Local Co-ordinator Newsletter
August 2012


HelloHello and welcome to the August edition of The Communication Trust’s Local Co-ordinators newsletter.

This newsletter is created for you so we can keep you up to date with news, forthcoming events and available resources. We will be offering support and ideas to complement your work and keeping you up-to-date with the Hello legacy work.

Welcome from our new director

New director Anne Fox has joined The Communication Trust to lead the organisation through its next strategic period.

Anne Fox“It is such an exciting and challenging time to be joining The Communication Trust with a huge amount done already and a lot still to do.   I’m very much looking forward to playing my part alongside all those who are key to helping children’s speech language and communication take centre stage.  

As Local Co-coordinators you have championed and advocated for this issue over the last couple of years – sharing your energy, enthusiasm and knowledge with others in your local areas.  If we are to succeed, to ensure that every child is understood, we need greater understanding of the importance of children and young people’s communication in every community.

There’s lots of great work to build on since the Hello campaign and we need to make the most of that momentum now. There are still gaps and our attention needs to turn now to how best to support schools so they can focus on children and young people's communication skills.

This is very timely considering the current Ofsted focus on communication in school, so in the coming months, we will be launching a number of resources to help and support schools.  

If you’re as eager to get going as me you don’t need to wait for these resources though.  You can play a huge part by promoting  No Pens Day Wednesday and the Shine a Light 2012 Awards so that each of these is bigger and better than before and reaches as many people as we can. 

Together I know we can keep speech and language a burning issue in your local areas and right across the country.  I am looking forward to working with you all.  If you have views and feedback on our work going forwards I’d be delighted to hear them.  

With very best wishes



Is it your time to shine

Shine a LightThe Shine a Light Awards are back for 2012 and they are bigger and better than ever!

The Communication Trust and Pearson Assessment are once again looking for teams, settings and individuals across the UK that exemplify best practice and excellence around supporting children and young people’s communication.
More than 300 applications were received in last year’s awards and our judges had the mammoth task of whittling these down to just 14 winners and 23 highly commended awards.

This year, new categories have been added to give more teams and individuals the chance to shine including the 'Innovation Award' and 'Youth Justice Award'.
To find out more about the awards please visit the website www.shinealightawards.co.uk

Entrants have until September 21st to submit applications online or by email, or September 20th by post.

Good luck!

Promote Shine a Light to your networks
If you’re a keen supporter or past winner of a Shine a Light Award, you can help us to promote this year’s awards with our eCommunications Toolkit. It’s packed with suggested text, tweets and blog posts – everything you need to shout about the awards to your networks!

You can download the pack here.


Putting down pens and picking up language this October

We are calling on all primary and secondary schools across the UK to put down pens and pick up language on October 10th 2012 for No Pens Day Wednesday. It is back by popular demand and already more than 200 schools have signed up!

NPDWWe will be refreshing  the No Pens Day portfolio of free materials including a activity pack, assembly plans and lesson plans for primary and secondary that reflect the increased focus on embedding speech, language and communication into all subjects.

Schools will be encouraged to run activities including podcasting, interactive story telling, maths games, debating, vocabulary games and talk homework that will highlight the importance of language for learning for pupils and provide a day of 'no marking' for school staff.

Remember if October 10th doesn't work, schools can choose to run their No Pens Day on a day that suits them.

To register to receive the FREE materials, click here and click here for the official press release.
You can view the current resources from last year, click here.


Summer Talk for families

If you are hearing families despair at the thought of children saying ‘I’m bored’ already, check out the games and activities in Summer Talk!

Summer Talk is packed with games and activities to keep your children occupied as well as boosting their communication skills. It includes fun and 'easy to do' activities for trips to the zoo, park and museum and challenges to keep kids entertained on car journeys and at home.

The pack was originally developed during the Hello campaign with help from partners across the country, including Hello sponsor BT, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, Signalong and Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust and Children's Speech and Language Therapy team.

Click here to download the Summer Talk pack.


Save the date - ‘Cracking Communication’ is coming to Manchester

The Trust is running its second ‘Cracking Communication Conference’ on Tuesday 13th November. This informative event will help schools support outcomes for all children and young people through enhancing and promoting good language and communication skills.

It follows on from a successful event in March this year, which was very well received by delegates. Click here to see a video from Chris Lloyd who attended the first Cracking Communication conference.

