The Communication Trust Newsletter
October 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.

Cracking Communication Conference, 13th November 2012 – Register now!

On Tuesday 13th November, the Trust is running its second Cracking Communication conference at King’s House Conference Centre, Manchester, for up to 200 school leaders. This informative event will offer information and advice to help schools support outcomes in all children and young people through enhancing and promoting good language and communication skills.

Keynote speakers
A particular policy focus will be on the inclusion of communication in the new Ofsted framework and we are delighted to have Anne Duffy, a representative from Ofsted, as a keynote speaker. Other keynote speakers include Professor Geoff Lindsay from The Better Communication Research Programme, and Wendy Lee, Professional Director from The Communication Trust.

Please click here to view the programme for the day.

Workshops will focus on practical advice and tools that will enable school leaders to consider a range of practical solutions, based on good practice and clear evidence for their own individual communities. There is a choice of 8 workshops which delegates can pick from to attend two.

Please click here to view more information about the workshop sessions.

This conference will be suitable for:
• Head teachers and deputy head teachers
• Curriculum leads, leads for teaching and learning and anyone implementing National Curriculum changes in their schools
• Commissioners in the education and health sectors

Book now for a special early bird rate!
The standard delegate rate for the conference is £180, with a special early bird rate of £150.

Please visit to register

An exhibition will also be on offer throughout the day to give participants the opportunity to network and see resources firsthand.  Exhibitioners will be promoting products and services that are available to support schools, specifically resources and/or services (free or purchasable) that focus on children between the ages 5 -18 or key Stages 1-5.

There are limited exhibition spaces left at this exciting event, so please contact Amy for more information. There is also the opportunity to place flyers into the delegate packs.


Guardian's blog features No Pens Day Wednesday

We're delighted to announce that we have now exceeded the number of registrations we received for last year’s event – with 900 schools already signed up! Not only has there been a fantastic take up from UK schools, but No Pens Day Wednesday has travelled worldwide with interest from schools in Australia, New Zealand, India, Spain, Zimbabwe, Uganda and the Cook Islands!  

Our colleagues in Tasmania are interested in linking up with a school in the UK to share their No Pens Day experiences on Wednesday 10th October via recorded video messaging. If you would be interested in getting involved in this we would love to hear from you! Please email Nicola Matthews to find out more about this exciting opportunity   

NPDWTthis week the Guardian published a guest blog from one of our No Pens Day Wednesday supporters, Chris Lloyd. The blog outlines how the Discovery Federation of schools took to the activity last year and why they are excited to be involved in the national effort again this year.

To read the blog please click here.

If you would like to get involved with No Pens Day Wednesday this  year there is still time! Our resources and materials are still available once you've registered here.

If you have any questions about No Pens Day Wednesday please do not hesitate to get in touch with Jo Bolton on

One week to go to enter the Shine a Light Awards 2012!

Still wanting to enter our Shine a Light Awards 2012? You have just under a week left to submit your application!

The awards are aimed at rewarding good practice in working with children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) which you or your organisation could be nominated for.

Shine a LightWe’ve introduced the ‘Innovation Award’ this year, and our judges will also be looking for innovative SLC/N products or services, ground-breaking research or inventive ways to support children with / work with children who have SLC/N showing tremendous results.

We’re also seeking nominees for the ‘Communication Champion Award’, to honour individuals who have gone above and beyond to improve the lives of children and young people with SLCN. Do you know a parent, a member of a children’s workforce, a civil servant or commissioner working at a strategic level who has gone out of their way to help children with SLCN get the best from life?

If you want more information about the Shine a Light Awards 2012, or to download an application form, visit our microsite here.
Through the eyes of a child - new films for parents released

We have launched a series of four short films, highlighting how young children aged 0-3 learn to speak, listen and interact with their parents or carers.

Through the eyes of a childThe four films, which have already been viewed more than 1,000 times since their launch, 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.

Please click here to view the films.

A guidance document for the early years’ workforce has been produced supporting them to use the films, which is available here.

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

A series of fact boxes have been created to accompany the films, please click on the relevant link to you: 0-6 months  , 6-12 months  , 1-2 years , 2-3 years


The Trust is chosen to support local authorities in providing quality early years education

We have 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.

Award learner materialsThe Trust was selected by management consultancy Mott MacDonald, commissioned to help local authorities make best use of the funding they receive from the Government, to support 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.

The Award is a national continuing professional development accredited qualification, which ensures a direct link from learning to practice, and it's the first time a qualification focusing solely on speech, language and communication is on the Qualification and Credits Framework (QCF). The Award also links to previous government programmes, offering a strong training route for those involved in programmes such as Every Child A Talker and the Early Language Development Programme.

From this month, 10 Local Authorities will be 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.

For more information about the Level 3 Award, contact programme manager Eve Wagg on

Children and Families Bill

On 3rd September, the draft legislation on ‘Reform of provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs’ was released – read the draft legislation here.

On 7th September, the Education Committee began the Pre-legislative Scrutiny into Special Educational Needs. A list of the questions being addressed in the inquiry can be found here.

The Trust had a roundtable discussion at the last Consortium meeting to discuss the draft legislation and pre-legislative scrutiny and implications for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

We have also set up a Task Group of members of the Consortium to lead more detailed work on the Bill on behalf of the Consortium throughout the Bill’s passage until it receives Royal Assent. The Task Group will oversee response during this process, starting with the submission to the pre-legislative inquiry being undertaken by the Education Select Committee.

The Trust will be submitting its response to the Education Committee by the deadline of 11th October. Our response will then be uploaded on the policy section of our website.

