Employers now rate communication skills as their highest priority, above even qualifications
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News archive

Share your experiences of working with parents and enter a prize draw! 

In 2016, over 1200 members of the children and young people’s workforce responded to a survey from The Communication Trust which asked about their experiences of professional development in speech, language and communication. Their responses highlighted significant gaps in their professional development in this area with almost half of respondents indicating a need for further learning around talking to parents about speech, language and communication.

As a result, this year we have been funded by the Department for Education to develop materials to meet this learning need. We will be working in partnership with Afasic (a UK based charity who provide information and support to parents who have children with speech, language and communication needs) to produce a series of online learning videos which will aim to support practitioners to effectively engage with parents. To inform this piece of work, we are running a short survey to gather your views and experiences of working with parents.

Please follow this link https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/workforceparentsurvey before Thursday 6th July to access the short survey and enter a prize draw to win a set of Speech, Language and Communication Progression Tools! 

Please share this link with your colleagues to help as gather as much feedback as possible.

Vacancy at The Communication Trust - Programme Manager 

Salary: £32,366 per annum 
Full Time (35 hours per week) 
Fixed term contract to 31st March 2018 
Based in EC1, London

The Communication Trust leads a consortium of over 50 charities and community organisations with expertise in speech, language and communication. We work together to help people who work with children support the speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) of all children and young people.
We are seeking an experienced Programme Manager to join our small team in Central London to manage and deliver a number of high profile and complex projects across the Communication Trust’s programme of work with the Department for Education.  This will include the project management of work focused on speech language and communication in Further Education Settings and a programme of work around Initial Teacher Training. 
We are looking for someone who is experienced in successfully managing multiple projects and multiple stakeholders in a complex organisation.  
Apply by downloading the Job Description below and emailing your CV and covering letter to jobs@ican.org.uk.
I CAN reserves the right to close this role before the deadline if we receive a sufficient number of applications.

To read a full job description for the role, please click here.
The closing date for applications is 5pm, 6th July 2017 and interviews will take place in the week commencing 17th July 2017

What Works - Are you passionate about enabling the SLC sector to make evidence informed decisions?

The Communication Trust is currently looking for a new member to join the What Works Moderating Group.

What Works is a moderated online library of evidenced interventions aiming to support children’s speech, language and communication. It enables users to make evidence informed decisions and encourages practitioners to share their own experiences of interventions in practice. The Moderating Group play an important role in steering the development of What Works and setting criteria for inclusion. If you are interested, please see here for the role description and details on how to apply. The deadline is Thursday 1st December.

If you have any queries, please e-mail enquiries@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk.

 

Policy Manager vacancy at the Trust 

£32,366 (inclusive of London Weighting Allowance)
Full-time (35 hours per week)
Temporary contract to 31 March 2017 - possible extension subject to funding 
Based in EC1, London
 
The Communication Trust is a consortium of over 50 voluntary and community organisations with expertise in speech, language and communication. We harness our collective expertise to support the children's workforce and commissioners so that every child and young person is enabled to communicate to the very best of their ability.
 
If you are an excellent Policy Manager and want to be part of a fantastic team working collaboratively to support the delivery of our strategy, we would like to hear from you. 
 
We are looking for an individual with experience of policy making and parliamentary process. You will need to be able to keep abreast of key developments and work in partnership to create practical solutions. This is an excellent role for a self starter who can tightly manage projects and work as part of the wider Trust team which consists of Professional Advisors and operational staff. The Policy Manager will work closely with the Trust Director on several key areas and will have an important relationship with our Consortium members. 
 
For full details of this post, please download the application pack here.

To apply, please send your completed application form to jobs@ican.org.uk. Please note that the deadline for applications has been extended, for further information please contact jobs@ican.org.uk.

 

Job vacancies at the Trust 

We currently have two vacancies at the Trust, further information about each role can be found below.

Professional Advisor

Annual Salary: Therapy Band 4.1, £31,750 + £3,334 London weighting allowance
Fixed term to 31st March 2017 - possible extension subject to funding
Full Time (35 hours per week)
Based in EC1, London

Lead Professional Advisor (maternity leave cover)

Annual Salary: Therapy Band 4.4, £35,387 + £3,334 London weighting allowance
Fixed term to 31st March 2017 (maternity leave cover) - possible extension subject to funding
Full Time (35 hours per week)
Based in EC1, London

The Communication Trust is a consortium of over 50 voluntary and community organisations with expertise in speech, language and communication.   We harness our collective expertise to support the children's workforce and commissioners so that every child and young person is enabled to communicate to the very best of their ability.

If you want to be part of a fantastic team to help delivery of our strategy, we need an excellent Professional Advisor and Lead Professional Advisor to work collaboratively delivering our government funded contract.

Coming from a speech and language therapy or educational background and with experience working with children and/or young people and the children's workforce, both roles will provide high-quality expert advice, develop accessible information, learning materials and resources and ensure effective evaluation of this work.

To apply for either of these posts, please complete the application form in the attached pack which can be found on the I CAN website - www.ican.org.uk/jobs and return it to jobs@ican.org.uk by the closing date.

The closing date for applications is 1st June 2016 at 5pm and interviews will be held on 6th and 7th June 2016.

 

Born Talking Seminar

The Communication Trust is a partner in the Born Talking seminar series which is investigating ways that birth cohort data can be used to answer important questions about speech, language and communication. A birth cohort is a longitudinal study which collects data at the time of a person's birth and throughout their lifetime.

We are currently seeking feedback on if, and how, you have already used the birth cohort data and input into identifying gaps in our current understanding of the development of speech, language and communication (typical development and/or SLCN) and the impact of SLCN across the lifespan.

Please do take a couple of minutes to fill in this survey as this could make a real difference to the kinds of questions birth cohorts ask in the future.

To register your thoughts, please complete this short survey and share the link with your colleagues. The survey will be open until 18th March 2016.

 

Nasen Live 2016, 29-30 April, Leeds

Nasen Live is a two-day Special Educational Needs (SEN) event providing an opportunity for education professionals to update their knowledge on SEND reforms, access fantastic resources and learn more about good practice.  The event aims to connect the professional community and establish ongoing support throughout the coming year. 

The show is aimed at professionals throughout the entire education landscape, including primary schools, secondary schools, special schools, further education colleges and universities, with over 2,000 delegates expected to attend this year.  There will be a wide variety of free resources, training opportunities, advice and support, available to all visitors.

For those looking to update and strengthen their professional development programmes, this event provides a great opportunity to examine what good practice looks like.  The seminar programme will consist of 22 high quality seminars delivered by key SEN professionals focusing on what works in the classroom and providing both theoretical and practical information for you to absorb, learn and share back at base. Seminars are £14 for nasen members and £17 for non-members.

For more information and to register for the event please go to the Nasen website http://www.nasen.org.uk/nasen-live/.

 

Speech, Language and Communication Framework (SLCF) feedback survey now open!

We are seeking feedback on our Speech, Language and Communication Framework (SLCF) resource.

The SLCF is aimed at anyone and everyone who works with children and young people, and sets out the skills and knowledge needed by practitioners to support the speech, language and communication development of all children, including those with communication needs.

We would very much appreciate your feedback if you have used the SLCF as an individual or as a group. To share your experience of using the SLCF, and your thoughts on it, please complete this survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/V5T87G5  and share the link with your colleagues.

The survey will be open until 20th March. Thank you!  

 

Early Years resources feedback survey now open!

We are seeking feedback on our Early Years resources!

In 2015 we launched a web page specifically for those working in early years. It features lots of free resources and tools including information to help with identifying and supporting children with speech, language and communication needs. 

The resources available on the webpage include:

  • Posters with advice about identifying and supporting children with SLCN, in line with the 2014 Code of Practice
  • A free online short course all about speech, language and communication
  • An early identification framework to help you identify children who are struggling
  • Guides to ages and stages of communication development, top tips for supporting speech and language, activity ideas... and much more! 

You can access all of these here: www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/early-years

We would very much appreciate your feedback if you have used any of the resources. To share your thoughts please complete this short survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/YQWQHDB and share the link with your colleagues. Thank you!  

 

The Communication Trust appoints new Director

The Communication Trust has appointed Octavia Holland as its new Director. Octavia makes the transition from her role as Director of Policy, Advice and Communication at Gingerbread - a charity which campaigns for and provides advice to single parents. Octavia will lead the Trust in its work to ensure that every child and young person is enabled to communicate to the very best of their ability, through collective support for those who work with children and young people.

Octavia's career covers policy roles for the Department for Education and as Chief Executive of Coram's Fields - a London based children and young people's charity.

Octavia Holland said, 'The work of The Communication Trust and the organisations it represents is essential to in developing the skills of the workforce to make a lasting impact in the lives of children and young people - an impact that could improve their life chances significantly. I'm thankful for the opportunity to be involved in working towards seeing this mission achieved.

Virginia Beardshaw, Chief Executive of I CAN, which hosts the Trust and is one of its  founding members said, 'Octavia's background working with children and families and her education policy experience in the Civil Service are both useful and relevant for taking forward the important work of the Trust.

We look forward to working with Octavia and other partner organisations to support more children with speech, language and communication needs.' 

 

Help Us Celebrate the Communication Commitment's Second Birthday!

This week, on Thursday 5th November, we'll be celebrating the Communication Commitment's second birthday by highlighting the great work that so many schools have been doing to make communication a priority in the classroom and throughout school.

We'll be sharing examples and ideas from schools, as well as other settings and practitioners, throughout the day. If you are passionate about communication don't forget to send us a picture about why you, or your students, think it is so important! You can use our template by clicking here - just print it out, write on it and send us a photo of someone holding your message!

We had such a fantastic response last year for the Commitment's first birthday and we'd love you to join us again in celebrating the importance of communication! You can email us at enquiries@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk or tweet your photo/ideas to @Comm_nTrust.

 

4Children seminars - "Early identification in early language and communication - supporting and upskilling the early years workforce"

London - Tuesday 3rd November
Leeds - Thursday 5th November

The Early identification in early language and communication - supporting and upskilling the early years workforce seminars are being run by 4Children in partnership with the Trust.

At these seminars practitioners will hear about:

  • Early language and communication in the context of the free 30 hours childcare
  • The importance of early identification of speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and next steps
  • Upskilling the workforce and looking at what tools are available
  • Looking at how settings can support parents to encourage their children's speech, language and communication development at home
  • Good practice case study examples

There's also the opportunity to meet SLCN Voluntary sector organisations offering support and services in our exhibition space

These seminars provide a unique opportunity to hear from experts in early language and communication, see some good practice case studies and pick up some tools to ensure that your workforce have the skills to support all children's speech, language and communication development, including those with SLCN.

Book your place or find out more information.  

 

We're Hiring a New Director

Anne is leaving the Trust at the end of September to take up the post of Chief Executive of Clinks, supporting voluntary organisations working with offenders and their families. 

Based on our success to date we are now entering a new phase and we are seeking a Director to lead us into this stage of our exciting journey.

You will need to be a highly effective leader; someone who can draw together a range of different people, organisations and sectors in a rapidly changing environment.  You will need to maintain and develop strong networks and relationships within and across public, private and voluntary sectors and ensure a cohesive policy and tangible solutions. You will need to lead a strong, highly motivated team to deliver our solution based programme of work and achieve our goals of positively impacting on the children's workforce to lead to better outcomes for all children and young people.

For more information and to apply, please download the job pack and submit your application form to jobs@ican.org.uk  by midday, 15 September 2015.

I CAN reserves the right to close this vacancy early should a sufficient number of applications be received.

First interview date: Monday, 21 September 2015

 

Sense and Seashell Trust Learning and Interactions conference

Sense and Seashell Trust are pleased to be hosting Learning and Interactions - a conference, designed to inspire your practice. Join them for a day sharing good practice and highlighting new knowledge in the deafblind field. The event will take place in Manchester on 15th September.

The day will benefit a wide range of people, including professionals in health, education, and social care; it is for those working with children and adults with either acquired or congenital deafblindness. It will help you support people with deafblindness live meaningful, enriched lives.

The event is expected to have CPD accreditation.

Speakers will include Dr. Jan Van Dijk - practitioner, researcher and advocate in the field of deafblindness - amongst many others. 

For further information please click here to download the flyer.

You can register for the event here.

