The Communication Trust Newsletter
December 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.

Goodbye, Hello - the Hello evaluation report

Goodbye HelloThe Communication Trust has published the evaluation of the Hello campaign which highlights some of the work that took place during the year and the impact of the campaign.

The report summarises why the campaign was so important, the resources that were developed, the key role our local co-ordinators played and how the support of our sponsors BT and Pearson Assessment was so vital to the cause.

Although the national year of communication is over, we will continue working to make sure speech, language and communication remains a burning issue and build on the lessons learned from the campaign.

The Hello evaluation can be viewed here.



The Trust's new five-year strategy

The Communication Trust celebrated the end of 2012 by announcing our new five-year strategy.

StrategyOur strategy highlights our plans for 2013-2017 including making sure the children’s workforce has the skills, knowledge and confidence to support children in developing good communication as well as identifying and supporting those with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

It explains our vision, what we're aiming to do and our objectives to meet these aims. It also highlights our beliefs, values and approaches that shape our work.

A summary of our strategy can be downloaded here.


Response to Education Select Committee report

On Wednesday 19th December the Trust welcomed the Education Select Committee report on the proposed changes to special educational needs provision and urged the Government to implement the committee’s recommendations in legislation as an urgent priority. 

In welcoming the Committee’s report Anne Fox, Director of The Communication Trust, said; “The Communication Trust welcomed the opportunity afforded when the Department presented the draft clauses of the legislation to the committee for scrutiny. Changes of this magnitude deserve careful consideration. We were concerned that some of the changes proposed might damage the levels of services children and young people with SLCN currently receive. We are delighted that the Committee heard those concerns having listened to the views of children and young people as well as their families and those who work with and represent them. Their recommendations should now be implemented and a draft bill introduced without further delay so that services for children and young people across the country can be better suited to their needs”. 

Fox continued: “We particularly welcome the focus on those children who will no longer be entitled to School Action and School Action+ and the recommendation that the “local offer” contain minimum standards and be supported by a National Framework to assist in the provision of equitable services for children and young people with similar needs across every Local Authority area”.

The Communication Trust welcomed the recognition by the Committee:

  • Of the need to make clear that the current protections on requesting, securing and carrying out assessments which are included in the Education Act 1996 are set out on the face of the Bill to avoid confusion.
  • Of the need for health bodies to be bound into assessment and delivery.
  • For greater protection to be introduced into legislation to ensure children and young people   get the help prescribed in the Education Health and Care Plan. Speech and language therapy services are mentioned as a clear example of the problems that could be caused by not issuing a duty on health to provide.
  • That EHCPs should be extended to NEETs and young people with apprenticeships 
  • That the SEN Code of Practice should remain statutory, be subject to consultation and be laid before Parliament

For more information, please contact Anne Fox on 0207 843 2537 (office hours) or 07910 177966

Free children’s workforce development workshop

The Communication Trust is holding a free interactive workshop in London on 9th March to develop understanding and support the delivery of workforce development in speech, language and communication. The Trust's new Level 3 award, ‘Supporting Children and Young People’s Speech, Language and Communication’ offers great opportunities for speech and language therapists (SLTs) and the people they work with.

This Award is the first Level 3 Award on the Qualification and Credits framework which focuses solely on speech, language and communication development. The award, made up of two mandatory and one optional unit, will enable the workforce to develop the knowledge and skills needed to effectively support all children’s speech, language and communication development and identify and support those who are struggling.  Part of the award is assessed in relation to real work settings, ensuring that learning is taken and fully applied within real practice, contributing to improving quality within settings as well as by individuals.

The workshop will:

  • Explore delivery models and share successful examples of SLTs working in partnership with other agencies to deliver the award.
  • Discuss how existing learning from local or national programmes (such as ‘Every Child a Talker’ and the ‘Early Language Development Programme’) can support learners to gain an accredited qualification.
  • Offer practical support on delivery, based on local requirements.
  • Consider relevance and access for SLT assistants.
  • Reflect initial impact of the award.

For more information please contact Eve Wagg, Programme Manager, The Communication Trust


To reserve your free place email:

Going global with No Pens Day Wednesday

NPDWIn October 2012 we ran our second No Pens Day Wednesday initiative which encouraged schools to sign up to run a day where all activities were based on speaking and listening.

