The Communication Trust Newsletter
September 2012


Our newsletters this year will share information about the work of the Trust, how we're continuing the legacy of the Hello campaign and updates from the world of speech, language and communication.

You'll also be able to find out what is happening with member organisations of the Trust.

No Pens Day Wednesday - resources are ready

No Pens Day Wednesday is a chance to spend a whole day focusing on speaking and listening activities in your school.NPDW

Last year our No Pens Day Wednesday initiative proved to be a huge success with over 800 schools putting down their pens and picking up their language.

Free materials for you to use are ready!
We have produced new and updated resources to support you to make No Pens Day Wednesday a success in your school this year and these are now ready and available to download from our website.

Please click here to register your school and to access the materials.

The resources include updated lesson plans for all primary age year groups and for year's 7 and 9 in secondary schools. We have provided top tips to give teachers some ideas to avoid using their pens and also to help get parents more involved.
As well as the lesson plans and activity templates we have prepared the following resources:
- Sample staff meeting content
- Letter to parents to explain what you're doing
- Press release
- Photo call notice
- Media toolkit
- eCommunications toolkit
- Information on English as an additional language
- Vocabulary templates

We're suggesting that this year's No Pens Day Wednesday is run on 10th October, though if this day doesn’t suit you please feel free to plan your event for a different time.

We would love to hear from you about how you’re planning for the day and how the day itself goes. Please send in any comments, stories, feedback, pictures or videos to Lynne Milford, Press and PR Officer at or call Lynne on 0207 843 2564.

Don't forget to apply for a Shine a Light award!

Shine a LightHave you applied yet for a Shine a Light award?

We are looking for teams, settings and individuals across the UK that exemplify best practice and excellence around supporting children and young people’s communication.

This year we have 3 new categories 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

Entrants have until Friday 21st September to submit applications online or by email, or Thursday 20th September by post. Good luck!

*Promote Shine a Light to your networks*
A Shine a Light eCommunications Toolkit is available to download here.

In the toolkit you will find web text, newsletter text, blog ideas and social media posts – everything you need to shout about the awards to your networks!


Trust shortlisted in national charity awards

The Communication Trust is delighted to announce it has been short-listed in two categories of the prestigious Charity Times Awards.

Charity TimesThe Trust has been shortlisted in the Corporate National Partnership Champion of the Year Award for their work with Pearson Assessment through the Hello campaign (national year of communication). The partnership achieved a great deal including the creation of Universally Speaking, a series of booklets for the children's workforce and the launch of the Shine a Light awards.

The Trust has also been shortlisted for the PR Team of the Year Award. Through its media work for Hello the Trust reached 72% of UK adults and all coverage was positive about the campaign, with 31% strongly so.

In addition, the Trust's Consortium members have also been nominated for awards. Jonathan Douglas, Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust, is shortlisted for the Charity Principal Award. Mencap has been shortlisted for their campaigning work and Scope in the social investment initiative category.

The winners will be announced on the 18th October 2012 at the Awards Gala Dinner, which will be hosted by comedian Miles Jupp. We'll keep you posted about how we get on!

Full details of the shortlists can be found here.

Save the date - the Cracking Communication conference is coming to Manchester

The Trust’s second Cracking Communication conference is being held in Manchester on Tuesday 13th November for up to 200 school leaders.  We are delighted to be able to confirm that Anne Duffy of HMI Ofsted and Geoff Lindsay of the Better Communication Research Programme will be delivering key note speeches at the event.

The Communication Trust brings together the leading experts in speech, language and communication from the voluntary, education and private sectors. This informative event will offer information and advice to help schools support outcomes for all children and young people through enhancing and promoting good language and communication skills.

Keynote speeches from speakers including Anne Duffy and Geoff Lindsay will complement practical workshops with advice and tools that 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 interested in attending this event please save the 13th November 2012 in your diary. To register your interest in the conference and be the first to receive further information about the day and early bird delegate rates please email

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. We have already had keen interest in exhibition spaces at the conference so register your interest as an exhibitor now with Amy Harker, Business Development Officer at

The Communication Trust welcomes a new director

Anne FoxThe Communication Trust is delighted to announce the arrival of its new Director, Anne Fox who joined in early August. She has previously worked at NCT - the UK’s largest charity for parents, 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 to the widest possible audience."

To see the full press release please click here.

The Communication Trust still has 9 Think Big £300 grants to allocate

The Communication Trust has been working in partnership with O2 and the National Youth Agency on their Think Big project throughout 2012. There are still nine £300 grants available to support young people to turn their communication related project ideas into a reality.

Think BigTo apply, young people must be 13-25 years old and their project must relate to communication in some way; either though awareness raising or by developing young people’s communication skills directly. For example, one completed project produced a short animation to visually explain what language impairments ‘look like’ and help explain the impact they have on a young person’s life.

For successful £300 projects there is also an opportunity for young people to apply to compete for a further £2,500 grant in order to expand and extend their original project. These ‘Think Bigger’ grants have no set allocation and all are able to apply for this.  

To print off a Think Big flyer to display in your setting where young people who may be interested will see it please click here.

For more information and to access the application forms please click here. If you would like any further information or have any questions about the Think Big project please do not hesitate to get in touch with Jo Bolton at or on 0207 843 2526.





