The Communication Trust Newsletter
May 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:


Communicating the Code is now live!

Communicating the CodeWe have recently developed Communicating the Code specifically for people working directly with children and young people with SLCN in early years, schools and post-16 settings.

Communicating the Code’s sections are set out to reflect the SEND Code of Practice 0-25 for quick access to required information. It aims to:

  • Highlight key issues for SLCN in the new Code.
  • Identify key strategies that may help to overcome these issues.
  • Signpost to useful resources, examples of good practice and further information.

How Communicating the Code can help those working with children and young people with SLCN:

  • It interprets the Code in relation to SLCN for all sections, something no other resource to date has done.
  • It sets out your responsibilities as a practitioner in the new Code for children and young people with SLCN.
  • It is practical and solution focused - looking at the issues practitioners face and suggesting strategies/approaches to address them. It signposts to further information, case studies and resources to assist.
  • It brings together research and good practice on effective working in all settings at a universal, targeted and specialist level for children and young people with SLCN.
  • It contains clear tips and guidance on how to enable the child or young person to participate in outcome/target setting if they have SLCN.
  • It considers how to work most effectively with parents, families and other professionals - a key objective of the SEND reforms.

Communicating the Code is available to access for free here.


The Communication Commitment for Schools – free event

Communication Commitment and PearsonTogether with our sponsors Pearson Assessment, we are delighted to invite you to attend 'The Communication Commitment for Schools: Making a commitment to help all students communicate to the best of their ability' at 9:30-11:30am on Wednesday 24th June 2015.

Whether you are completely new to the Commitment or are currently using it within your schools, this event will be incredibly useful – and of particular interest to teaching staff, SLTs and SENCOs.

The event explores:

  • What is the CommunicationCommitment?
  • Why should schools and SLTs get involved?
  • How do I make my commitment?
  • Practical examples from practitioners currently implementing the Communication Commitment.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Shona Crichton, The Communication Trust 
  • Anne-Marie Cray, Speech and Language Therapist, Child Speech
  • Special Advisory Teachers/SENCOs from Barking and Dagenham.

Register for the event here. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.
If you have any queries, please contact


Developing a national reading strategy - call for evidence

Read On. Get On. UpdateOn behalf of the Read On. Get On. coalition in England, the RSA has been commissioned to develop a national reading strategy for England, which will set out the action needed over the next decade to achieve the target goals for 2020 and 2025:

  1. All children achieve good early language development by age five by 2020.
  2. Every child is able to read well by the age of 11 by 2025, with good progress made so that we are at least halfway towards this goal by 2020.

Call for evidence

To support the strategy, the RSA are launching a call for evidence, inviting submissions from all individuals and organisations with an interest in promoting children's reading and early language development. Your contributions will help to identify key issues and strategic priorities for action to help achieve the 2020 and 2025 target goals.

To submit evidence, please respond to the questions on the response form available here.

Completed responses should be submitted by 15th June 2015 to


How can you use the Speech, Language and Communication Framework?

The Speech, Language and Communication Framework (SLCF) sets out the skills and knowledge needed by practitioners to support the speech, language and communication development of all children.

Initially developed with I CAN and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, the framework has over 10,500 users; both individuals across the children’s workforce and more than 300 groups.

Some ways that the SLCF is being used include:

  • As a ‘before and after’ measure of practitioner confidence in a range of Trust programmes of work.
  • To compare changes in confidence across four different methods of rolling out the Inclusion Development Programme (IDP).
  • By Local Authorities to support recruitment, interviews and performance management.
  • As part of the Every Child a Talker programme by some Local Authorities.
  • By Local Authorities and speech and language therapy teams as guidance for developing training.

To view the SLCF, please click here.


SEND reforms for children and young people with SLCN – have your say and take our short survey

SENDWe are committed to supporting all those implementing the reformed SEND system to meet the needs of children and young people with SLCN and their families. As part of this work, we undertook two online surveys last year to find out how our networks were preparing for and implementing the SEND reforms.

We’ve used the valuable information taken from these surveys to ensure that we are able to offer relevant support to those working with children and young people with SLCN. 

We are now running a third survey across June 2015 to revisit the perceived opportunities and remaining challenges of the SEND reforms, almost a whole academic year on from them coming into effect.

Please take this 10 minute survey and pass the link on to your colleagues and networks. To complete the survey please click here or the link below.

*Do you work in the youth justice system?

Alongside our reforms implementation survey, we are also running a targeted survey in partnership with the University of Sheffield for those working in the youth justice sector who have been implementing the SEND reforms since April 2015.

This short survey is focused on helping us to assess awareness of speech, language and communication needs in the youth justice sector and of the SEND reforms and to monitor their impact on practices.

If this is relevant to you, please click here or the link below to access the survey or forward on to a relevant contact.  

Both of these surveys will be open from 29th May – 29th June 2015.


Centre for Language, Literacy and Numeracy: Research and Practice Conference - 23rd June

This summer lecture will explore the links between the cognitive processes involved in reading, spelling and written text production.