 

Programme Manager vacancy at the Trust 

£32,366 per annum (including London Weighting Allowance)

Full Time (35 hours per week)

Fixed term to 31st March 2016 (maternity leave cover)

Based in EC1, London

The Communication Trust is a group of over 50 charities and community organisations with expertise in speech, language and communication. We work together to help people who work with children support the speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) of all children and young people. 

We are seeking an experienced Programme Manager to join our small team in Central London to manage and deliver a number of high profile and complex projects across the Communication Trust's programme of work.

This will include the project management of What Works, a database of evidenced interventions to support children's speech, language and communication.

We are looking for someone with an interest/ background in research and evidence who is experienced in successfully managing multiple projects and multiple stakeholders in a complex organisation. 

I CAN reserves the right to close this role before the deadline if we receive a sufficient number of applications. Consideration will be given to candidates that are unable to apply for this role on a full-time basis but could work four days per week, please indicate on your application form if you wish to apply for this role on a part-time basis.  

Apply by downloading the application pack here.

 

ACE Centre are recruiting!

ACE Centre is a national charity offering a range of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Assistive Technology (AT) services for people with physical and communication disabilities and those who support them.They are now recruiting for two posts:

Teacher or High-Level Teaching Assistant - based in Oxford

FTE Permanent contract - flexible working considered

Salary £20,253 - £41,140

Occupational Therapist - based in Oldham

FTE Permanent contract - flexible working considered

Salary £28,746 - £41,140

Applicants for both roles should have experience of, or interest in, working with AAC and AT, and a background in working with children and young people with a range of disabilities.

The successful applicants will join our trans-disciplinary team to deliver assessment, training, advice and information services to individuals with physical and communication disabilities across the Thames Valley & Wessex region. Both of these posts will require an enhanced DBS check.

The closing date for applications is Monday 31st August 2015.

 

No Pens Day Wednesday - 7th October 2015

As we draw closer to No Pens Day Wednesday 2015, we thought we'd let you know about the fantastic new resources that have recently gone live on the website.

Firstly, we have added a range of new free lesson plans for Secondary, Special and Early Years settings, bringing our total number of Trust lesson plans on the site to almost 200!

In addition to this, for the first time this year we have introduced a selection of pupil evaluation tools to allow teachers to collect the views of children and young people taking part in No Pens Day Wednesday. Schools and settings have a choice as to how they complete their evaluations. Pupils can either:

a) Complete their evaluation as part of No Pens Day Wednesday - this approach uses discussion and votes to gather pupils' views and includes resources to help teachers gather pupils' views without using pens! Or...

b) Pupils can complete a written evaluation about the day, which should be done the day after   No Pens Day Wednesday  if possible, where pupils can write down what they thought about their experience of the day.

Dyslexia Awareness Week 2015

Did you know that No Pens Day Wednesday also takes place during Dyslexia Awareness Week 2015? In association with the British Dyslexia Association, we have developed a document with some fantastic suggestions about how dyslexic students can be supported during No Pens Day.

New resources from Consortium members

We also have some fantastic new resources from our consortium members. The Makaton Charity has developed a new resource especially for No Pens Day Wednesday called 'All About My Senses - Touch', which is full of fun activities using Makaton symbols and signs to encourage children to listen, understand and express themselves. In addition, Consortium member SMIRA has also provided us with some guidance on the best way for teachers, parents and carers to create an anxiety free environment for children with selective mutism on No Pens Day Wednesday.

This year we have also released our new 2015 activity pack and our new resource sharing function, as well as a selection of new posters that you can use to publicise your No Pens Day Wednesday around your school.

To access all of these resources (and more!) and to strengthen the focus on speech, language and communication skills in your school or setting, sign up and take part in No Pens Day Wednesday on 7th October 2015 (or whenever works best for you)! 

www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/nopensdaywednesday

 

No Pens Day Wednesday Sharing Function, 2015 Activity Pack and Posters!

We are delighted to announce that our new No Pens Day Wednesday sharing function is now live on our website!

NPDW 2015 LogoWe know from the fantastic feedback we've had from previous events that in many schools and settings, teachers are keen to use No Pens Day Wednesday as an opportunity to really showcase their existing skills and knowledge around supporting spoken language in the classroom. That's why this year it's over to you! We want to support those teachers, practitioners and other school staff who have great ideas and effective lesson plans to share them with us and others through No Pens Day Wednesday via our website.

The process couldn't be simpler:

- If you haven't already, register to take part atwww.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/nopensdaywednesday

- Read and agree to the  terms of use and fill in the  short online form   to upload your resource. You can share lesson plans, activity ideas, assembly ideas, ideas for engaging parents with spoken language activities and even information for staff.

- Your resource will then be looked over by a member of The Communication Trust's professional team to ensure it's No Pens Day Wednesday friendly and fine to share on our site

- Your resource will appear on the site for other registered No Pens Day Wednesdayusers to freely access!

So what are you waiting for? Get on our website and share your fantastic resources with the world! 

In addition to our new sharing function, we have also produced our brand new 2015 Activity Pack which you can download here. The pack contains lots of useful information about how you can get involved and how to plan your No Pens Day Wednesday, whatever your setting!

We also have a new poster for the 2015 event, which is perfect for popping up in your class above a pen pot or tray to remind pupils to park their pens for the day! As a direct result of feedback that we've received from schools, this year we've also released an editable poster which you can personalise by adding your school's name!

Remember, although the official No Pens Day Wednesday date is the 7th October 2015, you can run your No Pens Day whenever it suits you best - the resources stay on the site all year round!

 

Shine a Light Awards 2015

The Shine a Light Awards, run in partnership with Pearson Assessment, are back for their fourth year. Last year we helped more than 30 organisations and individuals shout about the fantastic work they do to support children and young people with speech, language and communication needs.

This year there are some exciting new categories including the 'Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Award', 'The Community Friendly Award' and 'The Communication Commitment School of the Year Award'.

If you are a school, team, young person or individual who delivers innovative work and excellent practice in supporting children and young people's communication development (or if you are a third party wishing to nominate a school, team, young person or individual), you can register your interest here.

To find out more about the Shine a Light Awards 2015, please click here.

  

SEND reforms for children and young people with SLCN - have your say and take our short survey

We are committed to supporting all those implementing the reformed SEND system to meet the needs of children and young people with SLCN and their families. As part of this work, we undertook two online surveys last year to find out how our networks were preparing for and implementing the SEND reforms.

We've used the valuable information taken from these surveys to ensure that we are able to offer relevant support to those working with children and young people with SLCN. 

We are now running a third survey across June 2015 to revisit the perceived opportunities and remaining challenges of the SEND reforms, almost a whole academic year on from them coming into effect.

Please take this 10 minute survey and pass the link on to your colleagues and networks. To complete the survey please click here or the link below.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/sendreformsforslcn2015


*Do you work in the youth justice system?

Alongside our reforms implementation survey, we are also running a targeted survey in partnership with the University of Sheffield for those working in the youth justice sector who have been implementing the SEND reforms since April 2015.

This short survey is focused on helping us to assess awareness of speech, language and communication needs in the youth justice sector and of the SEND reforms and to monitor their impact on practices.

If this is relevant to you, please click here or the link below to access the survey or forward on to a relevant contact.

www.surveymonkey.com/s/youthjusticeslcnsurvey1

Both of these surveys will be open from 29th May - 29th June 2015.

 

SENCO Update: Embedding the (0-25) SEND Code of Practice conference - 5th May 2015, London

Brought to you by Optimus Education, and now in its 13th year, this established event will provide you with the practical guidance needed to ensure your school complies with the new Code, can successfully embed a whole school approach and support improved outcomes for all students.

Use promotional code COMMTRUST to save 20% off the standard delegate rate.

Key learning objectives on the day include:

  • Hear from schools which have successfully embedded 'Assess, Plan, Do, Review' and see what good practice looks like nationally.
  • Leave with a clear guide on how to manage the transition from statements to EHCPs and what is meant by good outcomes.
  • Clarify what inspectors will now be looking for under the new Code and clarify what Outstanding SEND provision now looks like.
  • Learn how to effectively train all staff and ensure quality-first teaching, which drives the progress of SEND pupils, occurs in every classroom.

For more information and to register click here. Don't forget to quote COMMTRUST to save 20% off the standard delegate rate.

 

Nasen Live Conference 2015 - 20-21st May, Bolton

The Nasen Live Conference will be providing a 'one year on' update on the implementation of the SEND reforms, governmental policy changes and best practice

The two-day event aims to meet the professional development needs of all those working within the special and additional educational needs field. It will provide a whole range of opportunities for delegates to learn and examine what good practice looks like within this new landscape.

As nasen's main event of the year, there is a wide variety of free resources, training opportunities, advice and support, available to all visitors. It would be a good opportunity to join the nasen theatre CPD sessions, share your challenges and triumphs at the brand new SENCO surgeries, or sit in on the much anticipated essential code of practice update from the Department for Education.

The Nasen Live programme provides readers with all the details of each seminar, speakers, a brief resume of content of each session and the booking form. The programme can be accessed here.

The seminars are priced at £14 for a Nasen member and £17 for a non-nasen member, to book your place please click here.

Job Vacancies at TCT

We are delighted to announce that the Trust has received a VCS grant from the Department for Education for a one year project using Platform 3 specifically to support access to a  level 3 qualification: supporting children and young people's speech, language and communication among childminders. As a result, we are now recruiting two posts to support us to deliver the DfE grant funded project in addition to our existing programmes of work. 

Programme Manager - Closing Date: Tuesday 7th April

http://jobs.theguardian.com/job/6057060/programme-manager/?LinkSource=PremiumListing

 
Projects Administrator - Closing Date: Tuesday 7th April

http://jobs.theguardian.com/job/6057051/projects-administrator/?LinkSource=PremiumListing

If you feel like you would be a suitable candidate for either of these vacancies, please don't hesitate to apply. We would also be very appreciative if our supporters could share details of these vacancies across their networks.

Nasen Annual Leadership Conference 2015  -  Effective Leadership: Meeting the SEND Challenge for Change

The introduction of the SEND Code of Practice: 0 - 25 to schools and other education settings from September 2014, brings with it a number of strategic challenges for education leaders. The nasen annual Leadership Conference Effective Leadership: Meeting the SEND Challenge for Change seeks to address the key issues for leaders in schools and other education settings, outlining the implications of reform. The aim of the conference is to raise the awareness and confidence of education leaders to meet the requirements for SEND and the national expectations which the reform programme brings. The conference programme has been designed to allow delegates to make the most of the day and take practical information and tools back to their settings.

Please click here to download the conference flyer to book your place at this important leadership event.

I CAN's Chatterbox Challenge

I CAN's Chatterbox Challenge is a fun educational activity for nurseries, children's groups and childminders. Children aged 0‐5 have fantastic fun and develop their communication skills by singing songs and taking part in activities around a theme. 

This year's Chatterbox Challenge theme, Garden Adventures with Ben & Holly is all about getting young children chattering about what they see, hear and feel indoors and outdoors. With listening and attention being the foundation skills for good communication development, young children's speech, language and communication and their skills for learning will benefit from a focus on the world around them.

The event will be held in Chatterbox Challenge week, Monday 9th - Sunday 15th February but you can hold yours at any time that suits you. To take part all you need to do is register for a FREE fundraising pack, which will give you everything you need to run a fun and successful Chatterbox Challenge.

If you have any queries about Chatterbox Challenge please contact us at chatterbox@ican.org.uk or for more information check out our website at www.chatterboxchallenge.org.uk

TCT Invitations to Tender

Invitations to tender:

1)   Evaluation of DfE Contract 2014-2015 and setting the framework for 2015-2016

2)   Evaluation of DfE VCS Grant: Platform 3 2013-2015 Activity

The Communication Trust (TCT) has been funded by the Department for Education (DfE) since 2007. During this time, TCT has delivered a range of programmes and resources that have supported practitioners to achieve positive outcomes for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN)

We require external consultant(s) to:

Tender 1) Review the measures that we are currently collecting and suggest any additional data that we should be collecting in the final six weeks of this financial year, provide an external analysis of our impact through the DfE contract 2013-2015 and set out an evaluation strategy/framework for our contract extension for 2015-2016.

Tender 2) Develop, design and write a comprehensive report based on an agreed evaluation strategy. This will gather information from a variety of sources and should be analysed, not only from a data perspective, but also to interrogate how various environmental aspects of the project may have influenced responses. This should then form the basis of recommendations for the future.

