The Communication Trust Newsletter
October 2013


The Communication Trust is a coalition of nearly 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 to support all children and young people’s communication skills, particularly those with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

Our newsletters contain information about the work of The Trust, how we're continuing the legacy of the 2011 Hello campaign and provide updates from our Consortium members.

The 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. If this sounds like you, there is now the opportunity to become a Local Champion for The Communication Trust.
For more information, please email:


The Communication Commitment is here!

CommitmentThough this newsletter, you will all have heard about the Trust’s exciting new resource for schools - The Communication Commitment.

The Commitment is an interactive website which provides a simple way to ensure all pupils communicate to the best of their ability by developing a whole-school approach to communication. It also supports schools to develop their own personalised approach to communication and helps schools to support all of their pupils, including those with speech, language and communication needs, to communicate better – which is part of the Ofsted Framework.

At the beginning you’ll choose five actions to help you work towards a whole-school approach to Communication and we’ve provided an exciting range of free guidance and information to help you achieve these actions. You’ll then be signposted to ways to take your Commitment further by working with some of our Consortium organisations who will provide expert support to help you embed the changes you make.

We’ve been working hard over the past few months with our schools review group and expert advisers to make the site as effective and engaging for schools as possible and we are delighted to be able to tell you that it’s now live and ready to go!

You can visit the site now and register to get started on your Communication Commitment!

If you don’t work in a school but want to share information about The Communication Commitment with colleagues who do, please click here to download a one pager explaining what the Commitment is.

The development of the website has been sponsored by Pearson Assessment. If you have any feedback, suggesitons or questions about the Commitment we’re really keen to hear from you. Please get in touch with us at and we’ll get back to you.


The Communication Trust is recruiting!

The Communication Trust is currently recruiting for the following posts:

  • Professional Advisor
  • Professional Advisor – Talk of the Town project (maternity cover)
  • Operations Administrator
  • Team Administrator

The Communication Trust is an exciting organisation providing information, support and resources to the children’s workforce on children’s communication development. The Trust is a consortium of nearly 50 organisations who harness their 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.

The Trust operates in a fast paced and exciting environment and is looking for people to join our busy and dynamic team. To find out more please click here.

The closing date for the Professional Advisor posts is Friday 15th November and the closing date for the Administrator posts is Monday 11th November.

No Pens Day Wednesday - the evaluation begins!

NPDWA huge thank you to all those schools who got involved in No Pens Day Wednesday this year helping to make it the biggest and best yet - over 2,500 schools signed up and took part! If you, or a school you know, took part and haven’t yet completed our short survey, please could we ask you to set aside five minutes to complete it -

The more feedback we get, the more improvements we can make to help ensure that No Pens Day Wednesday is even easier to engage with and even more exciting and dynamic for pupils.

Measuring the impact that No Pens Day Wednesday has for staff and pupils is absolutely essential for us and it’s only by receiving this sort of feedback from the schools who took part that we’re able to really see the effect it’s having. This sort of information is invaluable for us in the work we do to raise the profile of speech, language and communication in schools and we’re really looking forward to receiving it!

We’ll update you on the outcomes of the evaluation in an upcoming newsletter.

If you have any questions or want to get in touch with us to share your stories, experiences or photographs please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Jo on

Policy update from The Communication Trust

This has been a very busy time for policy work here at the Trust with a number of key documents and decisions being debated currently.

We’re working hard to ensure children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) are being effectively included and provided for in all of these areas. We’ve given a short update on some of the most important we are currently, or have been involved with, recently. These are:

  • Children and Families Bill
  • Primary assessment and accountability under the new national curriculum consultation
  • Regulation of Childcare consultation
  • Ofqual

You can find further information on these in a summary document here.

If you’d like to find out more detail about any of these issues or others, please visit the policy pages of our website or get in touch with Jo Bolton on for any information not on these policy pages.


Julie Dockrell speaks to RALLI

RALLIProfessor Julie Dockrell has been interviewed by RALLI about the Better Research Communication Programme (BRCP), What Works and the Communication Supporting Classroom Observation Tool. To see the video please click here.

