The Communication Trust Newsletter
January 2015


The Communication Trust is a coalition of 52 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:


The Communication Trust’s Impact Report - Available Now

Impact ReportWe have released our Impact Report, which gives a snapshot of The Communication Trust’s successes between 2007-2014 and outlines plans for the future.

The Report includes the history of The Communication Trust and an overview of our work to date including why we’ve worked to raise the profile of speech, language and communication in the public eye. It also outlines how we have supported the children’s workforce, collaborated with other organisations and supported the ever-changing local landscape for local services.

Within these areas we have led several successful campaigns and initiatives including the National Year of Communication (Hello campaign), No Pens Day Wednesday, Talk of the Town and What Works. As well as this we have shared over 600,000 resources and worked closely with 150 local communication champions.

We are extremely proud of our successes to date and hope that you will enjoy reading our Impact Report.

Thank you for your support as we continue to improve the speech, language and communication skills of children and young people across the country.

For further information, visit here.


No Pens Day Wednesday Evaluation and Date for 2015 Event

NPDW 2015We are thrilled to announce that our No Pens Day Wednesday 2014 evaluation page is now live! Please click here to access it.

Featuring 12 innovative activities from schools involved in last year’s highly successful initiative, the website also features the brand new No Pens Day Wednesday evaluation form outlining survey results and the positive impact children experience by taking part.

Highlights include the impact the day has had on inclusion, parental engagement, pupil engagement and pupils’ writing following the event.

We are delighted to announce that No Pens Day Wednesday 2015 will be held on Wednesday 7th October, so please save the date! However, you can of course run your day whenever suits you best.

There will be many more exciting developments so keep an eye on the web page for updates in the coming months.

Whether you’re working in an early years setting, a primary, secondary, special school, as a childminder or in a local service, there are ideas and resources from No Pens Day Wednesday that can help your pupils and students put down their pens and pick up their language!

Register here now to access the existing resources from previous years and to receive our newsflash updates when we add new materials or functions.


Intermediaries for Justice

Intermediaries for JusticeThe formal launch of a professional body for intermediaries, Intermediaries for Justice (IfJ), took place on 10th December at City Law School, London. 

Intermediaries for Justice (IfJ) represents intermediaries working in the Justice systems of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Its aim is to bring together people from various aspects of the Justice system and they look forward to welcoming our colleagues

Intermediaries work to assist children or vulnerable adults who are victims, witnesses, suspects or defendants and find themselves in the Justice System.  Their primary role is to make it possible for children and vulnerable adults to communicate clearly, accurately and coherently with police, lawyers and court officials from investigation to trial.

Intermediaries must have specialist knowledge of language and communication.  They must have experience of working with at least one of a range of disorders and difficulties such as learning and physical disability, mental health problems, autism and childhood language delay.

IfJ is holding its first annual conference, Working with Defendants, at City Law School on Saturday 14th March. It will be free for members of IfJ, with a small fee for non-members.

For further information, please click here

Reminder - our latest resource is now ready to order!

Age 3 ToolThe Progression Tools are a suite of tools developed to support schools and early years settings. These tools enable practitioners to find out more detail about the speech, language and communication skills of individual children.

They provide a quick way of determining where children are, against where they should be for their age, and provide more information about how these vital skills are progressing.

One of the prime areas in the English Early Years Foundation Stage is communication and language. Our latest Tool provides an opportunity to identify whether children are developing in line with their age in this area. The Age 3 Tool has been tested out in a number of early years settings, on a range of children and is now ready to purchase.

Thank you to everyone who has reviewed and tested this Tool, your feedback has been invaluable in shaping the final resource.

Please click here to order your copy.


Language for Life

Language for LifeAn exciting new Nottinghamshire website has gone live! Language for Life will provide parents and staff with the resources they need to support children with their speech, language and communication development.

Language for Life has been developed on behalf of all Nottinghamshire partners (including Speech and Language Therapists and the Children and Families Partnership) as part of the county’s strategy to prevent and identify children’s SLCN early on.

The website offers parents’ simple ways to help their children learn to listen and to talk alongside a practitioner zone that provides a wealth of resources, tips and training information for all those who work with children.

The website is launching with the Switch Off and Talk campaign, developed by Newark Communication Leaders – a group of young people who promote good communication skills in their homes and schools.

To visit the Language for Life website please click here


Born Talking seminar series - Presentations available

Born Talking, a series of seminars, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is using birth cohort data to address questions about speech, language and communication.

Existing research into speech, language and communication is dominated by small-scale studies that use samples that are often unrepresentative of the population. The purpose of the ESRC seminars is to promote the use of large-scale international birth cohort datasets to address research questions about speech, language and communication, by raising their profile among researchers, policy makers and practitioners.

Presentations and other information from the recent seminar, which included input from The Communication Trust’s Professional Director, Wendy Lee, are now available.

Please click here to access them.