The Trust now invites proposals for these pieces of work - you can read the full briefs  here for the DfE Contract and  here for the DfE VCS Grant. You may tender for either or both pieces of work.

All proposals must be submitted to Liz Collins at lcollins@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk by midday on Friday, 13th February 2015.

 

Free webinar from leading academics and The Communication Trust

Friday 12th December - 3:00pm

A series of ESRC‐funded events in 2015-16 will explore the potential of using birth cohort data in the area of speech, language and communication. Data from birth cohorts have been used to inform policy and practice in many areas of health and education, but have been relatively under used to research speech, language and communication.

This webinar will be an opportunity to help shape the upcoming events and it may interest stakeholders with an interest in speech, language and communication - including researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and third sector organisations.

To find out more information about the webinar please click here.

 

Launch of new features on the Talking Point website 

I CAN, the children's communication charity, and The Communication Trust are pleased to announce that we are relaunching the Talking Point website with new features.

Talking Point logo
The Talking Point website includes support for parents with children with communication difficulties and help and information for practitioners to help identify children's speech, language and communication needs. New additions to the site this year include a database of resources and a searchable map of local services.

The whole site is now designed to be easy to use on a mobile device or tablet including the progress checker that allows parents and practitioners to review a child's progress in talking, listening and understanding. New content will continue to be added over the next year thanks to Department for Education funding.

Take a look and share the site here: www.talkingpoint.org.uk

 

No Pens Day Wednesday Evaluation and Date for 2015 Event

We are thrilled to announce that our No Pens Day Wednesday 2014 evaluation page is now live at  www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/nopensdaywednesdayevaluation

NPDW 2015 LogoSince the event, we have received so many stories about the innovative activities that schools and settings organised for the day and we have selected twelve of these to include on our website. We often hear from those taking part in No Pens Day Wednesday that they are keen to know about the activities that other schools and settings took part in and we hope that these case studies will be really useful in this regard.

On the webpage, you can also view our No Pens Day Wednesday 2014 evaluation report - the results that we've received from our surveys have been absolutely fantastic and really highlight the positive impact that the day is having on children and young people across the country. Highlights include the impact the day has had on inclusion, parental engagement, pupil engagement and pupils' writing following the event!

Finally, we know from our evaluation that schools and settings are always keen for as much lead in time as possible before the event. In recognition of this we are delighted to be able to announce that No Pens Day Wednesday 2015 will be held on Wednesday 7th October, so please save the date! However, you can run yours whenever suits you best.

There will be lots more developments as we get closer to the day to ensure that this will be the biggest and best No Pens Day Wednesday to date. Keep an eye on the web page for updates in the coming months. Register now to access the existing resources from previous years and receive our newsflash updates when we add new materials or functions -www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/nopensdaywednesday

 

Become a Local Champion for The Communication Trust!

Local_Champion_200pxThe Trust relies on brilliant, local practitioners who are able to spread the word on the importance of speech, language and communication where it is needed most. There is now the chance to continue this vital activity and become a 'Local Champion' for The Communication Trust.

We all know that the Government's proposals to reform provision for children and young people with special educational needs will be implemented in September 2014 and are likely to have a big impact locally. A large focus of our work with you will be to provide you with all of the information you need to help prepare for the upcoming changes and to learn from you and share with others what the reforms really look like on the ground.

If you are interested in becoming a Local Champion, or you have any questions, then please email Amy Harker aharker@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk

 

Tell us how it's going - SEND reforms implementation survey

Here at the Trust we're committed to supporting all those implementing the SEND reforms to meet the needs of children and young people with SLCN and their families. Back in June as we undertook a survey of practitioners to see how ready and supported they felt to deliver the reforms where we received over 200 respondents.The information shared in that survey was invaluable not only our lobbying and influencing work but also to help shape the resources, support and guidance we're working on.

Now that the reforms are here and implementation is over a month in, we're really keen to see how things are going, what further support is needed and what the successes and challenges are so far for children and young people with SLCN.

We'd be very grateful if you could complete this short survey and circulate it to all your relevant networks and contacts to complete too. This will help us build a picture of how things are going and we'll use the information you share to continue to develop our resources and to feedback to key contacts.

The survey will close on 26th November so don't delay in taking part!

Please click here to access the survey and share the link with your colleagues.

 

No Pens Day Wednesday 2014 - our biggest ever!

Wednesday 15th October was the 4th annual No Pens Day Wednesday event. We were so impressed by all the fantastic work that went on across the country and the event was our biggest yet with over 3,600 mainstream schools, special schools and early years settings signed up to take part!

We've now launched the evaluation for the 2014 event and are keen to hear from as many respondents as possible. Last year the evaluation we undertook for the event was extremely helpful, and your feedback led us to extend the day to early years settings and special schools - so you know it really makes a difference! Completing our short survey is essential to helping us improving No Pens Day Wednesday next year and for being able to assess the impact it's had.

If you took part, please take 10 minutes to complete the short evaluation surveyhere.

We've heard from schools across the country sharing their experiences and talking about the activities they did, and how the pupils, parents and staff all got involved and we've also already had some lovely photos through. We'd love to hear more from schools and settings who took part so if you took part or know a setting who did- please do get in touch and join the conversation by emailing Jack Williams onjwilliams@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk.

 

National Autistic Society: Autism and communication, 25 November 2014, Reading

NAS Logo 175pxThis conference, organised by The National Autistic Society, will discuss the types of  communication difficulties that people on the autism spectrum can experience, as well as the various tools and strategies to help support verbal and non-verbal communication.

Their keynote speaker, Gina Davies, is one of the top experts in the UK in helping young people to develop communication skills. She will be looking at how we can inspire attention in people with autism and how to make therapy irresistible.

National Autistic Society are also pleased to welcome Carol Gray over from the US. Carol pioneered the development of Social Stories™ and will be giving her unique insights into the next generation of social stories, the right way to work with them.

Please click here for more information.


Place2Be Wellbeing in Schools Awards

The Place2Be Wellbeing in Schools Awards is being held at Kensington Palace on the 19th November. Place2Be is a school-based mental health charity that is on our Consortium.

The charity is launching a social media campaign ahead of its Wellbeing Awards. The Awards recognise the school and staff who are great ambassadors for emotional wellbeing and positive mental health and the need for early intervention in order to prevent
long-term mental health challenges.

To help Place2Be celebrate the schools and individuals who are bringing its work to life, please share your 'Proudest school moment' with them.

You can share an anecdote or photo of when you overcame a difficulty or helped someone. No matter how big or small this moment was Place2Be would love to hear from you.

On Twitter: #ProudestSchoolMoment

On Facebook page: http://ow.ly/DUANq

You can also nominate a friend to share theirs. Thank you for your support.

Free seminars and win a giant PLS-5 Bear from Pearson Assessment

Online Working Memory Week is back for 2014, with a host of free online seminars from leading experts and professionals working in the field of working memory.

Join Pearson Assessment online, from 17th November to 21st November to hear from: Dr Darren Dunning, Dr Joni Holmes, Dr Stina Soderqvist, Amanda Tocci, Rebecca Gordon, Amy Cadden, Claudia Von Bastian and Liz Smith to name but a few! For details of how to register to attend a free session, click here.

Plus, help Pearson find their giant PLS-5UK bear  a home! To celebrate the launch of PLS-5UK they have one giant bear to give away. Simply enter your details here and they'll pick a winner after 1st December. There's also a special pre-publication discount of 10% when you pre-order the PLS-5UK.

Consortium member National Deaf Children's Society are recruiting

The National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) is the leading charity dedicated to creating a world without barriers for deaf children and young people. They are currently recruiting a Media Relations Officer, you can find the details below.               

Media Relations Officer:

  • London office-based
  • £26,633 - £31,116 per annum
  • 35 hours per week
  • Permanent

NDCS are looking for someone with a sound knowledge of PR principles and practices to help them raise awareness of childhood deafness and motivate the public to support them.

The closing date for applications is 9am on Friday 7 November 2014.

For an application pack please ring their recruitment line on 020 7014 1185. Alternatively, you can download an application pack by visiting their website at www.ndcs.org.uk or email recruitment@ndcs.org.uk.  

 

Dyslexia Awareness Week 3rd - 9th November - why dyslexia matters

Dyslexia affects an estimated 1 in 10 people in the UK, which means that most people will know someone affected by this learning difficulty. Monday, November 3rd, marks the start of Dyslexia Awareness Week in the UK. Here the charity Dyslexia Action tells us about the theme of the week, 'dyslexia matters'.

  • Dyslexia matters to the 1 in 10 people affected by dyslexia, the law states that schools and workplaces have a duty to make reasonable adjustments, to ensure those with dyslexia are not disadvantaged compared to their peers. But, not everyone is aware of this.

  • Dyslexia matters because early intervention and the right support can help children with dyslexia reach their full potential. The impact of dyslexia can be very great, as so much of what we do at school and throughout life requires us to read fluently and to write things on paper. However, with the right help and support, it is possible to develop strategies to overcome the difficulties associated with dyslexia.
  • Dyslexia matters at school and at work, making dyslexia-friendly adjustments can benefit all.

Please click here to find out more about the week, what dyslexia is, how to identify the signs and how to get the right support.

 

Exciting new job opportunity at Communication Matters

Communication Matters (CM) is a UK wide charity which supports all those who have an interest in or need of Aumentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).

They are looking to appoint an Administrator to be based at their office in the Leeds Innovation Centre near Leeds University. The successful candidate will be responsible for the day to day organisation of the core business of CM including fielding enquiries, supporting the membership and the Board of Trustees, organising and providing administrative support for Roadshows, Study Days, and the annual conference. Excellent skills in IT are essential.

It is anticipated this person would work Monday to Friday but with the opportunity of flexible hours. Pay will be in the region of £15,000-£18,000 pro rata but this is negotiable. Interviews will take place in November with a starting date in February 2015.

Please consider whether this is a post which would be of interest to you or others you may know and pass the information on. If you would like to discuss anything further feel free to contact Communication Matters or check out their website.

Letters of application including a statement as to why you would be interested in the post and your CV with two reference contacts should be emailed to jobs@communicationmatters.org.uk by Friday 31st October 2014.

 

Early Identification & Intervention of SEN in the Early Years conference, 22nd October 2014, Central London

Brought to you by Optimus Education, this vital and timely event will ensure you can meet your new obligations within the new 0-25 SEND Code of Practice and effectively support the progress and development of children aged 2-5 with SEN.

Use promotional code COMMTRUST to save 20% off the standard delegate rate.

Key learning objectives on the day include:

  • New Code of Practice & Graduated Approach: Leave with a comprehensive update on how the new Code affects you as an early years provider and how to practically implement the new graduated approach
  • Early Identification: Implement a clear protocol for early identification of SEN in your setting through confident observation, assessment and planning
  • Parents: Take away effective strategies to work in partnership with parents and appropriately broach those difficult initial concerns
  • Plus, key focuses on the day include: Speech, Language and Communication Needs, Autism Spectrum Conditions and Behaviour

For more information and to register please click here.

 

Invitation to tender - SLCN services and the Local Offer

From September 2014, when the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) reforms came into force, all Local Authorities must publish a Local Offer with details of the services available locally for children with special needs and disabilities and their families. The Communication Trust is committed to supporting all those implementing the SEND Reforms to meet the needs of children and young people with SLCN and their families, and therefore wants to ensure that as many Local Offers as possible include information on SLCN.

Consequently, The Communication Trust now seeks to undertake work to better understand how the VCS SLCN sector is represented on Local Offers, to develop a picture of best practice for SLCN services and the Local Offer, and to support Communication Consortium member organisations in getting their services listed on Local Offers. 

The Trust now invites proposals for this piece of work - you can read the full brief here.

All proposals must be submitted to Catherine Hillis at chillis@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk by midday on Tuesday, 14th October 2014.

 

Consortium member National Deaf Children's Society are recruiting

The National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) is the leading charity dedicated to creating a world without barriers for deaf children and young people.

They are currently looking for a Projects Officer (Maternity Cover):

  • London office-based
  • £26-633 - £31,116 per annum
  • 35 hours per week
  • Fixed-term one year

Are you an experienced and reliable Projects Officer with excellent literacy and Excel skills? Do you want to work in a live policy and campaigns team to support and influence the professionals who work with deaf children?  