The day was a massive successive and even went global with a number of schools around the world taking part. One such school is based in Tasmania and they are looking to link up with a school in England.

They'd like to share what they did on No Pens Day Wednesday through an interactive blog which will includes video messages, activity ideas and thoughts from the children about the day.

So if you ran a No Pens Day in your school and would like to get in touch with the Tasmania school, please e-mail Nicola Matthews on


We recently conducated an online survey with participating schools, asking for their feedback on No Pens Day Wednesday and how it could be improved in the future. 75 schools responded.

73% of schools stated that they will do things differently in school around speech, language and communication as a result of No Pens Day Wednesday including incorporating aspects of the activities into regular planning or even repeating the whole day more often. Some schools stated that they will be prioritising speaking and listening within the School Development Plan or introducing a year-long focus.

To read a summary of the evaluation please click here.


Shine a Light Awards 2012 – winners announced!

Shine a LightA glittering award ceremony – attended by about 120 people – saw 11 new winners crowned and three Outstanding Achievement Awards given at the Shine a Light Awards 2012.

Hosted by TV and radio presenter Paul Ross on the 10th floor of Pearson headquarters in the Strand, London, the awards are an opportunity to honour teams, individuals and settings who have demonstrated excellence in helping and supporting children and young people in developing good communication skills, especially those with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

Thanks to everyone who helped us spread the word about this year’s awards and encouraged people to nominate themselves and others.

A great time was had by all and bunches of Shine a Light Awards balloons were released after the ceremony. Each had a tag attached asking the person who found it to contact event sponsor Pearson Assessment – so far the furthest flying balloon reached The Netherlands!

For more information, and to view case studies of the winner, please visit our website here.

Some pictures from the event are available on our Flickr page here.

Cracking Communication conference – A ‘cracking’ day had by all!

The Cracking Communication Conference, which took place on November 13th in Manchester, linked together policy, evidence and practice in order to support schools to identify children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and for all children to achieve their potential through better communication skills.

ConferenceThere was a fantastic line-up of speakers, including Anne Duffy, a representative from Ofsted, Professor Geoff Lindsay from The Better Communication Research Programme, and Wendy Lee, from The Communication Trust. Additionally, there were a range of professional-led workshops to attend, as well as an exhibition, which gave delegates networking opportunities and the chance to see resources firsthand.              

We were delighted to have over 110 delegates there on the day and feedback has been really positive. One delegate kindly summed up the day, “A very enjoyable and informative conference. Excellent standard of speakers and workshops and lots of opportunity for networking and sharing ideas. Thank you very much."

Thank you again to everyone who supported and attended the conference. If you would like any further information, please email Amy Harker

Charity of the month: Kids Company

Kids CompanyKids Company provides emotional and practical support for children experiencing chronic trauma and deprivation. The street level centres provide a safe place that children are able to self refer when in need of help, often after other social services have failed to meet their needs.

There are currently no government systems in place to accommodate for a child asking for help directly, for this reason many children come to Kids Company as a last resort. Children arrive at Kids Company struggling with a complex range of traumas that require an intricate network of therapies and professionals.

In recognition of the value of communication therapy, Kids Company has recently introduced a comprehensive speech and language therapeutic programme.  

To visit the Kids Company website please click here.





Family Fund appoints Cheryl Ward as Chief Executive

The Family Fund is pleased to announce their new Chief Executive, Cheryl Ward. Ms Ward joined the Family Fund in 2008 as Commercial Manager. She was appointed as Business Development Director in 2009, and has been working as the interim Chief Executive following the retirement of Derek Walpole in June 2012.
This announcement comes in the week of tough negotiations between the Family Fund, Comet and their administrators in which they agreed to honour all gift cards sent to families raising disabled and seriously ill children.

Cheryl Ward said: “It is an honour to be appointed to the role of Chief Executive. These are difficult times for many families, and especially those raising disabled or seriously ill children. I look forward to leading the organisation to even greater success, discovering new opportunities, and finding more creative ways to increase much needed support to even more families raising disabled and seriously ill children across the UK.”

To read the press release in full or find out more please click here.

