The Communication Trust Newsletter
January 2013


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, how we're continuing the legacy of the Hello campaign and updates from our Consortium members.

A Generation Adrift - Thinkpiece launched

ThinkpieceWe launched A Generation Adrift  at a Parliamentary Reception in the House of Commons on Wednesday 16th January, which was sponsored by Robert Buckland MP.  The thinkpiece draws together research which shows that many children and young people are not being adequately supported to develop good communication skills and children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) are often misunderstood or missed altogether. It also shows that high numbers of children living in poverty have SLCN and unless the issue is tackled it can have a long-term effect on their future academic success.

A copy of A Generation Adrift can be downloaded here and we have hard copies available to order for free. If you’d like to order a hard copy please email to request one.

We're really keen for this thinkpiece to reach as many people as possible, so please do forward the link to any relevant networks or contacts you may have to spread the word about the importance of speech, language and communication in schools.

The parliamentary event at which A Generation Adrift was launched was a very successful event with over 130 attendees including some prominent parliamentarians interested in the issue. To view the pictures please see our Flickr page here


The Communication Trust’s Level 3 Award Workshop - Wednesday 6th March

Time and date: 09:30 – 16:00, Wednesday 6th March 2013
Location: National Children’s Bureau, London

This is an invitation to a free workshop to support an understanding of how local areas and training providers can deliver the Level 3 Award, either starting anew or building on existing CPD / training programmes.

Aims of the workshop include:

  • A clear overview of the Level 3 Award; Supporting Children and Young People's Speech, Language and Communication - who it's for and what the benefits are.
  • An understanding of how local areas can deliver the Award, either starting anew or building on existing CPD / training programmes.
  • A chance to see how free materials from The Communication Trust can support the delivery of the Award.
  • An example of a local delivery model from Nottinghamshire with representatives from the local speech and language therapy department and further education college.
  • An opportunity to ask questions and get support from The Communication Trust on local delivery options.

For more information or to reserve a space please contact Eve Wagg at

If you would like further information on either delivering or taking the award, please read the award update for 2013 here


Did you use the Communicating Phonics Guide in your school? We want to hear from you!

Phonics GuideCommunicating Phonics is a guide to support teachers delivering and interpreting the phonics screening check to children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) as well as providing lots of useful tips and advice to support the overall literacy development of children with SLCN. It was written by the Trust back in June 2012 to coincide with the introduction of this new check. The guide has been one of our most popular resources ever with over 14,000 hits on the phonics page of our website.

We're producing a questionnaire for teachers and school staff who have used the guide, to find out what they liked about it, how they used it and what could be improved to make the guide even better in the future. If you have used Communicating Phonics and would be happy to help us evaluate the resource by completing the short questionnaire soon to be available please email Jo Bolton on

If you haven’t yet seen the Communicating Phonics guide and would like to know more please go to the phonics page on our website here.

Charity of the Month: Signalong

Signalong is a sign-supporting system aimed at helping children who have difficulty with words. Last year the charity celebrated 20 years of developing resources adapted from British Sign Language to meet the needs and abilities of children with speech, language and communication difficulties.

SignalongSignalong begins 2013 with a new leadership team and new blood on its Board of Trustees. They look forward to building on the work of the founders.

Signalong has published the largest illustrated sign vocabulary in Britain, using a method of describing and picturing the signs which is consistent throughout. The charity provides training but its method of presentation enables users to access the vocabulary they need without having to be taught every sign.

Each month Signalong publishes a set of topical signs on its website – to catch up with the current signs please go to  Happy signing!





Better Communication Research Programme
The Department for Education published the outputs from the Better Communication Research Programme (BCRP) on Thursday 27th December . This research programme ran for three years and was designed to investigate the progress of children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) over time. It also looked at the support and interventions offered to them and the evidence base for these interventions and took into account the perspectives of parents and children about the outcomes they value.

The programme draws on evidence provided in the thematic and technical reports and considers the overall implications for policy, practice and research. It's aimed particularly at non-specialist policy makers and commissioners.

The final outputs of the BCRP are now published. These comprise:

  • The main report, showing evidence across the BCRP, presenting the main recommendations.
  • Four thematic reports:
    • The perspectives of children and young people who have SLCN, and their parents.
    • The relationship between SLCN and behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD).
    • Effectiveness, costing and cost effectiveness of interventions for children and young people with SLCN.
    • Understanding SLCN - profiles of need and provision.

There are also ten technical reports which present the full details and findings of the research and provide the back up for information outlined in the programme's recommendations and thematic reports.  

To find out more about the research and access all the reports please go to the Department for Education BCRP webpage here.