This maternity cover post involves a wide variety of tasks including the delivery of projects in education, health and social care, in-house research on matters relating to deafness and development and dissemination of key resources for professionals.

For an application pack please ring our recruitment line on 020 7014 1185. Alternatively, you can download an application pack by clicking here or emailing recruitment@ndcs.org.uk. The closing date for applications is 9am on Monday 13 October 2014.

 

Revised SEND code of practice response submitted, May 2014

In April 2014, the Government released a revised draft of the SEND Code of Practice for a short 6 week consultation period.

This revised version incorporates feedback from the previous consultation has a short consultation period and includes information around the amendments that were made to the Children and Families Bill later in its passage.The consultation sought responses on only 9 specific questions focussed on aspects of the Code relating to these amended sections.

We submitted our response on Tuesday 6th May and focussed on some key issues we felt needed strengthening in the revised code as well as some of the key points we welcomed in it.

You can read our response in full here and we will keep our website up to date with information about the 2014 SEND reforms and the final Code of practice.

If you're interested in finding out more about the work we're doing around the reforms visit our SEND reforms pages here.

 

The Shine a Light Awards - another successful and heart-warming ceremony
 

On Thursday 3rd April, at Pearson Assessment headquarters on the Strand in London, we ran our third Shine a Light Awards. The event was a chance to showcase and reward the fantastic work being done by organisations and individuals to support and develop children's communication skills. It was also a chance to congratulate a number of young people, who despite their own communication difficulties, are championing the cause and working with and inspiring others with similar needs. This award is always a particular highlight and the young people proved more than worthy winners.

To read the full list of winners and find out about who the judges were please click here.
 
Please click here to read the press releases and case studies of all the winners.

Thank you to Pearson Assessment for running the Awards and all the support they've given to us.

 

Talk Boost celebrates its second birthday

Talk Boost, the language intervention from I CAN and The Communication Trust is celebrating its second birthday this week (30th March).  Since its launch in 2012, Talk Boost has reached over 1000 primary schools nationwide - training more than 1500 teachers and teaching assistants to support over 10,000 children aged 4 to 7 years with delayed language.

Talk Boost, developed by I CAN and The Communication Trust, is a targeted intervention which supports language-delayed children aged 4-7 years to make significant progress with their communication skills. Through targeted work,Talk Boostcan help pupils improve their communication skills by 9-18 months following the 10-week intervention - on average over three times the 'normal' rate of progress. General classroom communication skills have also been shown to improve following the programme.

For more information on Talk Boost, please visit here. To view the full press release, please click here.

 

The Children and Families Act receives Royal Assent

The new Children and Families Act - given royal assent on Thursday 13th March, will mean changes to the law to create a new system to help children with special educational needs and disabilities. The Act also covers a number of other issues realating to children's welfare. You can read the full press release from the Department for Education here.

The Trust has produced a paper which provides a review of the SEN reforms set out in the Children and Families Act. This paper evaluates the positions adopted by the Trust on the legislation when the Bill was first introduced into Parliament in February 2012, against the progress made on those issues over the course of its passage. You can read the Children and Family Bill Review paper here.

Whitehouse, our public affairs consultants, have also produced a wider overview of the Children and Families Act and its consequences which is available in this Policy Digest.

If you have any questions about any of this information please contact Jo Bolton, Project Officer on jbolton@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk

 

SLCN Commissioning Conference- materials now available!

On Tuesday 25th February the Trust, with support from the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, facilitated the Communication Council's conference on joint commissioning for SLCN services. Delegates and speakers from both health and education came together to share evidence and best practice, in preparation for the upcoming SEND reforms.

Presentations given on the day covered the SLCN needs assessment, the commissioning cycle, and evidence-based approaches to supporting SLCN. There is also information offering examples of local best practice from across the country and an in depth look at the commissioning developments happening in the North Yorkshire area currently. There's also a presentation highlighting key messages from the Better Communication Research Programme and one from the Department of Health focussed on service integration.

We have made all these materials from the conference available online via our SEND Reforms pages here.

A full report on the key themes and messages from the day will also be available shortly and we'll update the page with the link to that a soon as it's available.

 

Professional Advisor (Speech and Language Therapist) - deadline extension!

Band 7 £30,764 -£35,536 per annum (plus London Weighting of £3,301 per annum)
Full Time (35 hours per week)
Fixed term contract to 31st March 2015

There may be flexibility to where this post is based. Please note in your application if you would like the option of home working to be considered. Options of part time working may also be considered.

Do you want to be part of a fantastic team and help deliver our strategy? We need an excellent Professional Advisor to work collaboratively delivering our government funded contract.

Coming from a speech and language therapy background and with experience working with
school age children, you will provide high-quality expert advice, develop accessible information, learning materials and resources and ensure effective evaluation of this work across the areas of primary and secondary education.

Please click here to download the application pack.

Closing date for applications is 10am Thursday 11th September. Interviews will take place in London on Tuesday 16th September.

Vacancy at Consortium member, The Children's Trust, Tadworth

The Children's Trust is the UK's leading charity for children with brain injuries, providing expert rehabilitation, education, therapy and care at their national specialist centre in Tadworth, which supports children and families from across the UK.

They are looking for a charismatic and driven Head of Communications and External Affairs to join The Children's Trust, ensuring the delivery of high quality, integrated communications and increasing their brand and profile. This is a great opportunity for someone who's keen to be part of an inspiring, family orientated organisation, working in an environment characterised by its warmth, innovation and fun.

Closing date for applications: 4th August 2014

Interviews: w/c 11th August 2014

For more information please click here.

 

Auditory VerbalUK vacancy Head of Fundraising and Development

  • Salary: c.£35k plus benefits (more may be available for an exceptional candidate)
  • Location: Bicester/London.
  • Permanent 37.5 hrs per week.
  • Start date: August/September

Auditory VerbalUK are looking for a driven and enthusiastic Head of Fundraising and Development to join their small national charity at an exciting stage in their development.

Auditory VerbalUK makes a huge and life-long difference to deaf children and their families. They teach deaf babies and children to listen and speak, so that they can achieve their full potential in life. With centres in Bicester and Central London, AVUK supports families from across the UK and trains professionals working in the hearing impairment sector so that many more can benefit.

You will be responsible for developing, leading and implementing the charity's fundraising strategy and contributing to the development of strategic partnerships with those providing services in the hearing impairment sector. You will be experienced in working with trusts & foundations, major donors and able to demonstrate success in growing voluntary income from a range of sources.

Closing deadline is Thursday 10th July. Please click here to view the advert and please click here to view the full description.

 

NAPLIC 2014 Conference and AGM

NAPLIC's 2014 Conference and AGM, titled "SLI: Outcomes and Impact" will take place on Saturday 10th May 2014 at Aston University, Birmingham. In addition to presentations by staff from specialist SLI teams, the following key note speakers will be in attendance:-

  • Marie Gascoigne from Better Communication CIC,
  • Anne Hayward, Specialist SEND Consultant at The Anne Hayward Consortium
  • Mary Hartshorne, Director of Outcomes and Information at I CAN
  • Yvonne Wren, Senior Speech and Language Therapist at Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit and NIHR Research Fellow

Online booking rates vary from £95-£125 for members to £150-£180 for non-members. Please click here to find out more.

 

Nasen conference: Effective School Leadership = Outstanding SEN Provision in schools

The draft Code of Practice for SEN issued in October 2013 provides guidance for all schools, settings and providers across 0-25 years and the proposed reforms will be legislated upon as the Children & Families Bill passes through Parliament for implementation in September 2014.

The nasen Leadership Conference 2014 Effective School Leadership = Outstanding SEN Provision in schools will outline how the reforms are moving forward and look at changes in strategic thinking required by school leaders to balance the requirements of proposed new policy with the needs of all pupils.

The conference will take place in 2 different locations on 2 different dates:

  • Thursday 24th January 2014: ExCel London, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1XL
  • Tuesday 20th May 2014: Reebok Stadium, Burden Way, Lostock, Bolton BL6 6JW

Who should attend: Head Teachers, Deputy Head Teachers, Heads of Department, SENCOs, Teachers, SEN Advisers, SLT, SEN Governor.

To find out more please click here.

 

The Trust submits response to the Draft 0-25 Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice consultation

The Communication Trust has submitted its response to the Draft 0-25 Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice consultation from the Department for Education and Department of Health. The SEN Code of Practice is an essential document for practitioners, service providers, local authorities, schools and families and outlines to everybody involved in supporting children and young people with SEN what the law says they have to do and how they should be doing it.

As part of the Children and Families Bill, the SEN Code of Practice which was last reviewed in 2001, is being updated and extended. This is a vitally important opportunity to make sure children and young people with SLCN have their needs met with the reforms making the most significant changes to SEN law in 30 years.

In our response we welcome the improvements that have been made to the Code from the indicative draft, including its focus on putting children, young people and their families at the centre of the process and the recognition of communication and interaction as one of the four areas of SEN.

Our response also focuses on some key areas we feel the Code is lacking, and with particular consequence for children and young people with SLCN. These include concerns around the structures of accountability within the Code to ensure families have a clear route of redress if things go wrong, the lack of guidance for settings and professionals there is on early identification throughout the Code and issues around the responsibilities within joint commissioning as outlined in the Code.

To find out more and read our response in full please click here. We've also prepared a key issues document outlining the above and more key areas in summary, you can access thishere. If you would like to read the draft Code of Practice document itself, please clickhere. This and further information is also available on our policy page here.

 

Our free resources

Since the Trust began we have developed resources covering a range of topics on speech, language and communication and for a range of different people including teachers, Senco's and parents.

Traditionally we've been fortunate to have funding to send these resources directly to the people who need them at no cost to our audiences. At this time however, due to reduced funding our stocks are running low and we are currently pausing this service. We'll be checking our stock levels and looking for solutions to ensure we can still share our resources with the people who find them of most use whilst this is on pause.

In the meantime you can still download every resource we have developed for free from our Resources section.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us onenquiries@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk

 

Paul Hamlyn Foundation Strategic Review

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF) are currently carrying out a review of their work with the aim of putting in place a new strategy for PHF.

They have been asking to hear from a wide range of people and organisations on their opinions about what PHF should be doing. To help them generate ideas and learn more about the contexts they are working in, they have been inviting people to complete the statement - 'PHF should...'

We have submitted a response to this, written by our Professional Director, Wendy Lee, please click here to view.

Please click here to view the PHF blog on this review.

 

CDC Job Opportunities

The Council for Disabled Children have four new exciting job posts which are now open for application.

Please see below for more details on the roles and for the job application packs. Do feel free to circulate details of the posts to your contacts if appropriate.

The four jobs being advertised are:

  • Contracts and Compliance Officer, Independent Support
  • Programme Manager, Independent Support
  • Programme Lead, Early Support
  • Principal Officer, Campaigns

For information on these vacancies, and other positions offered at CDC, please visit their website.

 

Are you training to become a speech and language therapist? Do you need accessible resources that provide CPD opportunities?

Listen To Us is our latest practical resource made up of a booklet and a DVD of carefully chosen clips showing children and young people with SLCN. This accessible resource is particularly useful for those who are training to become speech and language therapists as it helps demonstrates what SLCN looks like and the booklet offers some questions for reflection on top of the DVD to aid understanding.

The DVD includes clips of 8 children, from the ages of 4 to 15. The clips
demonstrate needs relating to speech, talking (including grammar, vocabulary, narrative), comprehension and communication skills such as non-verbal skills.

Listen To Us provides opportunities for viewers to start thinking about and discussing SLCN. It also helps to develop the skills of the viewers in observing and reflecting on SLCN and gives students the opportunity to understand SLCN more effectively and how this may apply to their work.

To find out more about Listen To Us and how to order please go towww.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/shop

 

The Communication Trust resources and communication survey is now live!

The Communication Trust is constantly looking for ways to improve our resources and the ways in which we offer our services and communicate with our stakeholders.

To this end, we've designed a survey to help us understand who makes use of our services and what they think of them. If you'd like to help us improve our resources and better the ways in which we fulfill our mission, why not fill out our survey here?

It only takes a few minutes and we'd really appreciate it!

Register your interest for the new Speech, Language and Communication Progression Tools

The Progression Tools aim to support teaching staff to identify children who may be struggling to develop their speech, language and communication skills. They can also be used to track progression of these skills over time or following interventions. They aim to provide a relatively quick way of determining where children are against where they should be for their age and provide more information about how these vital skills are progressing.