Keynote speakers and workshops with practical advice and tools will enable schools to develop their approaches to support all children to achieve their potential through better communication skills.

 If you are a school leader and think you may be interested in attending this event please save the 13th November 2012 in your diary. More information about the conference is available here.

There will also be the opportunity to promote products and services that are available to support schools to achieve these outcomes, specifically resources and / or services that focus on children between ages 5 –18.

To register your interest as an exhibitor please contact Amy Harker, Business Development Officer at aharker@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk


Talk Boost reaches evaluation stage

An interim report about the Talk Boost intervention, developed by The Communication Trust and I CAN, has been released. It reports on the evaluation of the development phase and gives information on progress since the national pilot.

Talk BoostTalk Boost is an evidence-based intervention, aimed at children aged 4-7 years old in primary school with language delay. Early evidence in the pilot section of the project showed some youngsters improved by around 18 months during the 10-week intervention.

The report explains the development and testing of the intervention, as well as discussing lessons learnt and future recommendations.

To see a copy of the report click here.


Qualified in communication

We have been campaigning since our inception five years ago for a skilled and knowledgeable children’s workforce and believe this is vital to ensuring good communication development in children and young people.

Every child deserves the best start in life and supporting them in developing good speech, language and communication skills is vital in helping them to improve their life chances.

Professor Cathy Nutbrown’s recommendations in her report in June backed up our position. The Foundations for Quality report unpicked the current state of early education and childcare and made recommendations for improvements.

She outlined the importance of young children’s speech and language development and the need to ensure that all early years practitioners are skilled and knowledgeable, at Level 3, through access to robust and quality qualifications.

 In light of this the Trust worked with City & Guilds to develop a new Level 3 Award entitled Supporting Children and Young People's Speech, Language and Communication (City & Guilds 4776, CACHE 600/4257/6). This award is for all members of the children's workforce and provides learners with the skills, knowledge and confidence to support the communication development of the children they work with. 

Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs), as well as wider local authority training already provides education and workforce development for the teachers, teaching assistants and SLT assistants they work with. We are calling on them to look at how they might make the Award part of the CPD package they offer. 

For more information about our Level 3 Award and the discuss any of the above in more detail click here or contact Programme Manager, Eve Wagg, on ewagg@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk


Welcoming the Children and Young People's Health Outcomes Forum report

The Trust has 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 was launched by the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, and included the Government's former Communication Champion, Jean Gross CBE.

To read our full response click here.


Texting is overtaking talking according to Ofcom

Recently Ofcom released a study which found that people are sending more text messages instead of having face-to-face conversations. The Trust used this as an opportunity to talk about the vital importance of spoken communication skills and interaction.

Wendy Lee, Professional Director for the Trust, says: “Children learn to communicate through face-to-face 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.”

“There are many benefits of technology. 1 million children in the UK have some form of speech, language and communication need. For those who use communication aids and alternative methods of communication, technology is their lifeline.”

Wendy was interviewed on BBC Breakfast and you can watch the interview again here.
You can read our full response here and download useful factsheets on how to ensure technology is communication friendly here.


Phonics check - share your experiences

In June this year, all children in Year 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 speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), The Communication Trust published Communicating Phonics.

Communicating PhonicsThe guidance document explained different types of SLCN and the effect they could have on the children’s test results. The Trust also developed a number of fact boxes for professionals and parents on the key principles behind the test and how to develop the literacy skills of children with SLCN.

We're keen to receive your feedback on the Phonics Check generally and its 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.

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 Trustís consortium please click here for more information or e-mail enquiries@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk

1Voice1Voice - Applications are now open for the 1Voice autumn 2012 event ‘Media Madness’

The event will take place on Friday 21st September to Sunday 23rd September and welcomes children and young people (aged 25 and under) who use AAC, their family and friends to the annual 1Voice Autumn Weekend and take part in ‘Media Madness’ themed activities.

All places are heavily subsidised thanks to the generosity of 1Voice funders. Guests will meet and chat with 1Voice adult Role Models and enjoy an inspiring weekend. Places for both adults and children who are members of 1Voice and use AAC are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.

1Voice are looking for volunteers to help plan the activities and help young people enjoy the event. It will take place in Hayes Conference Centre, Derbyshire.