For more information on RALLI, please go to

To find out more on BCRP, you can read the reports collection at here.

Visit our website to find out more about What Works here and the Communication Supporting Classroom Observation Tool here.


Band Together with BeatBullying to make bullying unacceptable

BeatBullyingAs part of Anti Bullying Week, BeatBullying has created a series of resources to help students understand the impact they can have by banding together to speak out against bullying in school. These resources include a free downloadable lesson plan on ‘Who is responsible?’ which can be found here.

For more information, visit the Anti Bullying Week website at or the Beat Bullying website at

Charity of the month: Elklan

ElklanWhat is Elklan CIC?
Elklan CIC is part of Elklan which trains practitioners to develop the communication skills of all children but especially those with speech, language and communication needs. Elklan set up in 1999 by Liz Elks and Henrietta McLachlan, Speech and Language Therapists (SLT’s) is now the largest provider of externally accredited training in the field in the UK.

Our track record
Elklan training has been used in nursery, primary and secondary schools across the UK. Through our network of 1200 tutors (all of whom are either SLTs or specialist teachers) we have delivered accredited training to over 31,000 practitioners and parents. Licensed tutors can deliver any of our training programmes; new tutors are always welcome!

All 16 of our courses are accredited through Apt awards, (formerly Open College Network South West) and many are on the QCF. Courses support staff working with children and young people from 0-25 years and a range of disability. They are suitable for education practitioners and Early Years staff working at universal, targeted and specialist levels.

Elklan’s ‘Building a Communication Friendly School’ programme has proved effective in changing teachers practice and children’s ability to access the curriculum. For the report click here.

We offer this whole school accreditation through blended learning. Attend a one day course in London on 16th January 2014 and subsequent web based sessions. Alternatively local tutors can deliver to school confederations or clusters.

Visit the website or request details, 028 90296772,





The local impact of Early Language Development Programme training

ELDPEarly Language Development Programme (ELDP) lead practitioners are busy delivering early language training to local early years and family facing practitioners. Over 90% of these practitioners are reporting that the local training and resources are helping them to improve their practice, with practitioners using more innovative ideas for improving their work to support children’s early language identification and development.

Since the training, confidence levels have risen dramatically in practitioners’ ability to spot the signs of speech, language and communication difficulties amongst 0-3 year olds, with 75% rating themselves either very or extremely confident in comparison with 29% before the training. A similar increase is seen in their confidence in raising concerns about a child's speech, language and communication development with their family.

Findings from four case studies here show that the ELDP is fostering an enriched environment for early language development both within settings and in the home, which is having a positive impact on children’s speech, language and communication.

“We’re seeing a dramatic change… With one child - they’ve only been with us for the last five months…that child wouldn’t have made eye contact, they were communicating using one word and now they are asking simple questions and linking a lot of words to objects too”

Practitioner, Bolton

To read the case studies please click here. For information on how to access local ELDP training, please contact Kelly Bracken – or Tel: 020 7843 2523


Kidz up North hold their free UK exhibition on Thursday 21st November in Manchester

Kidz up North is holding one of the largest free UK exhibitions dedicated to children and young adults with disabilities and special educational needs, their carers and the professionals who support them.

Join Kidz up North is on Thursday 21st November 9.30am – 4.30pm at EventCity, Barton Dock Road, Urmston, Manchester, M17 8AS. You can enter with a visitors’ free entry ticket, which is available here. Please help Kidz up North to share this information by circulating the ticket to as many people as possible to help them get the advice and support they may need.

The tickets include a full timetable of all free CPD seminars which take place during the day and the exhibitors list to help you plan your day.

To pre-order your ticket or get more information on other events run by Kidz up North, contact the organisers: Disabled Living – Tel: 0161 607 8200 or email:


Dorothy Bishop’s, Professor of Developmental Neuropsychology, response to recent research on brain development

Dorothy Bishop has a blog which she uses to share views on academic related topics. Recently she has added a new post about research that was carried out by scientists, based at King's College London, and Brown University, Rhode Island. They studied 108 children with normal brain development between the ages of one and six and recently published these findings.

