The Communication Trust Newsletter
February 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.


Final reminder to book your place on the 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 a final reminder about our 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:

  1. 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.
  2. An understanding of how local areas can deliver the Award, either starting anew or building on existing CPD / training programmes.
  3. A chance to see how free materials from The Communication Trust can support the delivery of the Award.
  4. An example of a local delivery model from Nottinghamshire with representatives from the local speech and language therapy department and further education college.
  5. An opportunity to ask questions and get support from The Communication Trust on local delivery options.

To book your place or get further information about the workshop please contact Eve Wagg at

Communicating Phonics evaluation survey - closing soon!

We're in the process of evaluating the Communicating Phonics resource, produced last year to coincide with the first phonics screening check for children in year 1.

Phonics GuideIt has been a fantastically popular resource with over 14,000 hits on our website. Now we need to gather feedback from those who used it to help us evaluate it and build on it.

We have created a short survey for people who have used the guidance to gather thoughts and feedback. If you or your colleagues used the resource, we would really appreciate it if you could complete the survey or pass the link on to anyone you know who has used it and would be happy to complete the survey.

Please follow this link to access the survey here.

Please note that the deadline for responses is lunchtime Friday 1st March.

New resource coming soon: Listen To Us

Listen To UsListen To Us is a new, practical resource for people providing training support or professional development in speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). It includes a booklet and a DVD of carefully chosen clips showing children and young people with speech, language and communication needs.

It’s designed to be led interactively by professionals with strong expertise in the area, such as speech and language therapists, specialist and advisory teachers. Listen To Us aims to complement and support existing training and professional development activities by:

  • Providing opportunities for viewers to start thinking about and discussing SLCN.
  • Helping to develop the skills of the viewers in observing and reflecting on SLCN.
  • Helping viewers understand SLCN more effectively and how this may apply to their work.

These professionals can then use Listen To Us with a range of other practitioners who want to improve their knowledge of SLCN:

  • teachers
  • teaching assistants
  • SENCos
  • initial teacher trainees
  • speech and language therapy students
Listen To Us will be ready to purchase within the next few weeks and full details, including where to order it from, will be available shortly!

Anne Fox appointed vice chair of the Council for Disabled Children

Anne FoxAnne Fox, Director of The Communication Trust has been appointed Vice Chair of the Council for Disabled Children (CDC), the umbrella body for the disabled children's sector in England, with links to other UK nations.

Anne is very pleased to have been appointed:

'I'm delighted to tell you that I am now the Vice Chair of the Council for Disabled Children. This is a great profile and capacity builder for the Trust and SLCN sector issues.'

To find out more about CDC please click here.


Department for Education 'More Great Childcare' report released

'More Great Childcare', released by the Department of Education on Tuesday 29th January, is the Government's response to Professor Cathy Nutbrown's review of early education and childcare qualifications.

The report outlines the Government’s proposals to ‘increase the supply of high quality, affordable childcare and early education’. There is a consultation period around these proposals, specifically focusing on:

  • Staff:child ratios as set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage.
  • A consultation on the Level 3 ‘full and relevant’ criteria which underpin the qualifications that those working in the sector need.

The Trust will be submitting a response to this consultation process in due course.

To read the ‘More Great Childcare’ report in full or find out more about the Government’s position on it please click here.

Charity of the Month: NAPLIC

NAPLIC is an association for all professionals concerned with children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), with many members having a particular interest in those children with specific language impairment (SLI). It was founded in 1986 and is led by a volunteer committee, elected by the membership which primarily comprises teachers, speech and language therapists and psychologists; however, all professions are welcome.

NAPLICNAPLIC exists to promote and increase the awareness and understanding of children and young people with SLCN/SLI including how best to meet their needs. To this end the committee:

  • organise an annual conference, celebrating best practice and exploring current theoretical issues
  • publish a termly newsletter for members
  • host a website of current information and a collection of papers from past conferences
  • contribute where possible to the work of The Trust through the Communication Consortium
  • encourage networking

This year’s conference, with presentations from a range of academics and practitioners, is in Birmingham on Saturday 27th April entitled: SLI – What’s in a name? The impact of diagnosis on provision, intervention and outcomes for children and young people with Specific Language Impairment.

For more information about NAPLIC, membership and this year’s conference please visit




Pearson Assessment – supporting professionals using standardised assessments

Pearson AssessmentThis March Pearson Assessment launches Psychometric Training Online and Psychometric Assessment, Statistics and Report Writing – two new products for professionals using standardised assessments in health or education settings.

Psychometric Training Online is an online package developed in association with Real Training that provides an introduction to the statistical concepts that underpin psychometric tests. Easy to navigate and interactive, this course is aimed at providing an introduction (or refresher for those who have already completed formal psychometric training), to the statistical concepts that underpin standardised tests. It consists of approximately 5 hours of content: a combination of online and self directed learning.