Speaker Professor Michel Fayol’s (Blaise Pascal University, Clermont-Ferrand, and FR) expertise in written symbolic systems applies to a wide range of education fields. His research focuses on written production, particularly spelling, and the different ways in which it can be acquired.

Admission to the lecture is free but places are limited.

Download the flyer or book your place here.


Early Intervention Foundation's call to government

EIFThe Early Intervention Foundation, along with 50 key organisations, has signed a letter to the new government to follow through on manifesto promises to invest in and prioritise early intervention and prevention.

The letter, published in full in The Independent newspaper on 5th May, calls on the new government to make a commitment to:

1. Greater use of effective early intervention
Use more effective early intervention for children and young people to reduce the need for late intervention by 10 per cent – £1.7 billion – by 2020.

2. The creation of an early intervention investment fund
Create a dedicated, ring-fenced early intervention investment fund drawn from inefficient public spending and private sector capital such as social investment for the life-time of the next Parliament to catalyse and test innovation. The money would be awarded to councils, healthcare providers, schools, voluntary groups and other organisations with ambitious plans to redesign local services around effective early intervention.

3. Early intervention as a key theme for the budget and spending review
Make prevention and early intervention a key theme of the first budget and spending review by finding out what is being spent on early intervention, how it is being used, and how it helps children and families.

Read more about their call to government here.


Speechmark webinar - How parents can help a child who has speech and communication difficulties

SpeechmarkJoin Speechmark’s free interactive webinar on 4th June from 5-6pm to learn how to help children with speech and language difficulties using the Colorcards App. This app has been tried and tested by speech and language therapists and schools and can be used to create easy to use and engaging activities.

This webinar not only highlights the skills that these apps will help a child develop, but also demonstrates the importance of tracking progression

Register to:

  • Come away with ideas for activities designed to help children build vocabulary, develop sentence structure, order information, improve attention and concentration and problem solve. 
  • Explore how to personalise the app using your own images allowing you to introduce new people, objects and school topics. 
  • Find out how to track and measure progress over time using the Colorcards App voice recorder and reporting tool. 

Register your place on the webinar 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

Communication Matters - Study Days on Symbols and Literacy

Communication MattersCommunication Matters has organised two study days on symbols and literacy in June, offering an introduction and advanced study on practical, evidenced-based approaches and activities to support language and literacy development through aided communication technologies.

Symbolisation Towards Literacy study day 15th June
This popular course has been run by Communication Matters in London and Stirling with great reviews and this time it takes place in Manchester. Book your place here.

Symbols, Language & Literacy follow-up day 16th June
Offered by Manchester Metropolitan University for those who have attended the first study day and wish to advance their practical knowledge. Book your place here.

Find out more information here.

Become an I CAN licensee

I CANI CAN are looking for speech and language therapists, specialist teachers, educational advisors, SENCO's, educational psychologists and specialist early years practitioners interested in joining a UK-wide network of licensees.

I CAN licensees are trained and supported to disseminate evidenced-based training and intervention programmes across the education sector.

Their next training dates are:

  • 28th May, 11th June and 23rd July, Early Talk 0-5 training.
  • 17th June, 30th July, 20th August, Talk Boost Licensed Tutor training.

Find out more here or email with any queries.

NDCS - New research about hearing loss

NDCSRecent research carried out by the Ear Foundation for NDCS, shows that the term 'mild' and 'moderate' hearing loss do not adequately describe the impact of these types of deafness. The report also highlighted that:

  • Nearly half (47%) of parents reported that their child was behind their age compared with their classmates, with 35% performing in line with their peers and 18% advanced for their age.
  • Poor acoustics, background noise and understanding speech at a distance were cited by 69% of parents as challenges faced by their child at school; with a third (33%) blaming a lack of staff awareness.

The research has been launched during Deaf Awareness Week to raise awareness of the need for all deaf children to receive the support they need.

Download the research report here.

Talking Mats – new resource

Talking MatsAs part of the Right to Speak initiative, Talking Mats was funded to develop 'Promoting Inclusion and Participation: an online learning resource for staff working with children and young people who use Augmentative and Alternative and Communication (AAC)’.  

This free online resource, developed with NHS Education Scotland and in partnership with Forum Interactive, aims to help practitioners:

  1. Understand the role that collaboration and involvement play in delivering wellbeing outcomes for children who use AAC.
  2. Apply a holistic and outcomes-focused approach to assessment, implementation and review, which places the child at the centre.
  3. Recognise that as the child develops and changes, so the level of different team member's involvement will ebb and flow.

Download the free resource here

Contact us

If you would like to contact us please call 0207 843 2526 or email
The Communication Trust, 31 Angel Gate, Goswell Road, London, EC1V 2PT


Sentence Trouble:
Talking Trouble:


If you would like to unsubscribe from all emails from The Communication Trust, please click here.

Privacy policy