Qualified in communication

The Trust has been campaigning since our inception 5 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 to discuss any of the above in more detail contact Eve Wagg, Programme Manager, on

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 Boost

Talk 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 read the report please click here.

RCSLT Giving Voice Awards

The RCSLT Giving Voice Awards celebrate the creativity and commitment of speech and language therapy champions. After their success last year the awards are back to recognise the latest outstanding efforts.
The 2012 Awards will:

Giving Voice- Show how speech and language therapy transforms lives
- Reward the efforts of those who have committed time and energy on behalf of our Giving Voice campaign
- Celebrate the achievements of those who have contributed to the campaign throughout the year.

For more information about the application process please click here.

Ofsted report looking at the effectiveness of child protection work for disabled children is published

Disabled children are at risk of slipping through the child protection net, according to an Ofsted report published this week. The report, Protecting disabled children: thematic inspection, looks at the effectiveness of child protection work for disabled children in 12 local authorities, examining 173 cases and tracing the child’s journey through the system to understand how well disabled children are protected from harm.

It was found that in most cases, multi-agency early support work was well co-ordinated and played a valuable role in tackling early emerging concerns. However, child protection concerns were not always clearly recognised or dealt with early enough, and decisions and assessments did not consistently taking into account historical concerns.

To read the report in full please click here.

Child Language Teaching and Therapy journal - call for papers

Child Language Teaching and Therapy is an international peer reviewed journal that publishes original research and review articles of high practical relevance and which emphasises inter-disciplinary collaboration.

A special issue of Child Language Teaching and Therapy will be published in 2014 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the journal. It will explore the use of social media and digital technology with children and young people with a range of speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). The issue will focus on how advances in social media and digital technology have influenced our understanding of, and support offered to, children and young people with SLCN across heath, education and social contexts.

For this special issue, the editors invite papers on the following topics:
- How advances in social media and digital technology have developed our understanding of children and young people with SLCN
- Evidence-based interventions for children and young people with SLCN that use social media and digital technology
- The use made of social media and digital technology by children and young people with SLCN in their everyday lives
- Challenges and benefits in the use of social media and digital technology for children and young people with SLCN
To be considered for publication, papers must be received using the online submission system by March 31st 2013.

For further information please click here.

Council for Disabled Children to provide support to Department for Education’s Young People’s Advisory Group

The Department for Education has announced that they are recruiting disabled children and young people and young people with special educational needs (SEN) to join a Young People’s Advisory Group (YPAG). This group will influence and advise Government on the reforms set out in the Green Paper, Support and aspiration: A new approach to Special Educational Needs and Disability. CDC

The group will provide feedback and expertise, tackle challenges and work directly with Department officials to ensure that the reforms reflect the views and experiences of disabled young people and young people with SEN.

Applications must be received by 26th September 2012. For more information and to download the application form please visit

In their role as Strategic Partner the Council for Disabled Children (CDC) has agreed to provide support to the Department for Education to involve disabled young people and young people with SEN in an advisory group. The purpose of the Young People's Advisory Group will be to advise Government on the implementation of the SEN and Disability Green Paper reform programme.

CDC are currently negotiating the specifics of this work and will keep the consortium up to date with further details.  In the interim should you have any queries please contact Amanda Allard, Principal Officer, on

Becoming an adult: The role of short breaks in transition and the move to independent living

Becoming an adult: The role of short breaks in transition and the move to independent living’ is the latest edition of the Short Breaks online journal, ‘Better Breaks’.

This edition spotlights transition and the role of short breaks in the move to independent living.  It includes practice examples showcasing successful joint working in services for young people in their transition years from Sutton and Wales; one-to-one support towards independence from ‘Leisure Link’ and ‘Buddies’ schemes;  an update on parent participation in short breaks and a section on current policy, context and support in transition services.

To read the journal please click here.

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 go to or for more information e-mail

I CANI CAN launch Treasure Humf activity for the under five’s

The activity will run from 17th-23rd September 2012, though can be run it at any time. Children are encouraged to ‘Hunt for Humf’ and a free downloadable activity pack is available to support parents and settings to organise a treasure hunt with a difference – one which benefits children's communication skills.

The pack provides colourful activity cards for you to print out and hide in your setting, and children under five will follow your verbal instructions to find Humf and his friends. Treasure Humf has been designed by I CAN's speech and language therapists to promote children's development in listening and understanding.

I CAN is also encouraging groups to collect sponsorship to help their work with children who struggle to communicate. If funds raised are returned before 19th October 2012, groups will also have the chance to win exclusive Humf prizes.

For further information please click here.

St Catherine'sSt Catherine's City to Solent Bike Ride- places available!

St Catherine's has been running a City to Solent Bike Ride for the last two years and has raised over £15,000.  This year they would like to open up this fundraising opportunity to other communication-related charities.
The ride will take place on Sunday 23rd September 2012, starting in Oxshott, Surrey and  finishing in Portsmouth.  A professional organisation is arranging the ride and they will be providing mechanics, support vehicles and first aid support. 

Places for the event cost £79 per place. However, depending on how many cyclists can be recruited, the costs may drop.
This is a great way to engage supporters who want to get involved and, for fundraisers, you know that all the hard work has been done!
If you are interested in taking up places on the ride then please let Susan Graves at St Catherine's know by phoning 01983 852722 or emailing

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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