Please click here to view the post which explains how the findings of this research were reported in a misleading way and that there was potentially other significant findings which weren’t highlighted.

News from our members

The Communication Trust is a consortium of nearly 50 voluntary sector organisations. We bring together our expertise to ensure that the speech, language and communication needs of all children and young people are met through signposting, specialist training, support and guidance to people working with children.

If your organisation would like to become a member of The Communication Trust’s Consortium please go to or for more information e-mail

BSABritish Stammering Association - Educating Yorkshire raises awareness of stammering

The British Stammering Association (BSA), the UK’s national stammering organisation, welcomed the increased interest in stammering following the Educating Yorkshire finale aired last week.

The popular show featured Musharaf (Mushy), who has a severe stammer, as he prepared for his GCSE English oral exams at Thornhill Academy in Dewsbury. The episode highlighted his teacher, Mr Burton, as he sought to help Musharaf improve his fluency with support from specialist speech and language therapy.

More than one in a hundred children and young people have a stammer, at least one child in every three classrooms. For these children and young people to progress academically and socially at school, it is vital that support is put in place from the point they enter school.

The BSA has developed a series of online resources that can help school staff and parents to implement successful support strategies. These resources are available from and

To read the BSA press releases, click here.

Communication MattersCommunication Matters - Take the challenge for International AAC Awareness Month!

Join Communication Matters and countries all over the world in celebrating alternative means of communication and take the ’24 Hour Non Speech Challenge’ by using writing, gestures, symbols and any other non-speech methods of communication for a day!

If you would like to find out more about the ‘24 Hour Non Speech Challenge’ please click here. Or to find out more about the work of Communication Matters, please click here.

I CANI CAN - Develop children’s communication skills with I CAN’s Chatterbox Challenge: Sounds like fun with Humf!

Good speaking and listening skills are vital for children – they are needed to express thoughts and feelings, develop friendships and to understand what is being said to them. Singing songs and rhymes are a great way to develop children’s communication skills in a fun and engaging way.

I CAN, the children’s communication charity, is encouraging early years groups to register for the annual Chatterbox Challenge today! Over 880 groups have already registered to get involved in the annual sing-along.

The Chatterbox Challenge: Sounds like fun with Humf pack has been written by speech and language therapists and experienced teachers. Children under 5 in settings across the UK will learn songs and rhymes based on sounds and noises to develop their communication skills. The activities in the pack are linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and will develop a range of skills including attention and listening, one of the early learning goals.
Children are sponsored to perform in front of families and carers and, thanks to the support of Openreach and TTS, the funds raised will enable I CAN to help more children who struggle to communicate and express themselves.

Chatterbox Challenge Week is 10th-16th February 2014. Early years groups are encouraged to register now at

The Makaton CharityThe Makaton Charity - free Halloween symbols

The Makaton Charity has developed two new free downloads contain Makaton symbols and signs for Halloween and Bonfire Night. .

To view and download the exciting new signs and symbols, including ‘ghost’, ‘pumpkin’ and ‘fireworks’, please click here.

If you would like to find out more about the work of Makaton please click here. You can also sign up to receive their e-newsletter too.

NLTThe National Literacy Trust - Talk To Your Baby conference 2013. Giving babies the best start: What we know works and what’s new

The National Literacy Trust's (NLT) annual conference is renowned for its in-depth and engaging reviews of policy, research and practice. Delegates from across the early years, healthcare, education, cultural and third sectors come back year after year to learn, share best practice and be inspired.

NLT are pleased to confirm a great line-up of expert speakers that will give early years professionals the guidance and support they need to deliver outstanding provision.

For the full programme details and to book your place please click here.

Contact us

If you would like to contact us please call 0207 843 2526 or email
The Communication Trust, 8 Wakley Street, London, EC1V 7QE


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