Psychometric Assessment, Statistics and Report Writing by Dr Barry Johnson and Dr Gareth Hagger-Johnson is a practical reference book on basic statistical methods that uses case scenarios, test examples and excel for illustration of concepts. It supports:

  • teachers training for a practising certificate in special education or specialist teachers who are renewing certificates
  • assessors who provide reports for Access Arrangements, the Disabled Students’ Allowance, or tribunals
  • health professionals and psychologists testing in clinical or educational settings
  • students in the above disciplines
  • Continuing professional development (CPD).
Visit Pearson Assessment’s product page to find out more.

Early Support - new film

Early SupportEarly Support has commissioned a series of films to show their principles in action across the country. The first of these films is now available, which is about Short Breaks and their benefits when they are offered in a way that is underpinned by Early Support principles.

Please click here to view.

EPIC website launched

EPIC (which stands for Equality, Participation, Influence, Change) are a group of 16 young disabled people from across England who come together to advise the Government on the SEND reforms in the Children and Families Bill.

EPIC have launched their new website which provides information about their work and opportunities for disabled children and young people to have a say in national policy development. You can access the website here.

The website, which was designed with input from the group, will provide updates on EPIC's work, news stories, important resources and opportunities for other disabled children and young people to get involved in influencing the Children and Families Bill through the EPIC Facebook Page.

The website was launched with an interview conducted by two EPIC members with Children's Minister, Edward Timpson MP. The Minster faced questions from EPIC on the potential impact of the SEND reforms on disabled children, young people and their families.

To watch the interview and find out more about EPIC please visit the website.

UK CDI Project

UK parents of children 18 months and under are being asked to fill in a questionnaire and checklist to help researchers develop a tool that could help identify language delays in UK infants.

CDIResearchers at the Universities of Liverpool, Lancaster and Lincoln have been awarded more than £300,000 by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to create the first standardised UK speech and language development tool for English-speaking UK children aged 8 months to 18 months. The tool will be called the UK Communicative Development Inventory (UK-CDI) and will be a checklist of children’s communication abilities in using and understanding words and gestures.

Parents are being asked to help develop this tool. The research team needs UK parents of children aged 8-18 months to fill in a words and gestures checklist, along with a background questionnaire.

  • Researchers are keen to hear from parents with children under 18 months to take part in the study.
  • They are also particularly interested in hearing from parents who left school early, and parents living in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Parents can sign up for a parent pack to be sent out at or can contact the research team by emailing or calling the Child Language Study Centre on 0151 794 1109.

Institute of Education - Making a Statement report released

The Institute of Education have released a new report from a project called Making a Statement (MaSt). The project aims to provide a detailed insight into the day-to-day educational experiences of pupils with a statement of SEN.

The research has found that compared to average attaining pupils, children with statements in mainstream schools spent less time in lessons with the rest of the class and were more than three times more likely to interact with TAs than teachers.

To read the report or the executive summary please click here.

Research suggests that disabled young people are still being denied right to participate

VIPER is a three-year project funded by the Big Lottery Fund, to research young disabled people's participation in decisions about services.
ViperVIPER published their research findings which provides new evidence to show that disabled young people are being denied the right to have a say in how local services, such as education, health and leisure are being developed and delivered; and there is still a long way to go to make sure disabled young people can participate meaningfully in strategic and operational decisions about service development.
To read the research findings in full, policy recommendations, and more about the project please click here.

London Bubble Theatre's 40th anniversary event

The London Bubble Theatre Company is celebrating its 40th anniversary and invites you to join the celebrations on Saturday 9th March.

The day will:
- Bring together the practitioners who were charged with creating and developing participation
- Consider the future of participatory and community theatre
- Launch the Bubble archive of participatory work

To find out more about this day and the London Bubble Theatre company 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

Auditory VerbalAuditory Verbal UK - CEO appointment highlights ambition of 'no barriers for deaf children'

Auditory VerbalUK (AVUK), a national charity working with deaf children and their families, has appointed Anita Grover as its new Chief Executive to succeed Jacqueline Stokes.

Anita Grover said: "It is a great honour to be chosen to lead AVUK which is quite simply transforming the lives of deaf children and their families. With recent Department for Education figures showing the gap widening between the educational achievement of deaf and hearing children, there has never been a more important time to invest in an early intervention approach that improves the life chances of deaf children, while delivering long-term savings to national and local budgets."

The charity's work has been nationally recognised with a GlaxoSmithKline IMPACT Award for 'Excellence in Community Healthcare'. It has recently opened a new centre in London in addition to its base in Oxfordshire. Anita Grover comes to AVUK from a senior civil service background where she directed Government marketing and communications campaigns and worked on a range of social policy issues at the Departments of Education, Social Security and Work and Pensions. Anita also brings insight into hearing impairment as someone who is profoundly deaf herself.