Collecting success stories of disabled children and young people

Following the successes of Britain's Paralympians and Olympians, Include Me TOO is collecting success stories of disabled children and young people.

They are encouraging young disabled people to inspire others and share their stories. Include Me TOO believe that the testimonies and stories of disabled young people express the values of the Olympic and Paralympic movements. Just like the athletes in the London games, they show what people with will, commitment and talent can achieve. They show what good support looks like and the power of teamwork.

Include Me TOO want you to help them do this by encouraging and supporting disabled children and young people to complete the attached form and becoming an Include Me TOO Role Model. The stories will be shared on Include Me TOO’s Website Young People Section. 

Suggestions for disabled children and young people:

When sharing your story tell them a little about yourself. Other things you may consider sharing when telling your story are:

  • What your achievement means to you
  • Did you have any role model that you looked up to?
  • Who inspired you?
  • What motivated you?  
  • What do you hope to achieve in the future?
  • What advice would you give to other disabled children and young people to achieve their goals and dreams?

The deadline for submissions by this Friday 21st December 2012.

To download the application form 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

AfasicAfasic - Voice for Life events, bookings being taken for Haydock Park, Merseyside, Thursday 7th February

Afasic are running free events for parents, professionals and young people called Voice for Life events.

The next event will take place at Haydock Park, Merseyside, on Thursday 7th February 2013 and bookings are now being taken.

The day will offer workshops about speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) for parents/carers and/or professionals facilitated by The Communication Trust members and local agencies and activities for school groups.

Please click here for more information and to register. Or alternatively you can contact Carol Lingwood on

Can't make the Haydock event? There will be another Voice for Life event held in North London, on Tuesday 5th March 2013. More information to follow shortly

Contact a FamilyContact a Family - Has your child been unofficially excluded from school?

Contact a Family’s SEN National Advice Service receives a number of calls each month from parents concerned that their child has been unofficially excluded from school. Typical scenarios include:
- parents called by school to pick their child up because they are misbehaving
- parents informed that their child should remain at home while the rest of the class take part in a planned activity, for example a school trip
- parents who are not consulted before the school puts their child on a part-time timetable. 

Parent quote from Contact a Family’s Facebook “I have filled it in and I never knew about this, my child gets at least 3 unofficial exclusions a week”

Anyone needing advice and information about their child's education can call Contact a Family's SEN National helpline (0808 808 3555).

Listen here to find out more about unofficial exclusions from Jill Davies from Contact a Family's SEN National Advice Service. This information is relevant to schools in England and Wales only.

ELDPI CAN - Early Language Development Programme celebrates one-year anniversary

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Children and Families), Edward Timpson MP visited Stonegrove Children’s Centre in Edgware, Barnet on 27 November 2012, to celebrate the progress made by families, thanks to the first year of Early Language Development Programme.

The Early Language Development Programme (ELDP) is led by the children’s communication charity, I CAN, working with partners including Elklan CIC, the Children’s Society and others. The 2 ½ year Department for Education-funded programme will equip 16,000 practitioners and 96,000 parents with the skills they need to support young children’s speech, language and communication development.

Edward Timpson MP and Matthew Offord, MP for Hendon, joined families attending the ‘stay and play’ session at Stonegrove Children’s Centre, a Pre-school Learning Alliance (PLA) setting. The Minister also met with Virginia Beardshaw, CEO of I CAN and Neil Leitch, CEO of PLA, Dame Clare Tickell, CEO of Action for Children and Elly de Decker of Impetus.

Stonegrove practitioners were amongst the first to be trained by I CAN as part of the programme which will create 485 ‘hubs’ of early language expertise in some of the most disadvantaged areas.   For information about 2013’s free ELDP training courses in London, Birmingham, Cheshire, Manchester and the Wirral– contact

The Makaton CharityThe Makaton Charity - Count down to Christmas!

Whether you have been naughty or nice, you can count down the sleeps until Christmas using The Makaton Charity’s amazing new advent calendar. With a gorgeous Makaton surprise behind every door, make sure you come back each day to receive your Makaton treat.

The Makaton Charity hope that you enjoy the calendar! Please share it with everyone you know so that they can have a little bit of Makaton fun this Christmas too!

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and all good things for 2013!

From everyone at The Makaton Charity.

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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