If you would be interested in volunteering, want to book your place on the Autumn Weekend or would like further information on the event please click here. Or for an application form please email gaynordale@1voice.info

Action for ChildrenAction for Children, The Children’s Society and the NSPCC publish research into the impact of the recession on vulnerable families and children

The research report - In the Eye of the Storm: Britain’s forgotten children and families - reveals that the most vulnerable children and families are being hardest hit by tax and benefit changes and are also being hit by other public spending cuts. By 2015, the impact of these measures will mean vulnerable families will be £3000 worse off each year. It estimates that by 2015, the number of children living in vulnerable families will increase to over one million with the number of children living in exceptionally vulnerable families set to double by 2015 to 96,000.

The report calls on the Government to protect children better from the effects of the recession, sharp cuts to public services, and major changes to the tax and benefits system, so children are not put at further risk. Some specific asks the report makes include:The Children's Society

- Integrated policies across government, in particular  housing, health, employment, education and welfare, to make sure vulnerable children are better protected
- An urgent assessment of how any further spending cuts, or tax and benefit reform, could impact on children
- A commitment to track and report back on the number of children living in vulnerable families.

To read the full report please click here.

Auditory VerbalAuditory VerbalUK - Recruiting Fundraising and Communications Assistant

Auditory VerbalUK - the national charity which helps deaf children to develop listening and spoken language – is seeking a Fundraising & Communications Assistant to join our growing team. The role is suitable for an enthusiastic graduate. Previous relevant experience is desirable, but we will also consider fast learners looking to start their fundraising and/or charity communications career.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 8th August 2012.

To find out more or apply for the role please click here

Communication MattersCommunication Matters - Call for Action! Parliamentary Briefing Event to discuss future commissioning arrangements for children and adults who require AAC services and communication aids

Communication Matters is asking supporters to get in touch with their local Member of Parliament (MP) to promote an event they are organising in Parliament in September.

Communication Matters would specifically like to brief MPs on the future commissioning arrangements for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) services and communication aids. Considering that around 0.5% of the UK population may need AAC at some point in their lives (approx. 260,000 children and adults) there is a good chance that this issue will directly impact on the MP’s constituents so they will be willing to support.

Communication Matters is working with supportive MP Virendra Sharma to organise a Parliamentary Briefing Event to discuss future commissioning arrangements for children and adults who require AAC services and communication aids. This meeting takes place from 12.45pm- 2.00pm on Wednesday 12th September 2012 in Committee Room 17 within the Palace of Westminster.

Communication Matters would appreciate your support to get as many MPs as possible at the event to put more pressure on the Government to prioritise this issue!

Please click here for a template email ready for you to use. You can find out your local MP and their contact details by accessing the following link and typing in your postcode: findyourmp.parliament.uk

Contact a FamilyContact a Family - Free resource packs for parent groups

Contact a Family’s Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Information Project has produced free resource packs for parent groups. These packs are designed to support parent groups in the work they do around providing information to families. In the pack is a checklist of services that parents may need to know about at different stages in their child’s development. 

If your support group would like one of these packs or you would like to find out more about the project, please contact the SEND Information team at sendinfo@cafamily.org.uk

I CANI CAN - Secondary Talk – free poster

Secondary Talk is an evidence-based programme that embeds communication in schools.
It supports schools to develop communication approaches responding to their own priorities, unlike top-down school improvement initiatives.

Whether schools have identified issues with behaviour, engagement in learning or attainment amongst its vulnerable groups, Secondary Talk can provide flexible, practical solutions.

Delivered by experienced specialist I CAN consultants, Secondary Talk includes a combination of practical resources and short training modules together with tailored consultancy.

To register for the Secondary Talk newsletter please click here and receive a free copy of What’s Typical Talk at Secondary poster.

You can also find out how schools could save £1,000 on this year’s upcoming Secondary Talk package here.

SignalongSignalong - 20 Years of Communicating Choices Conference

The conference will take place on Thursday 20th September and will be held at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall. The event celebrates 20 years of work dedicated to opening up opportunities and achievement for children and adults with speech, language and communication difficulties.

The conference will also see Signalong launch its new early language resource. Speakers on the day are set to include Rt Hon John Bercow MP and Anna Reeves CEO of the ACE centres.

The closing date for applications to attend the conference will be 7th September. For more information please click here.

Contact Us

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

Website: www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk
The SLCF: www.talkingpoint.org.uk/slcf

Sentence Trouble: www.sentencetrouble.info


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