The Tools are not a diagnostic tool and do not in any way replace the detailed speech, language and communication assessment by a speech and language therapist that some children will need. However, they will give you information to help decide whether children would benefit from a targeted intervention or whether they need specialist assessment and support.

These Tools are currently being printed, and will be available to order ASAP:

• Age 4
• Age 5-6
• Age 7-8
• Age 9-10

Later in 2014 there will also be Tools available for Age 3, Age 11, 11-12, 13-14 and 16-18.

These resources will go on sale at an introductory price of £29.99 plus postage and packaging. Please register your interest now and the first 100 will receive a 10% off promotional code. E-mail enquiries@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk with your name, job title and which age resource you would be interested in.

 

Where's Wally? 5 or 10km run

The National Literacy Trust's annual Where's Wally? run takes place in Victoria Park, London on Sunday 16 March 2014. All are welcome, including children aged  eight and over (who must be accompanied by an  adult). The run will begin at 11.00 with registration and  costume collection from 10.00.

Registration is £20 which includes a FREE Where's Wally? costume. We've also something for children who  are under eight-years-old this year, with lots of games and activities for them to take part in. For more information visitwww.literacytrust.org.uk/whereswally

 

Consortium member National Literacy Trust announce new series of conferences

Receive a 20% discount on National Literacy Trust conferences for literacy professionals.

The National Literacy Trust's spring conferences aim to support schools in their strategic planning to embed literacy in the teaching and learning cycle through a whole-school approach, in line with the new National Curriculum for 2014.

A range of experts will analyse research and share best practice at each event, providing literacy professionals with valuable support and insight.

Topics include:

Full details of speakers can be seen on the National Literacy trust's conference pages. To claim a 20% New Years discount on all of our conferences enter code NY1420 when booking online.

 

Educating Yorkshire show highlights difficulties faced by young people who stammer

The British Stammering Association (BSA), the UK's national stammering organisation, has applauded Channel 4's Educating Yorkshire show for highlighting the need to support young people who stammer in the classroom and through specialist speech and language support.

The episode, airing at 9pm on 24th October on Channel 4, features Musharaf (Mushy P), who has a severe stammer, as he prepares for his GCSE English oral exam. His Assistant Head teacher, Mr Burton, is supporting him and tries a range of unusual tactics to help improve his fluency.

Cherry Hughes, Education Officer at BSA, says: "Stammering is not well understood and sometimes is mimicked and a subject of mockery in society. It is refreshing that Educating Yorkshire has highlighted the impact of having a stammer at school and provides a platform to talk about ways to support young people like Musharaf.

To find out more information please click here.

 

No Pens Day Wednesday - a huge success!

On Wednesday 9th October 2013, over 2,400 schools across the county put down their pens and picked up their language! We've heard about all sorts of fantastic and innnovative activities schools have got planned- from poetry performances to TV reporting from maths bingo to Articulate and from treasure hunts to whole class debates- schools taking part in No Pens Day Wednesday   pulled out all the stops!

We've launched the evaluation survey now too so we'll be able to update on the impact and feedback from schools about the day soon. However, if you are a school who wants to take part or know a school who deos- it's not too late!

You can take part in No Pens Day Wednesday whenever works best for your school. The reosurces will remain available throughout the year for schools to access when they need them.

Help No Pens Day reach even more schools by sharing this press release with any media contacts and circulate this one pager to anyone who wants to get involved with No Pens Day Wednesday.       

If you are already taking part and want to let us know what you're up to and how it went please email Jo Bolton on jbolton@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk.

  

The Trust and RCSLT respond to Ofqual decision to stop speaking and listening assessments from counting towards final grades in GCSE English and English language

The Communication Trust and Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) have today jointly written to Ofqual Chief Regulator Glenys Stacey to express their disappointment and concern and to reconsider the decision.

RCSLT and The Communication Trust fear that, if the speaking and listening assessment no longer contributes to a grade, speaking and listening will be given less emphasis in the classroom.  This will diminish the role and importance of spoken language, which is the foundation for literacy.

The organisations are particularly concerned about the impact on students with speech, language and communication needs.  Some of these students will perform better on reading and writing than on speaking and listening.  Others, however, will perform better on speaking and listening - perhaps because of the support they have received in school.  It would be unfair for the hard-won spoken language skills of students in the second group not to be reflected in their grades.

To read the press release in full please click here and to read the full letter sent to Ofqual please click here.

  

Early Support School Years Developmental Journal

The School Years Developmental Journal is designed to help parents, young people, teachers and other practitioners record, celebrate and support learning and development. It also helps everyone to share information, supporting a key working approach.

Young people may like to make the Journal their own when they reach an age where this is appropriate.

The Journal is particularly useful if a child or young person has an additional need or disability. The School Years Developmental Journal follows on from the Early Years Developmental Journal and includes behaviours that most typically developing children and young people show during their time at school and beyond, i.e. from when they are aged five to 18 years and above.

It is suggested that before you start to use the Journal, you first read the 'How to Use' guide, which you can also download here. This contains additional information about how the Journal can be used in school settings.

 

NCB publish Greater Expectations 

On Friday 30th August the NCB published Greater Expectations. Greater Expectations studies 12 key indicators to determine whether children in this country are still experiencing inequality and disadvantage. The report focuses on the immediate action that is required to address the poverty and disadvantages that surround and embed in children's lives today. This is having a huge impact on all areas of their lives from early years development through to their education, health and housing.

The report also illustrates how there is a lack of ambition for children growing up in this country compared to other nations and is causing children to suffer unnecessarily and carries the risk of these disadvantages being embedded in our society.  

To find out more on this report and to watch the short animated film about the report visit www.ncb.org.uk/greaterexpectations

 

Shine a Light Awards - deadline extended!

 

Shine a Light

The 2013/14 Shine a Light Awards now have a extended deadline to Friday 31st January. Together with Pearson Assessment we are running these awards to recognise teams, settings and individuals across England who support children and young people's communication needs.

This year two new awards categories have been introduced to widen the scope and offer other services a chance to showcase their best practice. The Working Together Award and Children's Workforce Award will sit along side popular categories, such as early year's settings, schools and colleges and innovation which have been retained. A new award has also been introduced to celebrate the launch of our new initiative the 'Communication Commitment'.

This year applicants will also have a choice of how to submit their application - by video, poster or written format. Please go to www.shinealightawards.co.uk to apply.

For inspiration, you can read about the 2012 winners here. You can read the full press release here.

National Literacy Trust Job Vacancies

The National Literacy Trust is recruiting for some exciting new programme manager posts! You can view all of the available vacancies here

Vacancy with Consortium member NDCS - Campaigns Assistant

The National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) is looking for a creative, committed and enthusiastic campaigner to support our Stolen Futures campaign. Deaf children are some of the most vulnerable and educationally disadvantaged children in the UK today and yet serious cuts to the vital public services they receive are taking place. The successful candidate will motivate our network of campaigners to influence local and national decision makers to stop this.

The closing date for applications is 2nd January. Please click here for more information. 

NCB publish Greater Expectations 

On Friday 30th August the NCB published Greater Expectations. Greater Expectations studies 12 key indicators to determine whether children in this country are still experiencing inequality and disadvantage. The report focuses on the immediate action that is required to address the poverty and disadvantages that surround and embed in children's lives today. This is having a huge impact on all areas of their lives from early years development through to their education, health and housing.

The report also illustrates how there is a lack of ambition for children growing up in this country compared to other nations and is causing children to suffer unnecessarily and carries the risk of these disadvantages being embedded in our society.  

To find out more on this report and to watch the short animated film about the report visit www.ncb.org.uk/greaterexpectations

 

Helping parents promote early language development
 
The Communication Trust recently had a meeting with Elizabeth Truss, Under-Secretary of State for Education and Childcare who is really interested in the role of early language development. As part of the discussion, she is keen to find out about the messages parents need to have to effectively support their young child's speech, language and communication development. This applies to all parents, but she is particularly interested in what will work for parents in areas of social deprivation.

We're aware that in many areas there have been long-standing and successful initiatives about working with parents to promote the speech, language and communication of their babies and young children and we're keen that the Department for Education can harness any available information.

We're therefore asking if you have, or know of good practice examples we can share:

  • Key messages for parents about the best way to support early speech, language and communication development
  • How these key messages have been used with parents
  • Any information you have about how effective these messages/approaches have been

This will really enable us to inform the Department's thinking and we're really keen that tried and tested approaches can be well-represented. There's a tight deadline though  - we're looking for examples by the 10th December. Please send your examples through to Lisa Morgan, Professional Director on lmorgan@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk

 

No Pens Day Wednesday 9th October 2013 - The new resources are here!

No Pens Day Wednesday, a national speaking and listening event organised by The Communication Trust, is now in its third year. We now have over 1,500 schools signed up to No Pens Day Wednesday- why not join them!

We've got lots of exciting new materials ready now to help take you through your day. As well as the 2013 activity pack available to download here we've got new reosurces including;

• Downloadable poster for display in schools
• Print out poster to send home to families
• Speaking and listening outcomes matrix for lesson plans
• A handy how to guide to planning a good speaking and listening lesson
• Working effectively with support staff  in speaking and listening lessons
• New primary and secondary activity ideas
• Follow on factsheets on No Pens Day Wednesday

You can access all these and more by registering on our website here- www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/nopensdaywednesday

If you don't work in a school but want to help us spread the word and make the day as successful and wide reaching as possible please do circulate this one pager to any of your networks who may be interested in getting involved in No Pens Day Wednesday on Wednesday 9th October 2013.

 Tender opportunity to provide online learning, assessment and accreditation

The Communication Trust has secured a Department for Education VCS grant to pilot an innovative online learning model for early years practitioners to gain the accredited Level 3 Award: Supporting Children and Young People's Speech, Language and Communication.

This accessible and cost effective blended learning solution will allow practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds, to study their mandatory and optional units, be assessed and accredited online. This in turn will enable settings, through a better qualified workforce, to provide high quality early education in relation to children's language and communication.

We are now entering into the exciting stage of procuring a provider for the online learning, assessment and accreditation.

If you would like to submit a proposal please click here to download the full brief which contains further background information, criteria and milestones.

All proposals must be submitted to Emma Hickley ehickley@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk by midday on Friday 6th September 2013.

 

CDC Innovation and Sustainability Programme - Deadline extended

The Council for Disabled Children (CDC) Innovation and Sustainability Programme will now remain open for applications until Friday 6th September.

The programme will fund up to 30 projects supporting disabled children and young people across England.
 
The programme is looking for applications from organisations to undertake projects that will:

• Improve their organisation's sustainability through innovative and creative work.
• Increase the participation of disabled children and young people and those with special educational needs (SEN).
• Support the implementation at a local level of the government's proposed SEN and disability reforms, as outlined in the Children and Families Bill.
 
The programme is open to non-profit organisations in England with a turnover of less that £750,000.
 
Further criteria and information on how to apply is available at www.councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/innovationsustainabilityprogramme

 

Spotlight on SLCN in Westminster!

Conservative MP and strong supporter Robert Buckland led a 90 minute Westminster Hall debate on Speech, Language and Communication Needs Wednesday 19th July. The debate was prompted by a request from the Communication Trust and provided an opportunity for MP's from across the house to debate this specific issue.

The debate was well attended and both the Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson and his Labour shadow counterpart, Sharon Hodgson MP took part. Members present all showed a detailed knowledge of the issues and especially in the context of the Children and Families Bill and SEN reforms that are happening at the moment.

During the debate Robert Buckland MP addressed a number of issues - to access the briefing please click here.

A full transcript of the debate can be found here.

Wednesday 19th July also saw the Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson MP attend a meeting of the SLCN Working group, chaired by Paul Maynard MP with support from The Communication Trust. This meeting gave the opportunity for representatives from the Communication Consortium and others in the sector as well as interested parliamentarians and peers to probe the Minister on aspects of the Children and Families Bill that they have concerns about.

Questions asked of the Minister at this meeting again built on The Trust's areas of concerns as outlined in the third reading briefing. The Minister gave full responses to all the questions asked and representatives from the Department for Education were present taking notes on concerns raised by the sector.

