The Communication Trust Newsletter
February 2014


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, important information from the sector 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:


Do you work with anyone who’s training to become a speech and language therapist? They can get a discount on Listen To Us!

Listen To UsListen To Us is our practical resource made up of a booklet and a DVD of carefully chosen clips showing children and young people with SLCN. This 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. It also demonstrates a range of strengths and strategies the children use to support their communication.

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.

“There’s no better way of understanding how best to support children and young people with SEN than listening to what they tell us. This resource does just that. It will be exceptionally useful in refining our understanding of speech, language and communication needs.” – Jean Gross CBE, former Government Communication Champion

We’re currently offering 10% off to all speech and language therapy students until the end of March 2014. To find out more about Listen To Us and how to order please go to Please quote SLT35 to receive 10% off.


No Pens Day Wednesday 2014

NPDWNo Pens Day Wednesday is back for its fourth consecutive year! This year we are suggesting for schools to run their day on Wednesday 15th October 2014. We're currently reviewing the evaluation results from 2013 and looking at ways we can make this year bigger and better than before!

More information on No Pens Day Wednesday 2014 will be released later in the year. In the meantime, please pencil it in your diaries and you can also view all the information on past years No Pens Days here and you can read all about the evaluation from 2013 here.

New Consortium member - Sense

SenseSense is the UK deafblind charity that provides support and campaigns on behalf of adults and children with multi-sensory impairments. 

Deafblindness refers to a combination of sight and hearing impairment which causes difficulties in a range of areas including communication, access to information and mobility.

Sense provides expert advice and information on communication development to deafblind children and young people, their families, carers, and to the professionals who work with them.  They provide support in the home, at school and at Sense family centres.

Sense provides a range of services including specialist intervenor and communicator guides and delivers training professionals to help them to understand the impact of multi-sensory impairment on children’s development and communication.

Through its work with the Trust Sense are particularly keen to share expertise on the communication needs of children and young people with multi-sensory impairments, join projects that focus on workforce development and supporting parents to increase understanding of communication difficulties and contributing to policy and campaigning activities.

To find out more about Sense please click here.


We need your views!

We have two surveys running at the moment as we're eager to hear your thoughts and feedback on some of our key activities.

What Works user survey: Have you used our What Works database? As we come to the end of the pilot year, we want to ask all of our registered users about the site. We would very much like to hear your views on the structure and content of What Works, the impact on your practice and any suggestions you have on how we can further develop this work.  

Please click here to complete the survey.

Resources and communications survey: We are currently gathering feedback on our resources, newsletter and website. We are constantly considering new approaches and looking for ways to improve the delivery of our work and would very much value any feedback and suggestions. This is also an important part of our reporting to funders.

Please click here to complete the survey.


European Day of Speech and Language Therapy

This year’s theme for the European Day of Speech and Language Therapy is multilingualism and multi-ethnicity. As a member of the Comit Permanent de Liaison des Orthophonistes-Logopedes de l’Union Europeenne, the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists is working with local communities to raise awareness of speech and language therapy on 6th March 2014.

If you’d like to promote speech and language therapy in your local area, the RSCLT has these suggestions:

  • Have an international theme to your therapy sessions
  • Celebrate the different languages and cultures of your community by wearing traditional clothing or bringing in food from around the world
  • Develop special leaflets or advice sheets for bilingual families and communities, and hand these out on the day

In addition, if you’d like to get involved on social media, use the hashtags #ICP2014 and #euSLTday to raise awareness!

For more information, please click here.


Master of Research in Clinical Practice with St George’s, University of London

This course provides NHS staff the skills and opportunity needed to take the first step towards a clinical academic career.

The Master of Research in Clinical Practice (MResCP) provides a focused programme of practical and academic study to enable health professionals to acquire the necessary research skills for future careers in clinical research. This inter-professional programme is suitable for a range of healthcare practitioners, including nurses, midwives pharmacists and allied health professionals.

Throughout the course you will learn about the processes and principles associated with good clinical practice research. You will also develop a range of advanced transferable and applied research skills which enable you to plan, lead and manage clinical research, promote and drive change in clinical practice, and actively engage with the wider research community.

Entry criteria is as follows:

  • An honours degree in a subject relevant to health or social care with a classification of at least 2(i). Alternative professional qualifications may be considered, particularly if there is evidence of recent postgraduate study at master’s level 7.
  • At least one year of clinical experience and employment within either in the NHS or an equivalent health or social care organisation.
  • Written support from your employer
For more information, or to apply, please click here. The application deadline is 5 p.m. on Friday 16th May, 2014.


Council for Disabled Children - Job opportunities

Council for Disabiled ChildrenThe Council for Disabled Children has four exciting job opportunities available! These London based positions are for mid-level and managerial candidates, with the following roles available:

Contracts and Compliance Officer, Independent Support
This position is 35 hours per week fixed term contract to 31st March, 2016. The salary offered is £33,643 to £38,226 per annum. The closing date for the application form is 9am on Thursday 27th February, 2014.

Programme Manager, Independent Support
This position is 35 hours per week fixed term contract to 31st March, 2016. The salary offered is £40,008 to £44,480 per annum. The closing date for the application form is 9am on Thursday 27th February, 2014.

