The Communication Trust Newsletter
March 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 Secondary Progression Tools are here!

Secondary Progression ToolsOver the past year we have been working on our latest resource - the Speech, Language and Communication Secondary Progression Tools, for secondary school teachers and support staff who work with students aged 11-18.

We have been testing these Tools and gathering feedback to develop and improve the resource – thank you to all those who have been involved. They are now ready to order!

There are Tools available for those working with ages 11-12, 13-14 and 16-18. The Tools provide a way for teaching staff to determine if students are at the level expected for their age around speech, language and communication and can also be used to track their progress over time or following interventions.

 "There are so many different learning and assessment tools on the market at the moment but The Communication Trust's Secondary Progression Tools are more robust and effective in identifying specific student communication needs." AVP Extended Learning Teacher, Clacton.

To order the Secondary Progression Tools or access primary focused Tools please go to or click here for more information.

To read out more about the Tools, please click here.

To find out more information about SLCN in Secondary years, please click here
A 'How to use the Progression Tools' video has been created to help teaching staff, and ensure they are conducting the questions and observations in the right way. The video is available here.


Free resources - Cracking the Code!

Early Years posterWe have developed an exciting bundle of new free resources to help you understand and implement the 2014 SEND Code of Practice working with younger children.

We have developed a number of resources specifically for early years practitioners to help develop knowledge and skills around the SEND reforms and speech, language and communication development including:

  • Cracking the Code Poster with advice about identifying and supporting children with SEN
  • Online short course all about speech, language and communication
  • An early identification framework to help you identify children who are struggling
  • A guide to implementing the Graduated Approach

Guides to ages and stages of communication development, top tips for supporting speech and language, activity ideas and much more can be found here.

These resources have been developed with support from the Department for Education. We are also grateful to our colleagues at National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), Pre-School Learning Alliance (PLA) and Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) for their help in developing the Cracking the Code poster and associated materials.

If you subscribe to the PACEY, NDNA, PLA and/or Nursery World newsletters you will receive a free copy of the Cracking the Code poster in the next edition.

If you would like additional posters please contact us on stating the numbers of posters and delivery address. The poster is also available to download directly from our website and can be found here.

Communication Commitment

Communication CommitmentOur Communication Commitment is an interactive website launched in 2013 with the support of Pearson Assessment. The site’s aim is to support schools to take a whole school approach to communication.

A key function of the website is enabling schools to build an Action Plan around five specific priority areas that will support them to make communication a priority. We then provide everything schools need to complete their Plan including free resources and signposting to more in-depth support from our Consortium.

Already over 1,600 schools have registered. A review of the website with initial users indicated that 100% of respondents saw the Commitment as a practical tool for creating a whole-school approach to communication and nearly 70% said it had impacted on their work.

Schools have reported holding school inset days focused around speech, language and communication, highlighting SLCN on all lesson plans and giving all staff Performance Management Targets linked to the Commitment as just some of the ways they have been making communication a school-wide priority.

For more information or to register click here


‘Reading: The next steps’ Report

The Department for Education has recently published a new plan aimed at schools that clearly set out the government’s ambition for reading. The report outlines new measures, including a programme to support up to 200 primary schools, where reading attainment at key stage 2 is currently low, to set up book clubs and promote library membership to inspire thousands more pupils to develop a love of literature.

The report also highlights that there is a substantial body of evidence, which demonstrates that systematic synthetic phonics is the most effective method for teaching all children to read. Progress has been made since the introduction of the phonics screening check in 2012 and the funding for phonics training and resources provided by the government. To build on this, they have announced a phonics partnership grant programme that will enable excellent schools to work with others to improve the quality of phonics teaching.

The report supports the Read On. Get On. campaign which the Trust supports and aims to get all 11 year olds reading well by 2025 and has an interim goal of supporting children to have good language skills at age 5 by 2020.

To read the report please click here.


SENCO Update: Embedding the (0-25) SEND Code of Practice conference
5th May 2015, London

Optimus educationBrought to you by Optimus Education, and now in its 13th year, this established event will provide you with the practical guidance needed to ensure your school complies with the new Code, can successfully embed a whole school approach and support improved outcomes for all students.

Use promotional code COMMTRUST to save 20% off the standard delegate rate.