The Early Language Development Programme free training ends March 2013

The Ofsted report on Early Years (2012) has found that too many children are still entering school without the basic skills they need to be ready to learn, especially in communication and language: “It is a concern that 34% of children are not working securely in communication, language and literacy by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage.”

ELDPThe report states that “staff expertise and qualifications make a distinct difference to the richness of children’s experience before they start school... and there is a clear correlation between the quality of provision and the level of staff qualifications in the setting.”

The Early Language Development Programme can be part of the solution. The free two day training course provides free materials to cascade training and support knowledge and skills development in your local area. The training stops at the end of March 2013.

If you're an early years practitioner, please click here to see a list of upcoming training dates, or email to register your interest.

Education Select Committee releases pre-legislative scrutiny report

Just before Christmas, the Education Select Committee released its report for the pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft SEN clauses of the forthcoming Children and Families Bill.

The report made many recommendations that reflected concerns put forward by the speech, language and communication sector and made a specific reference to speech and language therapy as an area where responsibility between health and education needed to be clarified.

The draft bill is expected to be debated in the House of Commons in the near future and we will keep you up to date on any further developments. 

The report is available here.

BT World of Work: 2-day work-inspiration workshops

BTThese free events are run by BT to help people who are looking for work, to develop interview skills and increase their confidence and awareness. The agenda for the day has been agreed with the British Stammering Association and 

The content has been specially adapted for people who stammer. For more information on the event please click here.

Using digital media in research with children: new website launched

Young Digital, a website about using digital research with children and young people, is now live at

Young Digital has advice, guidance, case studies, audio, videos and slideshows about how digital media can be used in research. It's aimed at a wide audience of researchers including:

• Researchers in higher education, the public sector, non-governmental and commercial organisations.
• Professionals using research skills and techniques in research, consultation or participation activities with children and young people.
• Young people involved in research or consultation activities as participants, peer researchers or co-producers.

You can also follow Young Digital on Twitter @Young_Digital

Young Digital was produced by researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow with funding from the ESRC Digital Social Research Demonstrator programme.

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 event, 5th March 2013, London

Afasic are running free events for parents, professionals and young people called Voice for Life events, in association with The Communication Trust. The next event will take place at Resource for London, Holloway, London, on Tuesday 5th March 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

AAAAmbitious about Autism - Launches Family Support Season online Q&As

Online community Talk about Autism will host a season of live online Q&As, supporting parents and carers on the issues that they care most about. Entitled the Family Support Season, the live online Q&As will launch on 16th January 2013 and run fortnightly until 30th February 2013.

Each hour long Q&A will cover a topic that families have identified as being an issue they would welcome support on.

Each live Q&A will be hosted by an expert in their field and will run from 8-9pm in order for them to be accessible for parents and carers.

The Family Support Season online Q&As are:

  • 16th January 2013 (8-9pm): Getting the right support at school – with Jill Davies from Contact a Family and Steve Broach from Doughty Street Chambers
  • 30th January 2013 (8-9pm): Understanding and managing challenging behaviour – with Dr. Emma Douglas from TreeHouse School and Dr. Richard Hastings, Professor of Psychology at Bangor University, Wales
  • 13th February 2013 (8-9pm): Puberty, sex and relationships – with Lesley Kerr-Edwards from Image in Action
  • 30th February 2013 (8-9pm): Supporting your child to socialise and make friends – with Jennifer Cook O’Toole, author of Asperkids
To access the Talk About Autism site please click here. For more information about these Q&A sessions please contact Danielle Wootton on

NAPLICNAPLIC - Conference and AGM 2013, Saturday 27th April 2013, Birmingham

SLI – What’s in a name?: The impact of diagnosis on provision, intervention and outcomes for children and young people with specific language impairment

NAPLIC’s conference will be held on Saturday 27th April 2013 at Aston University, Birmingham
The keynote speakers are:
- Vicky Slonims, Clinical Lead Speech and Language Therapist, Newcomen Centre, London
- Gina Conti-Ramsden, Professor of Child Language and Learning, The University of Manchester
- Courtenay Frazier Norbury, Reader in Developmental Neuropsychology, Royal Holloway, University of London
- Julie Dockrell, Institute of Education and for the Better Communication Research Programme

There will also be presentations by staff from specialist SLI teams fom Worcestershire and Newcastle, as well as Stephen Parsons and Anna Branagan from Thinkingtalking.

The conference will be of interest to: Teachers and SENCOs, Teaching Assistants, Speech and Language Therapists, Advisory Teachers for SLCN, Educational Psychologists and LA Advisors.

- Member’s early booking rate (prior to 25.2.13) held at the 2010 price - £95
- Members booking from 26.2.13 - £115
- Non-members booking prior to 25.2.13 - £150 and from 26.2.13 - £170

For more information about the event please see the NAPLIC website 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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