The Trust will be following up with all the MPs and Peers who got involved in both the Westminster Hall Debate and the SLCN working group over the next few weeks to ensure the quality debates that came out of this day will positively influence the content of the Children and Families Bill as it progresses to the House of Lords and improve the provision of speech, language and communication support for all children and young people.

 

The British Academy of Childhood Disability survey

The British Academy of Childhood Disability currently has a survey around research priorities for children affected by neurodisability; we'd be really keen to have speech, language and communication needs and the priorities for children with SLCN represented in the responses, so if you can, please do take the time to respond around issues for children with SLCN.

The aim of the Childhood Disability Research Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) is to identify the unanswered questions about the effectiveness of interventions for children and young people affected by neurodisability from both patient and clinical perspectives. Interventions can take many forms; they include mainstream and alternative treatments and therapies, social interventions, changes to the environment, and any other ways we could change something to make a difference.

The plan is to then prioritise those unanswered questions that young people, parents and clinicians agree are the most important to create a 'top 10' important research topics.

The objectives of the Childhood Disability Research PSP are to:  

  • identify potential partner organisations and individuals and encourage their participation
  • encourage families and clinicians to identify uncertainties about the effectiveness of treatments
  • to agree by consensus a prioritised list of those uncertainties, for research
  • to publicise the results of the PSP and process
  • to take the results to research commissioning bodies to be considered for funding

The survey link can be accessed through the website here or directly here.  

 

Are you ready for the phonics screening check?

The phonics screening check will be delivered to Year 1 children the week beginning Monday 17th June. We have produced a guide to support teachers delivering and interpreting the phonics screening check to children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

The guide will help teachers to deliver the check but also has lots of useful tips and advice to support the overall literacy development of children with SLCN.

Please click here to register your details and download the booklet free of charge.

 

Westminster Hall debate scheduled on SLCN

At the request of The Communication Trust, Robert Buckland MP has secured a 90 minute Westminster Hall debate on 'The education of children and young people with speech, language and communication needs'. It will take place at 9.30am on Wednesday 19th June. The debate will be a chance for parliamentarians to show their commitment to the issue, and will also give them the opportunity to discuss speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) specifically in the context of the Children and Families Bill which has just gone through third reading and report stage in the House of Commons.   

This is a rare and exciting opportunity for our issue to get the parliamentary scrutiny and attention it deserves. This is a really important time for the sector and the timing of this Westminster Hall debate represents an brilliant opportunity. We will provide an update on this page about the key outcomes and themes that come out of the debate the week beginning 24th June.

To find out more about our policy work please click here.

 

Policy update

The Trust responds to key developments in Government policy to ensure the best opportunities are available for children with speech, language and communication needs and to maximise these opportunities.

We've responded to a number of consultations released by the Government recently including the proposed changes to the role of the local authority in early education and childcare.

Please click here to find out more.

 

Early Support

We've recently been working with Early Support who have commissioned us to organise the update of some of their online information resources. A number of these are now live on their website and they've also produced a film and an Early Support app will shortly be ready.

To find out more about their work please click here.

 

What do you think?

We're currently looking at how our website works and how people use it. We would really like to know your views by filling out our quick survey, which will only take a couple of minutes.

This will help us in the future provide more information that you want to see and we'll aim to make the site easier to use.

Please click here to complete the 5 question survey.

Thank you in advance.

 

What Works is launched!

On Monday 25th March we launched What Works, a database of interventions for practitioners working with children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

Developed with the Better Communication Research Programme, Work Works currently has 60 interventions on the database. These were chosen following extensive consultation with practitioners and a thorough literature review.

What Works is suitable for headteachers, teachers, teaching assistants, SLTs, SENCos and other specialist staff.

We will now begin a one-year prototype phase where we will be asking for feedback from users to help us to improve the database. We would be very grateful if you could spread the word to your colleagues to let them know that the database has been launched and to ask them to share their thoughts by completing the online questionnaire here.

The RCSLT has increased its support of What Works by adding its endorsement to the database. Chief Executive Kamini Gadhok said: "The RCSLT is delighted to have had the opportunity to work with partners at The Communication Trust to support the evaluation and development of the What Works website. At a time when commissioning of services is becoming more complex, any resource that supports this process is going to be vital."

To view and register to use the database please click here.

If you have any questions, please read our Frequently Asked Questions document here and please click here to view the press release..

 

 

Consultation on Early Education and Childcare Staff Deployment- The Communication Trust's response, March 2013

The Communication Trust welcomes the drive for improving qualifications for the childcare workforce, but urges the government to ensure that they have a clear focus on how best to support children's speech, language and communication development. For our full response to the More Great Childcare consultation click here.

 

The Education Endowment Foundation award a grant to The Communication Trust to test a school-wide approach to improving speech, language and communication support

The programme, Talk of the Town, was developed by The Communication Trust, a coalition of nearly 47 voluntary and community organisations with expertise in speech, language and communication. Talk of the Town offers a whole school approach to supporting speech, language and communication. It aims to facilitate early identification, encourage joined up working and improve outcomes for children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). It addresses the high level of poor language that exists, especially in areas of social deprivation.

The programme is an integrated approach to supporting children's communication development. As spoken language skills are thought to be a prerequisite to developing literacy skills, supporting language development is important in supporting children's attainment. The programme supports universal workforce development so teachers so are able to accurately identify pupils with SLCN, which can be difficult in schools with high levels of poverty, as those with moderate but not severe issues can often be overlooked. The programme provides targeted training for teaching staff through part-time speech and language therapists, to deliver evidence-based interventions for raising attainment. It also supports leadership to embed a sustainable, long-term strategy to support all children's communication needs.

The work grew out of a pilot in Wythenshawe, a deprived area of Manchester, funded by the Department for Education. This showed promising results but the evaluation was mostly qualitative. However, the underlying interventions supported as part of Talk of the Town are those that have been identified through the Better Communication Research Programme as having good evidence of impact (for more information, see our What Works database).

The Education Endowment Foundation is funding a randomised controlled trial of Talk of the Town. The Communication Trust will recruit 62 primary schools, 31 of which will be randomly allocated to participate in the full model for two years and the other half will receive training in just one of the interventions. The language and literacy skills of pupils in both groups of schools in both will be measured.

Welcoming the news, The Communication Trust's Director Anne Fox said : "This grant will enable the sector to evidence the link between speech, language and communication and educational attainment.  With the current emphasis on evidenced interventions and attainment this will support third sector organisations to access commissions in the evolving education landscape longer term".

Queen's University Belfast will undertake the independent evaluation.

   

Trust call to schools to commit to communication

The Communication Trust has released a paper which calls for schools toThinkpiece front cover do more to emphasise good speech, language and communication.


A Generation Adrift draws together research which shows that many children and young people are not being adequately supported to develop good communication skills and children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) are often misunderstood or missed altogether. It shows that high numbers of children living in poverty have SLCN and one-third are not working securely in speech, language and communication when they reach five-years-old.

As well as highlighting these problems, the paper also brings to light solutions such as the What Works database, which will be released in the coming months.

The Trust believes communication should be at the heart of schools policy in order that every child can achieve their potential academically, socially, emotionally and in their future career. It is developing a Communication Commitment to help schools assess their needs with regard to communication and signposting them to effective resources from the Trust and its Consortium. For more information, click here.

Download a copy of A Generation Adrift here.

You can also read our press release here.

 

The Trust welcomes publication of Better Communication Research Programme

On Thursday 27th December the Trust welcomed the publication of the Better Communication Research Programme outputs. This research is the most signifcant of its kind into the needs of children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and their families in the UK and the strategies to support them which can help.

Anne Fox, Director of The Communication Trust, said; "This landmark research is to be welcomed by all those committed to supporting children and young people who struggle with communication. This significant investment in research now needs to be brought to life in the places where children spend their days.

"The Trust and our Communication Consortium is fully committed to ensuring all those who work with children and young people with SLCN know how to support them and have practical tools to do this. This should happen during their initial training as well as during their continuing professional development, especially as children's needs change over time and in different situations. 

"We're working with the Department and the research team to share the resources and outcomes of the research, including an online database of evidenced interventions to support children's communication."

The Communication Trust and members of the Communication Consortium were among the stakeholders involved in the research programme which ran from 2008-2012. The publication of the research is the final activity of the Department for Education's Better Communication Action Plan, introduced in response to the Bercow review of children's speech, language and communication needs in 2008.

The other activities included the appointment of a Communication Champion, the establishment of a Communication Council and a national year of communication, the Hello campaign, run by the Trust in 2011, the full evaluation of which is now available here.

 

Update on Consortium member Signalong 

The Signalong group has undergone a major reorganisation and has identified a new potential funding stream. A new Board of Trustees will be entering negotiations with a local educational foundation with a view to securing the longer term future of the Signalong system of sign supported communication for children and adults.

The Signalong charity is now restored to full working operation.

 

The Trust's response to the Education Select Committee report

On Wednesday 19th December the Trust welcomed the Education Select Committee report on the proposed changes to special educational needs provision and urged the Government to implement the committee's recommendations in legislation as an urgent priority. 

In welcoming the Committee's report Anne Fox, Director of The Communication Trust, said; "The Communication Trust welcomed the opportunity afforded when the Department presented the draft clauses of the legislation to the committee for scrutiny. Changes of this magnitude deserve careful consideration. We were concerned that some of the changes proposed might damage the levels of services children and young people with SLCN currently receive. We are delighted that the Committee heard those concerns having listened to the views of children and young people as well as their families and those who work with and represent them.

Their recommendations should now be implemented and a draft bill introduced without further delay so that services for children and young people across the country can be better suited to their needs". 

To read the full press release please click here.

For more information, please contact Anne Fox on 0207 843 2537 (office hours) or 07910 177966
afox@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk.

 

Goodbye Hello - Hello 2013-17 Strategy

The Communication Trust celebrated the end of 2012 by publishing the evaluation of the Hello campaign and announcing its new five-year strategy.

Although the national year of communication 2011 is over, the Trust will continue working to make sure speech, language and communication remains a burning issue. Our plans include making sure anyone working with children has the skills, knowledge and confidence to support children in developing good communication as well as identifying and supporting those with SLCN.

We will be calling on all our Hello supporters and consortium members to join us on this journey to keep the importance of children's communication on the political and educational agenda.

Our press release can be viewed here.

The Hello evaluation can be viewed here.

A summary of our strategy can be downloaded here.

If you were a supporter of Hello, and want to shout about its successes, you can download our toolkit here.

 

Communication Matters launch new website

Communication Matters, the lead UK organisation dedicated to supporting children and adults who need augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), has this month launched their AACknowledge website bringing AAC information and evidence together in one place for the first time.

www.AACknowledge.org.uk

Commissioned as part of its three year AAC Evidence Base Research Project, the ground-breaking website has been funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund and been developed by Manchester Metropolitan University in association with Communication Matters.

The AACknowledge website will increase awareness of relevant evidence through a bibliography of published research into AAC. Shaped by the AAC community, the website presents case studies, frequently asked questions, factsheets, glossaries,  summaries of articles in plain English and links to other sources of information helping people who use AAC and the people supporting them to make informed and independent choices about support needed.

Please click here to read the full press release.

 

Look who's talking - new films for parents released

We have launched a series of four short films, highlighting how young children aged 0-5 learn to speak, listen and interact with their parents or carers.

Available here, the four films cover the 0-6 months, 6-12 months, 1-2 and 2-3 years age ranges with actress Kathy Burke providing the 'voice' of the child. They highlight what children respond to and what they struggle with, for example enjoying it when parents get down to their level but finding it hard to follow lots of instructions.

The films were commissioned by Jean Gross, formerly the Government's Communication Champion for children, to form one of the legacies of the Hello campaign (national year of communication) run in partnership with the Trust.

Each film ends with a series of take-home messages for parents. A guidance document for the early years workforce, available here has been produced supporting them to use the films.

To read the Trust's full press release, click here.

A series of factboxes has been created to accompany the films. To download the appropriate document, click the link below:

- 0-6 months
- 6-12 months
- 1-2 years
- 2-3 years

 

Communication coalition to contribute to Breakthrough Britain II

Trust Professional Director Wendy Lee will join a working group on educational failure as part of a new policy enquiry, Breakthrough Britain II.

Led by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), the new study will look at the fundamental causes of poverty and social breakdown, which the CSJ has identified as welfare dependency, family breakdown, educational failure, drug and alcohol addiction and serious personal debt.