Key learning objectives on the day include:

  • Hear from schools which have successfully embedded ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ and see what good practice looks like nationally.
  • Leave with a clear guide on how to manage the transition from statements to EHCPs and what is meant by good outcomes.
  • Clarify what inspectors will now be looking for under the new Code and clarify what Outstanding SEND provision now looks like.
  • Learn how to effectively train all staff and ensure quality-first teaching, which drives the progress of SEND pupils, occurs in every classroom.

For more information and to register click here. Don’t forget to quote COMMTRUST to save 20% off the standard delegate rate.


4Children’s ‘What to Expect, When’ Guide for parents on Child Development

4Children4Children have recently launched a new guide, supported by the Department for Education,  responding to a need for a simple and accessible guide for parents to support their child’s progress in the early years.

The booklet will help parents know what to expect during the first five years within the seven areas of learning and development which are covered in the statutory Early Years Foundation Stage: personal social and emotional development; physical development; literacy, communication and language; mathematics; understanding the world; expressive arts and design.

The guide also outlines what parents should notice at various stages, while offering clear tips on how they can support their child’s learning and development.

To read the guide, please click here.


Nasen Live Conference 2015 – 20-21st May, Bolton

NasenThe Nasen Live Conference will be providing a ‘one year on’ update on the implementation of the SEND reforms, governmental policy changes and best practice. The event will offer a wide range of professional development opportunities and access to a range of relevant free materials and resources. The aim of the conference is to provide a whole range of opportunities for delegates to learn and examine what good practice looks like within this new landscape.

Nasen Live provides the opportunity for SENCOs, teachers and all practitioners to refresh and update their knowledge, learn from evidence-based practice and feel supported throughout the coming year.

The Nasen Live programme provides readers with all the details of each seminar, speakers, a brief resume of content of each session and the booking form. The programme can be accessed here.

To find out more about the conference please click here.





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

ACE Centre – seeking your views

ACE CentreACE Centre has been contracted by NHS England to provide specialised alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) services in the North West and Wessex & Thames Valley regions. 

NHS England has ring-fenced funding for the national provision of Specialised AAC Services, and contracted organisations in each of the 10 NHS Specialised Commissioning Regions across the country to deliver these services.

In the light of these significant changes, ACE Centre is conducting an internal review of their strategic objectives. The input of key stakeholders is an essential part of this process, and ACE Centre are keen that as many people as possible should participate in this ongoing Stakeholder Consultation process.

The Consultation Period will end on 30th April 2015, and ACE Centre will publish the results of this Consultation on their website before the end of July 2015.

The purpose of the Consultation is to ensure that any decisions made by ACE Centre are well-informed by the views, preferences and aspirations of key stakeholders.

To ensure your views are known, please follow this link and complete their on-line questionnaire.

Council for Disabled Children - Young Offender with SEN Implementation Support Materials

Council for Disabled ChildrenThe Council for Disabled Children (CDC) has recently published implementation support materials for young offenders with SEN on the resources section of its website, which can be accessed here.

The materials support the new legal framework for children and young people with SEN in youth custody as set out in the Children and Families Act. These provisions will commence on 1st April 2015. This resource will be useful for anyone working with a child or young person in youth custody and contains checklists and helpful guides to help them implement the new framework.

The Department for Education has also published their guidance on transitional arrangements to include the new duties on children and young people in custody. This can be found here.

Please do share these with anyone who you think might find the materials helpful in understanding and implementing the new framework for children and young people with SEN in custody.

I CAN –  Early Language Development Programme

ELDPThe Early Language Development Programme (ELDP) led by I CAN, celebrated its successful roll out at a celebration event in London hosted by the Office for Public Management (OPM) earlier this month.

Funded by the Department for Education, the ELDP is a national training programme that increases awareness, knowledge and confidence amongst the early years workforce supporting children’s speech, language and communication development on a national and local basis. Over 1,000 lead practitioners have been trained via the ELDP cascading to over 16,000 local practitioners who in turn have supported over 150,000 parents and carers.

The ELDP was evaluated by OPM, in partnership with Sheffield University. At the celebration event, they highlighted the ways that the ELDP has been shown to change practice that is sustained over time. Parents and practitioners have reported improvements in children’s language and communication as a result of ELDP. 93% of practitioners surveyed were more knowledgeable about children’s early language development, 87% of parents knew more and felt more confident about supporting speech and language, and changes in practice were sustained for nine or more months after ELDP training.

There will be evidence of the impact of ELDP on outcomes for children released in the near future. For more information on the ELDP 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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