Programme Lead, Early Support
This position is 35 hours per week fixed term contract to 31st March, 2015. The salary offered is £40,008 to £44,480 per annum. The closing date for the application form is 9am on Thursday 27th February, 2014.

Principal Officer, Campaigns
This position is 35 hours per week fixed term contract to 31st March, 2015. The salary offered is £40,008 to £44,480 per annum. The closing date for the application form is 9am on Tuesday 11th March, 2014.

Application forms and details of all jobs available at the CDC are listed here.





The Future of SEN conference

Edward Timpson MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, is providing the keynote speech at the London Leadership Strategy The Future of SEN Conference 2014, run in partnership with Scope and the National Autistic Society (NAS) on the 4th March at The Crystal Venue on Royal Victoria Docks, London.

London Leadership Strategy (LLS), a not-for-profit organisation run by experienced Headteachers to empower schools to take forward school-to-school improvement in London and beyond, has timed the conference to support schools ahead of The Children and Families Bill moving to Royal Assent in the Spring.

Designed to help primary and secondary school leaders, special schools and SEN specialists, other speakers at the conference include Jean Gross, leading SEN expert and formerly the government’s Communication Champion and Lorraine Peterson OBE, formerly CEO of NASEN. The conference will feature contributions from Headteachers and Teachers at outstanding schools including Lampton School,

For more information and to book your place, please click here.


'Building understanding' child, youth, family and disability conference: Call for papers

This year the conference will take place at the University of the West of England in Bristol. The aim of the conference is to provide a space for disabled children, young people, family members and allies (including practitioners) to share their ideas, knowledge and expertise and to celebrate their lives. 

The organisers The University of the West of England and Manchester Metropolitan University, are inviting disabled children, young people, their parents and carers (they would like to include people with physical, sensory and cognitive impairments as well as those people with mental health issues), as well as activists and academics in the field of disability studies and childhood studies to present at and to attend the event.

They are also inviting contributors to talk about the ways in which it is possible to build understandings of and between the lives of children, young people and their families and suggest that you might like to address some of the following questions: 

  • How can we build understandings between children, young people, parents/carers and practitioners?
  • What messages do we need to share?

Venue:  Glenside Campus, University of the West of England, Blackberry Hill, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 1DD
Date: 10th and 11th June, 2014
Time: 10.30am - 4.30pm

For booking please use the attached fliers for the easy link to 'register'  or go to

If you wish to present at the conference, please send us a short description of the ideas for your presentation by Thursday 1st May 2014. For more information please contact: or

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

Communication MattersCommunication Matters - Communication Matters 2014 AAC Conference, University of Leeds

The CM2014 National Conference is the UK’s leading annual alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) event, with a diverse programme of plenaries, presentations and exhibition held over two and a half days.

The conference provides a unique forum to meet and exchange information with representatives from all disciplines associated with AAC, including people who use AAC, parents, carers, professionals and suppliers of AAC equipment. Communication Matters encourages and supports people who use AAC to attend.

Book now to ensure your place at the Earlybird rates.

I CANI CAN - Why we use Talk Boost - Elburton Primary School, Plymouth

The following is an excerpt from a case study detailing Elburton Primary School’s experience of Talk Boost, I CAN and The Communication Trust’s intervention for children aged 4-7 with language delay.

"We heard about Talk Boost through our SENCO who arranged for us to undergo training with another school. As there were children in the foundation year with speech and language needs, we felt that there was a real need for an intervention to help and that Talk Boost was ideal for this.

"One of the biggest impacts Talk Boost has had is that it has addressed the lack of confidence some children felt.  The children undergoing Talk Boost have stood in front of the rest of the class to explain what goes on in the sessions, showing the extent to which their confidence has increased.  In terms of language, there has been a great leap in children’s sentence-building and their vocabulary use is much better."
To read the full case study, click here.

To arrange your Talk Boost training, email the team at or call us on 020 7843 2515.

NDCSNational Deaf Children's Society - Assessments and deaf children

The National Deaf Children's Society, in collaboration with the Ear Foundation and with support from the National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NatSIP) has produced a new online resource to support professionals in assessing and monitoring the progress of deaf young people in communication, language and listening. The resource has been produced with funding from the Department for Education in England.

The resource includes examples of a range of assessments commonly used with deaf children and young people of all ages in communication, language and listening. It also includes guidance on issues to consider when carrying out assessments as well as examples of assessments in practice.

To download and find out more please click here.

SenseSense - Sensory arts workshops in London

Sense is running fun and exciting sensory drama, movement and music projects over the next few months, all of which are free!

Create Sensory Music Project - a 6 week sensory sound and music workshop programme run by Sense and Create, every Saturday from 8 March – 12 April. Aimed at people aged 19-25 with interests in sound, percussion and music, this project provides an opportunity for young people to take part in the creation of music, soundscapes and a final group performance at the end of the programme showcasing their work.

Inside Out Theatre Project - a 5-day inclusive drama workshop programme. Aimed at young people aged 6-18, this is a perfect opportunity for someone interested in drama, theatre and the performing arts to meet new friends and learn new skills in drama, acting and performing from experienced professional acting teachers and workshop facilitators.

You can find out more about these projects and how to get involved 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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