The Communication Trust Newsletter
February 2011


Hello, the 2011 national year of communication, is a campaign to increase understanding of how important it is for children and young people to develop good communication skills.

The campaign is run by The Communication Trust, a coalition of 40 leading voluntary sector organisations, in partnership with Jean Gross, the Government’s Communication Champion. The campaign is sponsored by BT and Pearson Assessment and is backed by the Department for Education and Department of Health.

This newsletter provides updates on current developments in the world of speech, language and communication and on Hello.


Ready, set, Hello, the national year of communication has started

January 2011 has seen the launch of Hello, the national year of communication – a campaign to make children and young people’s communication development a priority in homes, schools and nurseries across the country. The first month’s theme was ‘Don’t take communication for granted’, just in time for the King's Speech box office success.Boys on slide

Over 50 organisations have signed up to support the campaign and a number of local areas have run their own events to mark the start of the year including Stoke-on-Trent and Wandsworth. The Hello regional roadshows kicked off with its first event in Manchester for 120 delegates from across the North West.

New resources have been launched including Don’t Get Me Wrong, Misunderstood, and Top Tips for Developing Talk, to download or order your copy, go to All of these resources are based on our partners expertise and guidance. We have also developed the All Together Now toolkit – a guide on how to get involved in the national year, please click here to download.

In addition to this, The Communication Trust published results from a OnePoll survey of 6,000 people that explored perceptions of children’s communication development, including knowledge of communication milestones. The survey found that one in six parents in Britain believe that the most common cause of long term speech, language and communication difficulties among children is the time they spend on computers and watching television. The poll highlighted the misconceptions that exist around children’s communication development and resulted in media interest from the Daily Mail, BBC News Online, The Sun and The Metro. See below for some of January’s media coverage highlights.  To read more about the survey, please click here.

Recent coverage:

The Independent (20.01.2011)  

The Guardian - Education (18.01.2011)

Metro (31.01.2011)

BBC News Online (31.01.2011)

Boots Web MD website (03.02.2011)

Children and Young People Now (31.01.2011)





Early chatter matters - from bump to birth and beyond

Over February and March, Hello will be focusing on its early years theme Early chatter matters: from bump to birth and beyond. Babbling babies become talkative toddlers with lots of help and encouragement from adults around them. The more fun we can make speech and language development for children, the better!

Chatterbox ChallengeThis month, help is at hand with I CAN’s Chatterbox Challenge – the first milestone Hello event. This initiative, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, gets children aged 0-5 practising rhymes and songs to develop their communication skills.

Nurseries, children’s groups and childminders can register and take part in a Chatterbox Challenge Guinness World RecordTM attempt on Tuesday 1st March, at 11am. To take part or help spread the word please click here.

We will also be working with the National Literacy Trust’s ‘Talk to Your Baby’ campaign. Watch this space for more updates.

All Together Now includes advice and case studies on how you can use the early years theme to make noise around the Hello campaign. Keep us posted of your plans at





Hello website


Hello facebook

Early bird offer extended for NAPLIC Conference

NAPLIC, the National Association of Professionals concerned with Language Impairment in NAPLICChildren, will be holding their next residential conference on 2nd-3rd April, 2011. The Communication Trust are proud to be supporting NAPLIC with this event.

The conference, titled Championing Better Communication: Theory, Practice and Innovation, will be held at the University of Warwick.

This conference will be of interest to Teachers and SENCOs, Speech and Language Therapists, Advisory Teachers for SLCN, Educational Psychologists and Local Authority Advisors. Please click here to view the programme.

Please go to to book your place at the early bird rate - only available till Friday 25th February.


Hello sponsors - spotlight on Pearson Assessment

The Communication Trust is delighted to announce that Pearson Assessment is sponsoring the Hello campaign in 2011.Pearson Assessment

Pearson Assessment is the UK’s leading publishers of assessments for health and education professionals. The company’s support for Hello ranges from publishing new materials for teachers and health workers, hosting online seminars, helping to promote the campaign and sponsoring an exciting national awards scheme, which is shortly to be publicised.

 “We are delighted that Pearson Assessment shares the ambition of Hello that every child has the support they need to communicate. Their generous and wide-spread support will help to make a tremendous success of the campaign in 2011” Andrew Ball, Hello Campaign Director

Look out for the series of free 'Ages and Stages' booklets – coming soon – providing guidance on what stage children and young people should be at with their speaking and listening skills between the ages of 0-5, 5-11 and 11-16. They will be a useful reference tool about communication milestones and will help to identify when a child might need support.

"Pearson Assessment is proud to be backing Hello, an important campaign for today's society. We are committed to supporting children and young people who have communication difficulties, and aim to support those professionals who work so hard to improve and develop these core skills. We believe that early identification of communication difficulties can make a profound difference to a person’s life and we are therefore passionate about publishing assessments to assist this process. Hello is set to be an exciting year for all involved and we are pleased to be a part of this initiative." Chris Hall, Managing Director, Pearson Assessment

To find out more about Pearson Assessment and the wide range of assessment solutions on offer visit

Charity of the Month - I CAN

I CAN is the children’s communication charity. We work with families, education and health professionals to ensure that no child who struggles to communicate is left out or left behind. We provide resources, books and DVDs to help parents and practitioners understand and support children’s communication. Coming soon is the SLI Handbook, a guide produced by I CAN and Afasic and commissioned by The Communication Trust to support parents of children with SLI. Order a copy here.


At the heart of I CAN are the special schools, Meath (4-11 years) and Dawn House (5-19 years). Both provide education and support to children with severe and complex speech, language and communication needs.  The schools also run an independent multi-disciplinary assessment service which help families understand their child’s specific communication difficulties and what they need to progress at school.