The study will run until 2014 and is likely to report back ahead of the next general election.

To read our press release, click here.

For more information about the study, visit the CSJ's website here.

 

Shine a Light Awards: Winners announced

The winners of the Shine a Light Awards 2012 have been announced at a glittering award ceremony, hosted by TV and radio personality Paul Ross.

The awards, run by The Communication Trust and sponsor Pearson Assessment, rewarded more than 25 individuals, teams and schools for their work in supporting children and young people's communication development, particularly those with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

To read the official press release, click here.

Case studies of the winners are available here. 


 

Trust attends Charity Times Awards 2012

The Communication Trust is celebrating after being shortlisted for two awards for its work during the Hello campaign, the national year of communication.

The Trust was shortlisted in two categories, PR Team of the Year and National Corporate Partnership Champion of the Year. The categories were won by Diabetes UK and Cancer Research UK in partnership with Network Rail, respectively.

Representatives of the Trust attended the glittering 2012 Charity Times Awards held at Lancaster London Hotel, near Lancaster Gate, compered by actor and comedian Miles Jupp.

For more information, click here.

  

Communication coalition chosen to support local authorities in providing quality early years' education

The Trust has been chosen as a 'recommended supplier' for local authorities looking at boosting the skills of the children's workforce in their early years' settings to deliver the 2-year-old offer.

We were selected by management consultancy Mott MacDonald, commissioned to help local authorities make best use of the funding they receive from Government, to facilitate delivery of a new Level 3 Award in Supporting Children and Young People's Speech, Language and Communication which the Trust developed with the support of City & Guilds.

Ten Local Authorities have already begun piloting the government's legal requirement to ensure that specified two-year-olds will be entitled to 15 hours of free early education a week. This will then be extended to 20% of the most disadvantaged two year olds from September 2013, and 40% from September 2014.

To read the Trust's full press release, click here.

To view a case study of the Award in action, through a partnership in Nottinghamshire, click here

 



No Pens Day Wednesday - resources still available

More than 1,100 schools signed up to put down their pens and pick up their language as part of No Pens Day Wednesday during October.

The initiative is aimed at making schools more aware of using speaking and listening skills to support children's speech, language and communication development.

Even if you didn't have chance to run a No Pens Day this year, the resources are still available on the website so you can run your day any time that suits you best. There are lesson plans, activity templates, assemblies and much more.

Please click here to find out more.

Would you like to link up with a school who run No Pens Day Wednesday in Tasmania? They have set up a blog with their students to share ideas and videos from the day and would like to share this with a school in England. Please e-mail enquiries@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk if you're interested.

 

Communication Matters welcomes AAC inclusion in Clinical Advisory Group's recommendations for specialised services

Communication Matters, the lead UK organisation dedicated to supporting children and adults who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), has welcomed the Government's decision to accept recommendations that specialised AAC services and equipment should be nationally commissioned from April 2013.

It is also calling on the Government to adopt a costed and evidenced solution, developed in partnership with Jean Gross CBE, formerly the Government's Communication Champion for children, which would result in a phased approach to commissioning of specialised AAC hub services.

To see their full statement, click here.

 

Phonics Check - please give us your feedback

In June 2012, all children in Key Stage 1 undertook the phonics check. In order to support teachers and school staff to administer the test for the first time and to interpret the results for children with SLCN, The Communication Trust published Communicating Phonics.

The Trust also developed a number of factboxes for professionals and parents on the key principles behind the test and how to develop the literacy skills of children with SLCN.

Your feedback needed - We're keen to receive your feedback on the Phonics Check generally and impact on children as well as your thoughts on the Communicating Phonics guidance.

Click here to fill out our Phonics feedback form. Once completed, please return it to lmilford@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk or call 0207 8432564 if you want to discuss your views.  Your views will directly inform our work, thank you!

 

Literacy: Heart of the Curriculum, Manchester, 28th November

As the new National Curriculum gathers pace, consortium member National Literacy Trust is organising a conference for all practitioners to explore current developments, practice and innovation in the creation of a curriculum with literacy at its heart.

Speakers include Professor Robin Alexander who will explore the importance of talk and language development both within literacy and its vital role across the curriculum.

Click hereto book.

 

Shine a Light Awards 2012: Update

Paul RossExcitement is building around the Shine a Light Awards 2012!

Shortlisting took place earlier this month and the judges have made their choices. Over the next week, we will be sending out invitations to the awards ceremony, which will take place at Pearson's headquarters in Strand, London on November 21st.

We're also delighted to announce that the celebrity host at this year's award ceremony will be television presenter Paul Ross.

Mr Ross has formerly been a journalist and radio presenter, and is perhaps best known as showbiz reporter on This Morning. He played the part of 'Mr Sit-up Britain' in the film Bridget Jones' Diary and was a contestant on Channel 4's Celebrity Come Dine With Me in 2009.

Thank you to everyone who helped us spread the word about the Shine a Light Awards 2012 and bringing in some interesting applications.

Keep watching the website - we'll announce the winners after the award ceremony!

 

The Makaton Charity is looking for 4 - 6 individuals to join and expand their dynamic board of Trustees

Unusually for a charity, they're largely self-funding, which means your 'day job' skills could prove highly valuable. The Makaton Charity would be especially pleased to hear from you if you can offer the following:

• Health, education, or social care experience, especially in relation to communication or learning difficulties
• Business or entrepreneurial skills, including general commercial expertise to help us sharpen and evolve our business model
• New media expertise, to inform the product and service developments that will enable us to deliver Makaton wherever and whenever it's needed

The above qualities are desirable rather than mandatory - it's fresh thinking they're after. And while experience of governance would be an advantage, training can be provided.

Be part of their exciting future - so if you're interested in communication, feel passionately that everyone in society should have a chance to participate, or know that there's something in you that could bring useful challenge or strength to our work, The Makaton Charity love to hear from you.

For more information, please visit www.makaton.org/trustees or call 01276 606760.

 

Trust hosts conference to support speech and language in schools

There is still time to book for our Cracking Communication Conference taking place in Manchester on Tuesday November 13th.

The event is aimed at helping schools to support outcomes in children and young people by enhancing and promoting good communication skills.

Speakers at the conference include Anne Duffy, HMI from Ofsted, Professor Geoff Lindsay, Director of the Better Communication Research Programme, and Wendy Lee, Professional Director from The Communication Trust.

Delegates will also have the opportunity to choose from eight practical workshops delivered by sector professionals and there will also be an exhibition, giving the chance to network and see resources firsthand.

To view our full press release, click here.

For more information about the conference and to see a full timetable and list of workshops, click here.

 

Voice for Life - New events in 2012/13!

Building on the success of the Voice for Life events held earlier this year in Southampton, Leicester and Stockton on Tees, more events will take place at:

• The University of the West of England, Bristol 6 December 2012
• Haydock Park, Merseyside 7 February 2013
• North London March 2013 (Venue and date tbc)

The programme for Bristol will be available in mid-September at www.afasicengland.org.uk and will offer:

• Workshops for parents/carers and/or professionals facilitated by Communication Trust members and local agencies
• Activities for school groups
• Information stands

For more information on any of these FREE events please contact Tony Curtis tonyc@afasicengland.org.uk or Carol Lingwood carol.lingwood@btopenworld.com

 

Communication Coalition welcomes Children and Families Bill

The Communication Trust has today (3rd September 2012) welcomed theChildren and Families Bill, highlighting that the proposed changes with the right implementation could positively impact on the 1 million children in the UK with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), and their families.

The Trust has welcomed the emphasis on joint commissioning of services, the introduction of Education, Health and Care Plans, giving parents more choice through personalised budgets, as well as through a local offer to parents of children with SEN, including those with SLCN. However, it has highlighted the challenges and difficulties in implementing these.

To read the full response, click here.

 

Welcoming a new director

The Communication Trust is delighted to announce the arrival of its new Director, Anne Fox. She has previously worked at NCT as Head of Corporate Communications and will lead the Trust through its next strategic period.

Anne says: "I am delighted to join The Communication Trust at this exciting and challenging time. Moving forwards, the Trust will work to ensure children's communication is a burning issue. We will do this by sharing what works for all children and those with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) to the widest possible audience."

To see the full press release, click here.

 

The Shine a Light Awards - Back for 2012

The Communication Trust and Pearson Assessment have teamed up once again to bring you the Shine a Light 2012 awards.

Back by popular demand, the Shine a Light awards are looking for teams, settings and individuals across the UK that exemplify best practice and excellence around supporting children and young people's communication and those with SLCN. The awards are becoming a flagship event in the speech and language calendar, thanks to the huge success of last year's awards run as part of the Hello campaign (national year of communication).

Over 300 applications were received and our judges had the mammoth task of whittling these down to just 12 winners and 23 highly commended awards. They were overwhelmed by the quality of the entries and this year we have added new categories to give more teams and individuals the chance to shine including the 'Innovation Award' and 'Youth Justice Award'.

Our press release about the launch of the awards is available here.

To find out more about the awards, or to download an application form, visit the website.

Want to feel inspired by last year's winners? Click here to read their stories.

The deadline for entries has been extended to Wednesday 10th October to give more time to those who have just begun the new term. We hope to see you at the Shine a Light awards ceremony on Wednesday 21st November at Pearson Assessment's headquarters in London for a night to remember!

 

Leading communication coalition welcomes Children and Young People's Health Outcomes Forum report

The Communication Trust, a coalition of nearly 50 voluntary organisations with expertise in speech, language and communication, has today (27th July 2012) welcomed recommendations from the Children and Young People's Health Outcomes Forum to improve health-related care for children and young people and address long-standing system issues.

The Forum launched by the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, included the Government's former Communication Champion, Jean Gross CBE. Last year, The Communication Trust managed and delivered the National Year of Communication (Hello campaign) in partnership with Jean Gross.

To read our full response click here.

 

Ofcom study suggests 'texting is overtaking talking in UK'

The Communication Trust has reiterated today the vital importance of good spoken communication skills and interaction, in light of today's Ofcom's findings that more people are sending text messages instead of having face-to-face conversations.

Wendy Lee, Professional Director for the Trust who was interviewed on BBC Breakfast this morning, says: "We cannot underestimate the importance and value of face-to-face communication. While technology plays an important role in our lives, it is vital that children and young people develop good social interaction skills. Children learn to communicate through face-to-face communication and interaction with adults and this provides excellent opportunities to develop a wider vocabulary. They cannot pick this up through using technology when so much of this information is bite-sized and they miss out on the richness of language."

Lee also highlighted the positives of technology saying "It has increased the number of people we can communicate with and widens our experience, which can be enriching linguistically. 1 million children in the UK have some form of speech, language and communication need and for those who use communication aids and alternative methods of communication, technology is their lifeline."

To read the full response, click here

You can also download the Trust's ten point plan on how to ensure technology can also be a communication friendly opportunity here and how parents and carers are the ultimate communications device for children here.

 

Project provides insight into speech aid requirements

A three-year research project run by our consortium member Communication Matters has proved there are still opportunities to improve the acceptability and use of communication aids, particularly by making it quicker and easier to programme them and generate messages in day-to-day speech.

Funded by the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund, the project aimed to provide greater understanding of the need for and provision of communication aids for people with significant speech problems.

This is the first systematic review of its kind and provides information to support service provision, valuable insight for suppliers and supporters of those who need to use communication aids, as well as identifying areas for further research.

Click here to read Communication Matters' press release.

 

Gravesham schools celebrate improvements in pupils' communication through A Chance to Talk

Staff from eight Gravesham primary schools recently gathered at Raynehurst Primary School to celebrate their involvement in A Chance to Talk, a two-year project which helps to improve pupils' speech, language and communication skills. The project, developed by I CAN and The Communication Trust, with support from the Every Child a Chance Trust, aims to boost the skills of all children, but also provides targeted support for those needing extra help.

 A Chance to Talk includes Talk Boost, a structured and robustly evidenced programme that can boost a child's communication by an average of 18 months after ten weeks of intervention.

Gravesham was one of the pilot areas of the A Chance to Talk project, along with Rochdale, Whitby and Kirkby.

For more information, please click here to read the I CAN Blog.

 

A Voice for the Voiceless

Selective mutism is a rare condition and its causes are complex, but the latest data from Selective Mutism Information and Research Association (SMIRA) members sheds light on the emotional impact of the condition on the young people who have it.

