecognised so we were delighted when the RSCLT launched “The Box,” a free e-learning tool designed by Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) for professionals working in the justice sector.

As a service we were not yet commissioned to support our local youth justice system but knew we would be able to utilise this tool across our caseloads within mainstream secondary schools. As we are aware, 81% of children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD) have SLCN which is often not identified, and young people with communication difficulties demonstrate higher levels of disruptive and antisocial behaviour which we consistently see within our school settings.

Last summer, we sat and worked through the training together – completing all modules and enjoying the videos and activities. As secondary schools therapists, we felt the message being promoted was one that would be equally useful within our setting.

As some of the areas were quite specific to the justice system, we identified the modules that we felt were most relevant and useful to our colleagues working in secondary schools.

The Box Secondary Edition has been rolled out to five local secondary schools run in a number of different ways to suit the needs of the school.

We have trialled:
  • Independent learning carried out by members of staff in allocated CPD time with additional group learning sessions run by a therapist completed at the beginning, middle, and end of the course to introduce topics and consolidate learning.
  • All sessions run as a whole group and led by the therapist.
  • School staff completed all identified modules independently.
  • Therapists led discussion around how individual schools could apply the information from The Box into school ethos.

Sessions were aimed at different focus groups including: teachers who opted to be involved in a school specific SLCN interest group, a representative from each subject department, and teaching assistants. The therapists advised relevant school staff to complete the identified modules via the RCSLT CPD website. Members of staff were encouraged to complete the additional modules independently if they wanted further information about the criminal justice system and SLCN.

We completed pre and post training evaluation forms in order to gather feedback from the users. Initial data regarding the use of the programme across all schools was positive.

We asked school staff to identify their level of confidence related to:
  • Knowledge about SLCN – 24% increase across all schools
  • Supporting students with SLCN: 24% increase across all schools
  • Identifying characteristics of SLCN: 21% increase across all schools

100% of users reported they would recommend the training programme to other members of staff at their school and others.

The Box has been an invaluable tool that our schools have embraced due to the significance of the topic, the accessibility of the training and of course that it’s free! As a team, we welcomed this new and innovative training model and will continue to utilise this programme in our local secondary schools to raise awareness of links between the justice system and SLCN.

This case study was written by Charlotte Millward and Erin Bremer, specialist speech and language therapists at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust.

Tell us how you’ve used The Box

If you have a case study highlighting how you or your organisation has used The Box e-learning we’d love to hear it. Please send your case study to Thank you.

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