I CAN works with schools, nurseries and local authorities through our national programmes,  Early Talk 0-3, Early Talk 3-5 and  Primary Talk and our forthcoming Secondary Talk. These offer resources, accreditation, advice, and training from I CAN’s specialist staff to help improve support children with speech, language and communication needs. We also offer workplace and one day training courses to help professionals to better identify and help children who are struggling.

For the latest updates from I CAN during the National Year, follow us on Facebook, Twitter,  or visit You can sign up for a free monthly newsletter  and download FREE reports on key issues on children’s communication development. Or call 0207 843 2552 to speak with your local Communication Adviser.

Talking Point - new look and feel is a website about children’s speech, language and Talking Pointcommunication. It is designed for parents, people that work with children, and children and young people themselves.

Refreshed and redesigned especially for the national year of communication, Talking Point now offers a Progress Checker to parents and professional – where they can see how well the child in their care is developing. There are also downloadable factsheets, free resources, video footage of real life stories and a parent forum, where you can share tips, experiences and become part of an important community.

Go to to check out the site.

Local children say Hello to the national year of communication with balloon launch at Wandsworth Museum

The St George’s Healthcare community speech and language promotion and prevention team launched Hello, with a star studded ‘words will take you far’ balloon launch at Wandsworth Museum on 28th January 2011. 

The balloons were released by children from local day and community centres, West Hill Primary, Garret Park and St Cecelia’s schools. Also releasing balloons into the sky were actress Elizabeth McGovern, star of Downton Abbey and Once Upon a Time in America, Jean Gross, the government’s Communication Champion, David Astley, St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust Chief Executive, and Mayor of Wandsworth Cllr Piers Conolly McAusland.

In the lead up to the event, staff, patients and their families were asked to choose their favourite words, with the most popular being used on the campaign throughout the year. Cuddles and hullabaloo being the most popular words so far. Each balloon had a postcard attached to it with a one of the borough’s favourite words printed on it, some information about the campaign and a return address so the children can see which word travelled furthest.

Have you planned a fun and creative way to launch the national year of communication in your area? Tell us your plans at

RCSLT Leadership and Business Skills training opportunity

The Royal College for Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) has commissioned the WestminsterRCSLT Business School to organise special 2-day workshops in cities across the UK. These will help speech and language therapists to develop the skills and confidence to take on leadership and strategic business planning roles. It will also enable them to develop business cases to demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of their services.

This is available for RCSLT members only, please click here for more information.

Please click here to download further information and click here to download the application form.

Applications are due by Thursday 10th February.

OECD video contest for young people

To celebrate the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) 50th Anniversary, young people worldwide are invited to create a short video describing their vision of 'Progress'.

The prize is an all expenses paid trip to Paris, screening of the winning films at an international forum and an opportunity to meet government, civil society and media from around the world.

Closing date for submissions is midnight (Paris time) on 1 March 2011.

Please click here for more information.

Review of the Custodial Care Level 3 N/SVQ

Skills for Justice are reviewing the structure and content of the Custodial Care Level 3 N/SVQ to ensure it continues to meet the needs of the sector.

Following a scoping exercise to look at the gaps regarding the care of children and young people in custodial settings, units have been identified which could be used as optional units in the Level 3 qualification. The Communication Trust has been invited to develop an optional unit which could become part of this qualification.

Skills for Justice will be consulting on the revised structure through online consultation and focus groups next month. A link to the consultation will be included in the next newsletter.

Skills for Justice are also inviting those with comprehensive knowledge, skills and experience of current procedures within custodial care environments who are interested in getting involved in the project to contact Rebecca Morgan at

News from our members

The Communication Trust is a consortium of 40 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.


Communication Works 11 Conference, Friday 6th May

CENMAC and Charlton School are organising a conference for those with a special interest in the inclusion of pupils with Down’s Syndrome.

Key speakers will include Bob Black from the Down’s Syndrome Association and Julie Wagge from Symbol UK.

For more details please go to details on or contact

Chailey Heritage Clinical ServicesChailey Heritage

Study day, East Sussex - Monday 7th March

Chailey Heritage Clinical Services are holding a one day course for professionals supporting children and young people who use alternative and augmentative methods of communication on Monday 7th March.

If you are interested in attending please click here to view the flyer.

Communication Matters - Road Shows Communication Matters

The Communication Matters Road Shows give attendees the opportunity to keep up to date with the latest advances in the field of alternative and augmentative communication (AAC).

These are interactive days supported and presented by commercial members from the UK's leading suppliers of communication aids, equipment and symbol systems. Each day consists of five sessions which provide information and offer up-to-date knowledge on the range of AAC equipment and services available in the UK.

These full day events are open to people who use AAC, parents, carers and professionals alike.

Confirmed dates for the Road Shows are as follows:

- Newton Abbott, 17 May 2011

- Carlisle, 7 June 2011

- Belfast, 21 June 2011

Please go to to find out more.


Playwork Inclusion Project Conference, London – Thursday 24th February 2011

KIDS are delighted to confirm that the Rt Hon Sarah Teather MP, Minister of State for Children and Families, has agreed to give the keynote speech.

Themes include:

- Diversity of disabled children and their rights

- The variety of places that children go and how they can be inclusive

- Disabled children and young people and their place in the big society

- How can we ensure disabled children and young people are prioritised at a local and national level

For more information and a booking form, please email


Hello is sponsored by:

BT and andPearson Assessment

Contact Us

If you would like to contact us please call 0207 843 2550 or email
The Communication Trust, 8 Wakley Street, London, EC1V 7QE


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