In her paper Silent Voices: Listening to Young People with Selective Mutism, researcher Victoria Roe provides personal anecdotes from the young people about coping with the condition and what others can do to support them.

The study looked specifically at young people aged 10 to 18-years-old and aims to provide an insight into how they can be supported to overcome the condition.

An article by Victoria Roe about her paper is featured in the Summer 2012 edition of Young Minds magazine and can be viewed here. For more information about the magazine, visit its website.
 
Her full paper is available by clicking here.

For more information about Selective Mutism, visit the SMIRA website.

 

Speaking with a child's voice - for the first time

A ground-breaking project has unveiled the world's first genuine, natural-sounding children's voices for users of alternative and augmentative communication (AAC).

The voices, created by Acapela Group and AssistiveWare, are included in the Proloquo2Go App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch through a new free update released on the App Store.

'Harry' and 'Rosie' were recorded by and for children to use as their preferred 'Text to Speech' voice to communicate a want, need or thought using symbol-based communication or typing with word prediction.

Anna Reeves, National AAC Coordinator for England, said: "These new voices will further transform the lives of children who cannot speak and the lives of those around them. It may be the very first time that families hear their own children speak with a child's voice - you can't put a price on that."


For more information, click here.



Communication coalition welcomes language emphasis in Nutbrown's landmark review

The Trust has welcomed Professor Cathy Nutbrown's recommendations on the vital importance of young children's speech and language development and ensuring early years practitioners are skilled and knowledgeable with access to robust and quality qualifications.

We feel every child deserves the best start in life and supporting them to develop good speech, language and communication skills is vital to help improve their life chances.

Robust qualifications and training for the children's workforce are of key importance to help early years practitioners to support all children in developing good communication skills, but most of all to be able to identify and support the children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

Please click here to read our response.

For more information about our Supporting Children and Young People's Speech, Language and Communication Level 3 Award, developed with City & Guild, click here

 

Leading AAC centre saved by charity merger

Two leading charities have today announced plans to develop a national service for people in England with communication needs and ensure a vital site in Oxford remains open.

The merger of the ACE Centres in Oxford and Oldham will ensure the Oxford site, previously facing closure at the end of June, will continue to provide independent advice, assessments and training to enable access to technology for individuals, including children, with significant communication needs. 

The move is to be financed by investment from the ACE Centre in Oldham, and will also use an existing grant from the Department for Education to develop national services providing support in the areas of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Assistive Technology (AT).

For more information, visit the ACE Centre website

 

Trust project gets local radio airtime

Radio listeners in Wythenshawe have been finding out about the Talk of the Town project, thanks to community-funded radio station Wythenshawe FM.

The station recorded an interview about the project, led by the Trust and the South Manchester Inclusive Learning Enterprise (SMILE), after pupils from Baguley Hall Primary School took their parents on a school trip to the Museum of Science and Industry.

Talk of the Town is aimed at improving children and young people's speech, language and communication. Parents were given a booklet full of information and questions to spark discussions as they looked around the exhibits including the 'air and space' and experiments area.

Trust Professional Director, Wendy Lee, was interviewed along with Neil Wilson, executive head teacher at the Manchester Schools Federation and Kate Bulman, deputy head teacher of Baguley Hall Primary. They talked about Talk of the Town and how it is benefitting children in Wythenshawe.

Listen to an mp3 of the radio interview here.

 

Decoding phonics for children with SLCN

As schools prepare to administer June's phonics test for the first time, The Communication Trust has published Communicating Phonics today to support teachers and school staff.

Aimed at Year 1, reception class teachers and SENCOs, Communicating Phonics, suggests ways in which children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) could be supported to access the phonics test and how to interpret the results.

Communicating Phonics was compiled by Symbol UK, providers of specialist speech and language therapy to children and adults with special needs, with specialist input from the Trust's consortium of voluntary sector organisations. 

Please click here for more information and to download.

You can also download factboxes for professionals, parents and carers on the key principles behind the test and how to develop the literacy skills of children with SLCN.

 

A RALLI-ing cry for better SLI support

A group of academics has launched RALLI,  a video-led campaign aimed at raising awareness of Specific Language Impairment (SLI) by sharing people's experiences and what can  be done to help those affected.

The videos are aimed at children, parents and education professionals because, although the condition is quite common, it gets little recognition and so many children and their families miss out on accessing services and support which they desperately need.

Children with SLI have difficulty in understanding and expressive language and this can impact on how they learn and form friendships, and on their educational development. Figures show 40% of children with SLI struggle to interact with their peers and that they are twice as likely to be bullied. This issues often do not stop as they get older and teenagers with language impairment are more than twice as likely to report symptoms of anxiety or depression.

The team of academics has been supported by Afasic, The Waterloo Foundation and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

To see a press release on RALLI, click here.

 

Our response to the SEN Progress Report

On Tuesday 15th May, the Trust welcomes the drive towards joined up approaches and efforts to ease the journey for children with SEN and their families but has concerns about the effect of these changes on the 1 million children and young people in the UK with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

Please click here to view our full response.

 

Talking is just the ticket on school's museum visit

Chatter was the name of the game as 114 nursery and reception children from Baguley Primary School in Wythenshawe took their parents on a special school trip last week to the Museum of Science and Industry.

The visit was funded by The Communication Trust as part of its Talk of the Town project to develop children's speaking and listening skills. Parents were given a booklet full of information and questions to spark discussions as they looked around the exhibits including the 'air and space' and experiments area.

Recent evidence from The Communication Trust shows that in the Newall Green Federation of Schools in Wythenshawe, over 50% of children are in need of extra support with their communication skills.

Talk of the Town is an innovative project, led by the Trust and the South Manchester Inclusive Learning Enterprise (SMILE) to improve children and young people's speech, language and communication. Click here for more information on the project.

To read the full press release, click here

To read our Top Talking Tips for Parents, click here

 

 

New blog posts from professionals in the youth justice sector

To coincide with the launch of our new film Sentence Trouble (more information below), we have uploaded some new blog posts from professionals in the youth justice sector, reflecting some of the issues highlighted by the film.

Diz Minnitt, Operational Manager at Milton Keynes Youth Offending Team, highlights in his post the vital impact that a formal speech and language assessment can have on determining the outcome of a young offender's engagement with the youth justice system, and the impact this in turn has on their future path and re-offending probability.

Penny Cooper a Barrister and Associate Dean at City University Law School, focuses her blog on the role of intermediaries in the youth justice system and the current lack of access that defendants with SLCN have to them in the system. She notes that increasing access to intermediaries for defendants is essential if we are to move closer to achieving truly fair trials and outcomes for all who enter the criminal and youth justice system.

The final blog comes from Dave Mahon, Programme Manager of the Youth Justice Programme at The Communication Trust and provides a poignant account of some of the stories he heard from young people he interviewed as research for the Sentence Trouble film.

To watch the Sentence Trouble film please click here, and to view the blogs please click here.

 

Sentence Trouble film

The Sentence Trouble film has been produced to improve the skills and confidence of youth offending teams, lawyers, secure estate staff, magistrates and the police so they are able to recognise speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and reflect on their own communication skills.

The film makes a strong case for better communication skills within the youth justice workforce and calls for changes in the law to ensure young defendants with SLCN have the same rights as witnesses to an intermediary, who can support them to communicate with a police officer or judge.

You can view the film on the Sentence Trouble website, www.sentencetrouble.info/film

We would love to have your views please email dmahon@thecommuicationtrust.org.uk or follow us on Twitter.

 

Intervention for language delayed children launched at Cracking Communication conference

At our Cracking Communication conference for schools, we launched Talk Boost, a new intervention aimed at language-delayed children in Key Stage 1. Trials of the intervention have shown children can improve their communication skills by 18 months after just 10 weeks of intervention.

The intervention was developed by The Communication Trust and I CAN, with support from the Every Child a Chance Trust. The conference, attended by about 120 delegates, was a great opportunity to tell head teachers, school leaders and speech and language therapists about the services on offer to help children.

To view our press release, click here.

To find out more about our conference please click here.

 

Better Communication Report - Shaping Speech, Language and Communication Services for Children and Young People

Changes are already underway in health and education structures and funding which means effective commissioning is crucial to improve outcomes for all children, particularly those with SLCN.

The Better Communication publication, written by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and Jean Gross, former Communication Champion, explains a range of approaches to commissioning by people working across budgets, professional disciplines and geography to shape better services for children and young people. It should be required reading for anyone shaping  universal services for children and young people and those making provision for children and young people with additional needs.

The Communication Trust is delighted to see such a report, which includes a chapter by our Professional Director Lisa Morgan, and it has given us a wealth of materials, guidance and information to build into our next five-year strategy.

To view and download a copy of the report, click here.

 

The Communication Trust responds to the announcement of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Earlier in the week the Department for Education announced the revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), on which The Communication Trust worked in consultation.

We are pleased to see the Government put so much emphasis on good communication skills as an important part of a child's development and this is also supported by Professor Cathy Nutbrown's interim report which calls for the children's workforce to be better skilled at helping children's language and communication skills develop.

We put out a response to the Framework but due to the transition of our website we weren't able to post it on here until today.  To see our response, click here.

 

The Communication Trust and Achievement for All: Building a joined-up offering for SEND

Achievement for All and The Communication Trust have collaborated to produce a paper exploring the links between approaches to addressing the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and those who struggle with speech, language and communication.

Please click here to view the paper, written by Hassan Al-Damluji and Anita Kerwin-Nye.

 

Finding the 'invisible' voice of children with speech, language and communication needs

The Communication Trust's Professional Director Wendy Lee is one of 52 contributers to a new book aimed at helping people to interact better with children with speech, language and communication needs. Listening to Children and Young People with Speech, Language and Communication Needs features chapters from parents, young people and sector experts explaining what young people need.
A percentage of the profits from the sales of the booklet will go to Afasic, a charity which supports children who have a specific language impairment and their familes.

To find out more about the book and how to order please click here.

To view a press release about the book click here.

 

Anita Kerwin-Nye, Director of The Communication Trust, announces she is stepping down

AKN_imageAnita Kerwin-Nye, Director of The Communication Trust has announced that she is to step down after five years in post. Anita originally founded the Trust in 2007 alongside BT, I CAN, Council for Disabled Children and Afasic to support the development and training of the children's workforce and to influence policy.

Anita will be succeeded from 1st May in the interim by Cara Evans, Operations Director, who will work closely with Adrian Hosford, Chair of the Trust, on implementing the next five year plan. The Trust will be building on the legacy of the Hello campaign by launching a campaign in the near future to place communication at the heart of schools' policy and practice.

Please click here to read the full press release.

 

The Communication Trust and Hello websites have merged

Now Hello, the national year of communication campaign, is over we didn't want to loose the fantastic resources developed and the stories you submitted over the year. So we decided to merge the Trust's website and the Hello website into one.

This means you can now access information about the Trust and our other work, alongside the information from the Hello campaign.

Missing something? If you can't find a document or some information that was on either site previously, please e-mail enquiries@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk and we'll e-mail it to you and put it back on the site.

 

Jean Gross Two Years On Report

The final report of the Communication Champion for children, Jean Gross CBE is now available.

The reflections in Two Years On: final report of the Communication Champion for children are based on findings from an extensive programme of meetings with local commissioners and service providers across England, undertaken between January 2010 and December 2011. Jean Gross has met with 105 out of the 152 local authority / NHS Primary Care Trust pairings in England.

To download the report, please click here.

Jean Gross has made 30 recommendations to Government, local authorities, the voluntary sector and schools on the future of speech, language and communication services for children. The press release can be downloaded here.

The Communication Trust's response to Two Years On is available here.

If you have any queries on this, please email Laura Smith on lsmith@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk

 

Speech, language and communication primed to become key part of National Curriculum from 2014

On 20th December 2011 The Communication Trust has welcomed the focus on speech, language and communication in The Framework for the National Curriculum report. Compiled by the Expert Panel for the National Curriculum review, the report has officially called for speech, language and communication to form part of the curriculum for all subjects from September 2014 right through compulsory schooling, rather than being focused in the National Curriculum for English.

The report specifically refers to a resource developed by The Communication Trust and Pearson Assessment - Universally Speaking - a set of three booklets that outline the ages and stages of children's communication from birth to 18-years-old.

Please click here to read the full press release.