To read the press release in full please click here  and to see a photo of Anita please click here.

Communication MattersCommunication Matters - A right to a voice

Communications Matters, the lead UK organisation dedicated to supporting children and adults who need Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), has responded to The Disabilities Trust’s release about one of their service users, Kevin Beverley, being enabled to speak for the first time in 20 years with the use of an iPad.

Cathy Harris, Chair of Communication Matters, says: “Kevin’s story has captured public attention and highlights in a powerful way that each and every person has the right to a voice. Kevin is not alone, in the UK today 26,000 children and adults need access to specialist AAC services and equipment.

“We believe the real question is why Kevin, and others like him, are made to wait years and years for support that is already available and makes a monumental difference? We also need to increase awareness of the full range of AAC solutions that are available. The iPad is well known because it is a mainstream product in the public domain, however there is not only one solution available for all people in Kevin’s situation.

“AAC devices enable children and adults to communicate. This helps them to live more independent lives, to be involved in decisions that affect them and importantly to develop friendships and relationships with others. However to ensure that children and adults gain maximum benefits from their communication device they don’t only require their aid to be funded but need funding for ongoing support from professionals.

To read the full press release please click here.

Contact a FamilyContact a Family - Latest research on illegal exclusions

Contact a Family knows that illegal exclusions are common from their experience in working with disabled children and their families. However, they wanted to find out more - how often do illegal exclusions happen and what is the impact on family life?

Falling through the net - Illegal exclusions, the experiences of families with disabled children in England and Wales (2013) found children with a disability, SEN or additional needs are routinely illegally excluded from school, almost a quarter (22%) are illegally excluded every week and 15% every day. This is having a devastating impact on their education and mental health. For parents, half report they are unable to work due to the impact of illegal exclusions on family life. Parents also repeatedly talked about the additional pressure put on their relationship with a partner or other children in the family.

The report makes a series of recommendations and it is hoped that it will raise awareness and prompt parents to seek advice from the Contact a Family helpline on 0808 808 3555.

To read the report in full please click here.

ELDPI CAN - Early Language Development Programme free training ends March 2013

As you read this, the debate continues about early years practitioners’ skills / qualifications and the importance of support for the prime areas of learning. The Early Language Development Programme (ELDP) tackles this head on with the final few spaces still available to access free training before the end of March 2013.

The Government’s recent report ‘More Great Childcare’ recognises the need for skilled staff to achieve high quality childcare and good outcomes for children. As communication and language is one of the three prime areas in the foundation stage, I CAN is keen to make sure that staff have skills and knowledge to support this key area of development. The ELDP supports staff working with very young children (those under 3 years).

So far, 827 lead practitioners have been trained, giving them training materials and toolkits to share their knowledge with a range of practitioners and parents in their local area. Cascade activity is increasing with 3,641 practitioners having received training in their local areas. Cascade support is available from the team of ELDP communication advisors based within I CAN.

If you are able to provide lead practitioners to attend the two day training and upskill others, the final dates for training are:

Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 March, Cheshire East
Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 March, Bristol
Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 March, Basingstoke

Go to or contact for more details.

KIDSKIDS launches free suite of resources to support families with disabled children using personal budgets

KIDS is a national charity that works with disabled children, young people and their families. As part of the 'Making it Personal' project, sponsored by the Department for Education, KIDS has worked with a number of partners to develop a new suite of resources to explore how personal budgets can be used to their best advantage.

OPM, Disability Rights UK, In Control, NAFIS and the Daycare Trust have worked together with KIDS to develop guidance for commissioners and others in children's services on how to commission for personalisation, along with a handbook for parents and carers of disabled children on what personal budgets are and how they can be used.

This work was developed in response to the Department for Education's Green Paper Support and Aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability (DfE 2011).

  1. Anyone wishing to access the Commissioner's Guidance can download it here.
  2. Parents and carers of disabled children can download the Parent's Handbook here

An eLearning package for parents and carers is under development and will be released during March 2013, supported by regional events. For more information on this please email

If you want to find out more about the 'Making it Personal' project, you can find more information by clicking here.

NDCSNational Deaf Children Society - Celebrity campaign film for deaf children

Jim Carter, who plays Carson in Downton Abbey, and London 2012 Paralympics Bronze medallist Ben Rushgrove appear alongside deaf children in the film which was launched this week to promote the charity's Stolen Futures campaign. The campaign has uncovered that one in three councils across England are cutting services which are crucial for deaf children's education and development.  
Scarlett Johnson of BBC's Pramface and deaf percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, who led a team of drummers in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, also feature in the film. They urge people to sign the charity's e-petition to secure a Parliamentary debate on the issue and force the Government to take responsibility for the cuts being made to deaf children's services.

To find out more about the Stolen Futures campaign please 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


Sentence Trouble:
Talking Trouble:


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

Privacy policy