What is The Balanced System framework?

The Balanced System® framework is a way of making sure that in a setting, school or local area, the right provisions are available for parents, carers and professionals to help children and young people develop their speech, language and communication.

The framework is organised in five strands or themes and across three levels. All of these are important to get the whole system working at its best.  The ambition in each local area is to have a range of provisions that can ensure that outcomes are met in each of the five strand areas and at universal, targeted and specialist levels.

Five Strands

Three Levels

Universal, Targeted and Specialist levels triangleAll of the information, resources and activities are organised into three levels.

Universal level is for all children and families and has general information and resources about speech, language and communication that will be of interest to all parents, carers and young people, including those supporting children and young people with speech, language and communication needs.

Targeted level information and resources are more directly useful for children and young people and their families where there is a likely worry about speech, language and communication or a need has been identified already.  For the majority of children and young people and their families, this level will provide enough support.

Specialist level information and resources are either to support more complicated speech, language and communication needs or to provide more specialist information and help.  Some children and young people and their families will need specialist level support as well as targeted and universal levels for them to make the progress they wish to make with speech, language and communication.  Specialist level may not be needed all of the time and may be helpful at certain points on a child or young person's journey.