The Communication Trust Newsletter
June 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:


No Pens Day Wednesday

NPDW“A really wonderful day in school which I feel is just the start of embedding speaking and listening throughout the curriculum. Thank you for making it possible!”
- No Pens Day Wednesday school 2013

No Pens Day Wednesday is a national speaking and listening event which provides free resources to support schools and settings to put down their pens and pick up their language and teach a full day of lessons focussed on speaking and listening!

Now in its fourth year, No Pens Day Wednesday has grown in popularity every year with 2,500 schools signed up in total last year. We’re looking forward to even more schools and settings getting involved this year - you can sign up here now.

What's new for 2014?

  • This year we’re extending No Pens Day Wednesday to support early years settings and special schools for the first time.
  • We’re providing brand new free downloadable resources for these settings as well as adding to our existing resource bank for mainstream primary and secondary schools. All will be available for you to access on our website in September.
  • Today you can access sample *new for 2014* lesson plans ready for a sneak peek, as well as the 2014 Activity Pack, 2014 poster, 2014 parent flyer and a handy one pager to spread the word about No Pens Day Wednesday!
  • Once you’ve signed up you’ll immediately get access to all these resources and more from previous years! We'll let you know at the beginning of next term when all the other resources we're currently developing are ready.
  • Other new resources coming in September will include:
    - All new lesson plans  
    - More information to about speaking and listening to share with parents and families
    - New activity ideas
    - Information for staff on the 2014 SEND reforms and on monitoring and assessing pupils speaking and listening skills

This year, No Pens Day Wednesday is also forming part of our ongoing support to schools in their work to deliver the SEND Reforms that come into force from September 2014. The event gives you tools to deliver high quality speaking and listening activities vital for all pupils and especially for those who struggle; as the 2014 draft SEND Code of Practice states, “High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEN".

Read more about the Reforms here.

How can I get involved?

PosterNo Pens Day Wednesday is a totally free event for all schools and settings to get involved with. The 2014 Activity Pack provides you with all the information you need to help you plan the event in your school or early years setting.

Access your copy here.

To get immediate access to all the other available resources to support your No Pens Day Wednesday simply fill in the short registration form here.

Don’t forget, we're planning the day to take place nationally on 15th October 2014 but you can run your No Pens Day Wednesday any time - the resources remain freely available throughout the year.

We really value hearing from schools and settings who are running a No Pens Day Wednesday. We regularly get press interest in the event and we're always working to share information about what exciting and engaging activities professionals are planning as part of their No Pens Day Wednesday.

To get in touch to share this sort of information with us, or indeed to ask a question, drop us an email to or call on 0207 843 2526 to speak to a member of the team.


Sign up to get involved in No Pens Day Wednesday 2014 and support your pupils speaking and listening skills by getting them to put down their pens and pick up their language on Wednesday 15th October 2014!


New SEND Code of Practice laid before Parliament

The SEND Code of Practice was laid before Parliament on Tuesday 11th June 2014 and is expected to be debated by Parliament in July. It must be approved by Parliament before it comes into force on 1st September 2014 and will help put into place reforms to the SEND system for children and young people aged 0 to 25 in England. The Code provides statutory guidance on duties, policies and procedures relating to part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 and associated regulations. The Code of Practice and Regulations are available on the Department for Education website here.

The Government has also published its response to consultation on the Code, summarising how it has responded to feedback gathered through the two consultation processes. You can read the Trust’s response to the April draft of the Code here.

In addition, the Department for Education have released information, available here, about the ‘new burdens’ funding for local authorities, stating that, ‘Councils are to receive £45 million of new funding to help prepare for the biggest transformation of special educational needs and disabilities support in over 30 years.'

The Communication Trust is committed to supporting all those implementing the SEND Reforms to meet the needs of children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and their families. In order to support practitioners as they prepare to begin implementing the Reforms in September, we have developed a microsite, bringing together useful information at  

In the last newsletter we shared our survey on the Reforms. We were delighted to receive over 200 responses, which are providing us with a very valuable insight into what is needed to best support those working with and for children and young people with SLCN. We want to thank everyone who took the time to respond to our survey on preparing for implementation of the Reforms – your input is invaluable in helping us shape our future work in this area – thank you.

We are recruiting!

We are currently looking for two new administrators to join our busy team until the end of March next year...

Team Administrator:

Our small but busy team works on a wide range of projects in a fast-changing environment and we rely on the right systems being in place to help our office run smoothly. We’re looking for a well-organised Administrator to join our team who is able to pick up new information quickly and is a strong communicator. The role means you’ll carry out a wide range of tasks, working with a number of internal and external colleagues whilst dealing with numerous enquiries from those we work with.

Please click here to view the job pack.

Talk of the Town Administrator:

Last year, the Trust received a grant from the Education Endowment Foundation to test a school-wide approach to improving the speech, language and communication skills of primary aged children across areas of social deprivation. The programme, Talk of the Town, offers a whole school approach to supporting speech, language and communication as part of a randomised control trial across 63 primary schools.

We're currently looking for an administrator to join the Talk of the Town team and help us implement this exciting project. Effective administration provides vital foundations to the team and the chosen candidate will be responsible for a wide range of tasks. We are looking for a candidate who is organised, has good communication skills and the ability to multi-task.

Please click here to view the job pack.

The closing date for applications for both posts in 9am Monday 14th July.


International Communication Project - what's happened so far

ICPLast month we got involved in a number of activities to show our support for the International Communication Project 2014 – to advocate support for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) in England. 