Roadmap for Life Conference – Swiss Cottage School, Development & Research Centre

The Road Map for Life Conference on the 15th and 16th May aims to highlight the important ways that we can help young people with SEND to prepare for adulthood. Young people and families will share their own personal journeys and describe how they have overcome barriers to success and some of challenges that they still face.

It will be a great opportunity for families, teachers, SENCO’s, education professionals, service providers, professionals involved in Local Authority planning and health and social services.

This two-day conference will share opportunities forstaying healthy, independent living, supported employment and relationship building.The conference will discuss how well the new SEND Code of practice is working for young people, parents, teachers, SENCO’s and other professionals. It will also explore person centred planning and how to get a new Education Health and Care Plan.

To find out more information about the conference please click here.

To find out how you can participate in the Road Map for Life Conference please email


Every Disabled Child Matters Report Launch

Every disabled child mattersEvery Disabled Child Matters have recently launched a new report, Right from the Start.

The report highlights that we are still a long way from disabled children, young people and their families being able to live their lives the way that they want. It emphasises that in order for this to change, the next Government must ensure that policy making across all aspects of government recognises the needs of disabled children, young people and their families, right from the start.

The report recommends that the new Government should develop a cross-departmental strategy, co-produced by disabled children, young people and their families.

To read the report, please click here.


Early Intervention Foundation National Conference

EIFThe Early Intervention Foundation is committed to championing Early Intervention which can transform the life chances of children and young people. 

At their National Conference on the 12th February, they expect 240 delegates from across sectors, including; education, health, VCS, local authority, police and policy.  The Communication Trust will be among the exhibitors. 

Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan MP and Shadow Minister, Tristram Hunt MP will put forward their vision for Early Intervention in the run up to the General Election. The award-winning Channel 4 series, Educating Yorkshire, Head teacher Jonny Mitchell will also be in attendance for a Q&A session.

Please click here to find out more information about the conference.





News from our members

The Communication Trust is a consortium of 52 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 and young people.

If your organisation would like to become a member of The Communication Trust’s Consortium please go to or for more information e-mail

Trust welcomes CLAPA and London Bubble 

The Communication Trust is thrilled to announce that CLAPA (the Cleft Lip and Palate Association) and London Bubble were recently confirmed as new members of the Consortium.
CLAPA is unique in its role as the only UK-wide voluntary organisation that specifically helps those with, and affected by, cleft lip and palate. CLAPA was set up in 1979 as a partnership between parents and health professionals. It provides support from infancy through to adulthood for new parents, those living with the condition and their families.

To find out more about CLAPA, please click here.
London Bubbles
London Bubble make theatre with and for children, teenagers and adults in South London.
Their mission is to provide the artistic direction, skills, environment and resources to create inspirational, inclusive, involving theatre, which shares stories that animate the spaces of the city and the spirits of its citizens.

To find out more about London Bubble, please click here.

With the addition of these two new members, the Communication Consortium now has a whopping 52 members!

We look forward to continuing our work with all our members to make a real difference to ensure that children and young people are supported to communicate to the very best of their ability.

Communication MattersCommunication Matters 2015 National AAC Conference

Communication Matters are inviting individuals to submit an abstract for the CM2015 National AAC Conference, to be held on 13-15 September 2015 at the University of Leeds.

Abstracts on any topic addressing the needs of people with severe communication impairment are welcome, including literacy and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), AAC and the curriculum, parent and carer issues, implementation and intervention, including outcomes and evidence based intervention.

Communication Matters particularly welc omes contributions from people who use AAC, family members, researchers and educationalists.

The closing date for abstract submissions is 17 April 2015.

To find out more information about the conference and abstract submission, please click here.

Chatterbox Challenge 2015I CAN – Exciting news and launch of Chatterbox Challenge 2015

We are thrilled to share the news that I CAN’s Chief Executive, Virginia Beardshaw, has been awarded a CBE for services to children with special needs and disabilities in the New Years Honours list. Read more about this news here.

In other news, there is only one month to go until Chatterbox Challenge Week (9th – 15th February). Over 1,700 early years settings have registered so far, please help I CAN to spread the word so they can reach their target of 3,000 settings on board this year.

Chatterbox Challenge is the annual, educational sing-a-long that sees 0-5 year olds develop their communication skills by learning songs and rhymes around a theme. This year’s theme, Chatterbox Challenge 2015: Garden Adventures with Ben & Holly, is all about getting young children chattering about what they see, hear and feel indoors and outdoors.

Why not ask your early years contacts to register for the Chatterbox Challenge, or join in the fun yourself! Please click here to register for your FREE Activity Guide and resources.

The Children's TrustThe Children’s Trust –Trustee Vacancy

The Children’s Trust is the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injury. They are currently looking for a Trustee who will lead on all governance issues within The Children’s Trust School.

The Trust is specifically looking for an individual who has special education needs experience.

If you have any questions or wish to have an informal conversation about this role, please contact Dalton Leong, Chief Executive, on 01737 365045 or email

To find out more information about this role, 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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