Voice for Life - New events in 2012/13

Earlier this year Afasic, in partnership with The Communication Trust , ran 3 free events for parents, professionals and young people called the Voice for Life events. These events are back for the end of 2012 and are running into 2013!

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

The day will offer:
• Workshops about speech, language and communication needs for parents/carers and/or professionals facilitated by The Communication Trust members and local agencies
• Activities for school groups
• Information stands

TCTThe programme for Bristol is now available. As well as an exhibition, there will be 36 workshops to choose from, being run by a host of national and local agencies covering a range of topics. To view the programme and booking form or to get more information about the events generally please click here.

For more information on any of these FREE events please contact Carol Lingwood on





Free Early Support key working training available

The key working training is a modular framework, which supports participants to develop and build their understanding of key working. The training embeds the Early Support principles in the key working functions and raises awareness of the importance of access to partnership working and key working support to facilitate children's, young people's and families' journeys.

Early SupportThe key working training enables participants to:
1. Explore their understanding of working in partnership and the key working functions
2. Reflect on how the key working functions look and feel in practice for disabled children, young people, their families and practitioners

Attending the Key Working training will also position participants to attend the capacity building level from early 2013. The training will be free and is running in locations throughout England. To find out more or book your place please click here

If you would like to know more about the Early Support approach, would like to contact your Regional Facilitator or would like to contact the central team to become involved in developments and piloting, see or email

Art does the work

London Bubble, in partnership with Southwark Pupil Development Centres, runs drama sessions for KS1 children referred with a speech, language and communication need.

London BubbleAdam Annand, Associate Director at London Bubble says: "When I talk about Speech Bubbles sessions I get carried away with the theatre, the stories, and the fun. I love to tell anecdotes about the quiet child who told the scariest story about giant spiders, or the time when a group acted a birthday party and closed the scene with a spontaneous round of ‘happy birthday to you'. I talk about the generosity the children offer each other in the process of devising and performing stories, and how at the end of each session the most often heard comment is ‘I liked .....’s story’.  The shared creative endeavour of telling and performing stories is the focus.

"According to the latest research, Speech Bubbles has a positive impact on children’s communication, confidence and wellbeing. The research identifies enjoyment, play and emotional involvement alongside a sense of ownership as key to these developments.

"The children know that Speech Bubbles is part of the work of school, but what they talk about is the stories, the acting and having fun - it is the art that is doing the work."

There is a one day CPD course on the Speech Bubbles approach for SENCO’s, KS1 school staff, therapists and drama practitioners on the 26th October 2012. For more details please contact

Every Disabled Child Matters Report highlights the huge gaps in key working support available to families with disabled children

A new report by Every Disabled Child Matters (EDCM) highlights the huge gaps in key working support available to families with disabled children and the lack of quality information to help them to benefit from what is provided.

Research carried out by EDCM and outlined in this report has shown huge gaps in key working provision, little access to quality information on key working in local areas, and continued confusion by local authorities about what key working is.

Findings in the report ‘Unlocking key working: information and transparency for families with disabled children’, include:

• Only 65% of LAs stated that they provided key working and there was extensive confusion about what key working was
• Only a quarter (25%) of LAs provided key working and produced information about their services that told families with disabled children how and where to get support
• Only 19% of LAs provided key working up the age range to disabled young people aged 17+

To read the full report please click here.

Council for Disabled Children launch new blog

Council for Disabled Children (CDC) have launched a new blog at:

CDCThe first post is by CDC Director Christine Lenehan on the government's proposed SEN and disability reforms, including a look at the proposed requirement on health and local authorities to jointly commission services.

The blog promises to feature all the latest information and hot off the press policy announcements relating to disabled children and their families. Future topics on the blog include:
- Personalisation
- Welfare reform
- How changes to the health system may impact on disabled children.

To subscribe to the CDC blog 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

Better Communication CICBetter Communication CIC training courses

The Better Communication CIC is holding two courses in London in November 2012. The first (14th November) will be about identifying and influencing commissioners and will be aimed at speech and language therapists and other allied health professionals. The second course (15th November) will be looking at supporting speech and language therapists to navigate the competitive tendering process of ‘any qualified provider’.

To find out more about this training please click here.  

Communication MattersCommunication 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.

KIDSKIDS launch eLearning package

KIDS has launched a new eLearning package for schools, aimed at ensuring an inclusive welcome to all disabled children regardless of their impairment. As part of the ‘Delivering Inclusion’ project, sponsored by the Department for Education, KIDS has created an eLearning suite aimed at all school staff, from non-teaching assistants and lunchtime supervisors, through to SENCOs, teachers, head teachers and school governors.

Titled ‘Creating an Attitude of Inclusion’, this eLearning provides examples of best practice and professional guidance to support schools in ensuring that they foster a supportive environment, so that disabled children and young people can learn alongside their non-disabled friends and peers.

To access the free eLearning suite please create your account here.

To find out more about the ’Delivering Inclusion’ project please click here.

St Catherine'sSt Catherine's Skills For Life film launched

St Catherine's is a national charity working with children and young people with speech, language and communication impairments and a member of the Communication Consortium.

St Catherine’s have just launched Skills For Life, a new film written, produced and narrated by students from St Catherine’s School and Grove Hill Further Education Centre on the Isle of Wight.

The film features young people talking about their lives and aspirations. The film is part of the Campaign! Accentuate Project, celebrating collaboration between disabled young people in the South East with those from competitor countries, as they work together to build campaigns to raise awareness on issues that affect them in their respective countries. It was funded by Legacy Trust UK to create a lasting cultural and sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

To find out more and watch the video 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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