The UK lead for the project is our partners at the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and together we’ve been busy spreading the word to get as many supporters on board as we can to: 

  1. raise the profile and status of communication needs with international health bodies and policy makers.
  2. increase public awareness of communication needs and the severe impact they have on people’s lives.
  3. encourage people around the world to join together and make a difference in the lives of people living with a communication need.

On 16th May we hopped in a customised London black cab with Jim our cabbie (and London tour guide) at the wheel and visited 22 organisations who work with children and adults so that they could show their support for the Universal Declaration of Communication Rights. 

This whistlestop tour of London also had a parallel stream of activity online and there was a huge level of interest in our actions on Twitter and Facebook. 

We have also been working with parliamentary colleagues and held an event for MPs and members of the House of Lords to come and sign the pledge also. 

We’re involved because we believe:

  1. Communication is vital to life
  2. Communication professionals make a critical difference
  3. Early intervention is key

We’re delighted that 14 of the organisations who signed the pledge on our “taxi challenge” day were members of our Communication Consortium. The pledge can be signed by individuals and you can sign up today at





Nasen SEND Gateway website is launched

NasenThe SEND Gateway is an online 'one-stop-shop' portal offering all education professionals free, easy access to high quality information, resources and training for meeting the needs of children and young people aged 0-25 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Developed by nasen, the UK's leading professional association for SEND, the portal brings together a range of SEND resources from the voluntary, community and private sectors in one place for ease of access. This includes materials and professional support from a large number of voluntary and community organisations (VCOs) including the The Communication Trust, Autism Education Trust, the Council for Disabled Children, National Children's Bureau and Dyslexia-SpLD Trust.

Schools can also contribute their own best practice examples, case studies and additional materials for peer support and to help develop an evidence-based approach for effective practice.

Through the Gateway, all educators, particularly SENCOs and key workers, can develop new skills and understanding, stay up-to-date with reform, read the latest information from the Department for Education related to SEND, discuss issues in an online forum and access high quality CPD opportunities at local, regional and national levels.

To view the Gateway please go to


Newly qualified teacher’s survey 2013

Each year, the Department for Education invites newly qualified teachers (NQTs) to complete a survey which asks them about:

  1. The quality of their initial teacher training
  2. Their induction experiences
  3. Their employment circumstances

In 2013, around 6,700 NQTs completed the online survey, which is a 20% response rate.

There are a number of questions, generally starting with ‘how good was your training in preparing you to...’ and the content covers areas such as – teaching their specialist subject, working with others, establishing behaviour, using different teaching methods, assessing and monitoring etc.

NQTs rate their training as poor, satisfactory, good or very good for each question. It’s possible then to look at the results in terms of primary/secondary responses; type of initial teacher training route; regionally and in some cases by ITT provider.

Please click here to find the full report.

Please click here to read a summary of some of the key findings, brought together by the Trust.

New Consortium member - Springboard for Children

SpringboardThis month we welcome a new member to our Consortium, Springboard for Children.

Springboard believes every child has the right to a fair chance of future success.

They provide one-to-one teaching to improve reading, writing, speaking and listening to children who are being left behind in their education. They only work one-to-one with children and they always work in partnership with schools. Springboard focus their resources on working in challenged schools and communities.

Springboard are currently looking for a number of volunteers. They are currently seeking new trustees to join their board with experience of charity finance, fundraising, income generation and organisational growth and development. For more information please click here.

They are also looking for people to become volunteer literacy tutors and supporters in schools across Greater London and Romford. To find out more please click here.

To find out more please visit their website here, go to their Facebook page here or find them on Twitter 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 Trust’s Consortium please go to or for more information e-mail

Have you seen Talking Point recently?

I CAN and The Communication Trust are pleased to announce that we are relaunching the Talking Point website.

Parents and practitioners tell us it is hard to find help and information to support a child's communication. We are updating the Talking Point website with these requests in mind; a database of resources and a searchable map of local services have been added.

The whole site, including the popular Progress Checker, is now easy to use on a mobile or tablet and new content is being added this year thanks to Department for Education funding.

Take a look and share the site

KIDSKIDS - elearning package

KIDS eLearning was developed for people working with disabled children and young people to understand how to respond appropriately to each child’s individual requirements.

The eLearning suite is flexible enough to cover a range of different requirements. From those who need a simple introduction and overview of key information, through to those working with disabled children and young people on a daily basis.

KIDS eLearning was relaunched earlier this year on a more accessible and interactive platform, with the aim of making it as inclusive as possible for users. Be one of the first to take control of developing the skills of your workforce so that they are able to deliver a high quality level of support to the families they work with.

To find out more please click here.

MakatonThe Makaton Charity - Makaton comes to Alton Towers Resort

The Makaton Charity has been working with Alton Towers Resort to make it accessible for children and adults who use Makaton to communicate. 

The Makaton Charity are delighted announce that CBeebies Land is now open and has a Something Special Sensory Garden which incorporates Makaton symbols and signs. 

You can read more about it here.

Place2BePlace2Be - Director of Fundraising vacancy

Place2Be are currently looking for an ambitious and highly competent Director of Fundraising to lead the growth of the charity’s fundraising programme. Place2Be has grown considerably over the last twenty years and has an ambitious vision and expansion plans for the years ahead.

Place2Be’s income model is based on schools contributing to the service, with additional support from voluntary income sources adding value to the core school offer as well as financing development of the organisation and new service development.

This is a very exciting time for the Fundraising Team, particularly in major donor and corporate fundraising with plans to increase voluntary income by 20% and launch a capital appeal during 14/15.

Closing deadline is Monday 30th June. Please click here for more information.

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


Sentence Trouble:
Talking Trouble:


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