Local Co-ordinator Newsletter
March 2013


Hello and welcome to the March edition of The Communication Trust’s Local Co-ordinators newsletter.

During Hello, the 2011 national year of communication, you became our voices for this campaign to help us spread the word far and wide. Even though Hello is over we still want to keep you informed on our developments and activities that we feel might be important to you.

This newsletter is created so we can keep you up-to-date with news, forthcoming events and available resources. We hope it provides you with useful information to support you in your role working with children and young people. If you have any suggestions for future content please e-mail enquiries@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk

What Works – launch date approaching

We have been working with the Better Communication Research Programme to develop the What Works database of evidenced interventions to support children's speech, language and communication.

The initial testing stage has just been completed and on Monday 25th March the database will go live. This will mark the beginning of a one-year prototype phase and will be available for headteachers, teachers, teaching assistants, SLTs, SENCos and other specialist staff.

We will be consulting with What Works users over the next year to gain their feedback on whether the database works for them and what they think of it. Please use the online feedback form to share your thoughts with us which will be available through the site.

The database currently contains 60 interventions but we're looking to build on this over the coming year. If you know of any interventions that you think would fit onto What Works please get in touch here and please also share the link to What Works with anyone in your networks who you feel may benefit from using it.

So on Monday 25th March, please go to www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/whatworks and let us know your feedback!


A Generation Adrift launched

ThinkpieceWe have recently launched a new paper calling on schools to put more emphasis on children and young people developing good speech, language and communication skills.

A Generation Adrift draws together research showing that many children and young people are not being adequately supported to develop good communication skills and those with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) are often misunderstood, misinterpreted or missed altogether. It 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 or email enquiries@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk with your name and address to request a free hard copy.


Resource of the month: Consortium Catalogue

Each month we’ll be bringing you a resource from us or our Consortium members, which you can use in your work or share with your networks. They will all be practical resources available free or for a small cost.

Consortium CatalogueOur Consortium is made up of 47 members, all specialists in speech, language and communication for children and young people. The Consortium Catalogue draws together a range of products and services available from our members that are available to schools.

This includes a wide range of informative resources which help to improve understanding of children’s speech, language and communication development and how to support children with SLCN.

There are products and services for professionals and parents and guidance is broken down into three waves – universal, targeted and specialist.

To access and download the catalogue free of charge, please click here.


Have you used any of our resources?

If you or any of your colleagues have used any of The Communication Trust resources, we’d love to hear from you.

We’ve developed a template to help us assess the impact our resources have for the parents and practitioners who have used them, and to help us understand how they could be improved. The template is only short and won’t take long to complete, your feedback is essential to us so we really look forward to hearing from you.

To download a case study template please click here. Any information you provide in the form will be used anonymously. Please send completed templates back to The Trust at enquiries@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk.  


MPs call to action on communication needs of disadvantaged children

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Speech and Language Difficulties has published the results of its inquiry into the links between communication difficulties and social disadvantage.

APPG meetingThe cross-party group of MPs and peers are calling for a comprehensive programme of training for relevant practitioners, better systems for monitoring and responding to the development of children’s communication and targeted additional support to improve the communication environments of children living in socially deprived areas.

Lord Ramsbotham, chair of the group, said: “Effective collaboration between services is crucial. We need a national framework for local education, health and social care services that covers all children with communication difficulties and reflects the recommendations in this report.”

The Communication Trust welcomes the mention of our Talk Of The Town project in the report. The project was piloted during the national year of communication and evidenced improvements in support for children with SLCN in an area of high levels of social disadvantage, in addition to work improving support and meeting the needs of children across local areas including 2011 Shine a Light winners Stoke Speaks Out . 

Anne Fox, Director of The Communication Trust, said: “We welcome the All Party Parliamentary Group’s investigation into the large number of children who have poor language in many communities; we are pleased to see support given to the contribution made by the voluntary sector to support better outcomes for these children.”

To view a copy of the report click here.


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!

Did you use the Communicating Phonics Guide?

Phonics GuideWe'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. So far we've received some really interesting feedback on the resource and about the phonics check in general but we're keen to hear your thoughts. Have you used the resource or signposted it to others to use?

We have created a short survey for people who have used the guidance to gather thoughts and feedback. 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 Thursday 28th March.

Council for Disabled Children launches new online resources for health professionals

CDCCouncil for Disabled Children (CDC) has launched two sets of online resources this month for health professionals, one on Emergency Healthcare Plans and the other an e-learning module to help doctors work with children with special educational needs.

Emergency Healthcare Plan - new online tools
In partnership with the RCPCH, CDC has developed a series of resources for professionals on how to develop Emergency Healthcare Plans (EHP). An Emergency Healthcare Plan is a brief document containing the key information about a child's condition. In the event of an emergency situation, having an Emergency Healthcare Plan can make communication easier and ensure that a child is treated as promptly as possible

The resources include:

  • Two e-learning modules covering what an EHP is, how to draw one up and the core principles involved in developing one.
  • A series of role plays to help professionals discuss EHP with families.
  • Links to externally developed tools including example EHPs and guidance.

View the new Emergency Healthcare Plan resources on CDC's website at www.councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/ehp.

Spotting the Sick Child module
CDC has also supported the development of a learning disability module for the Spotting the Sick Child website to help doctors work with children who have special educational needs.The module is a resource for health professionals designed to enable them to better diagnose sickness in children with learning disabilities.

View the Spotting the Sick Child learning disability module on CDC's website at www.councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/spotsickchild.

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 for people working with children.

If your organisation would like to become a member of The Communication Trustís Consortium, please e-mail enquiries@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk

BSABritish Stammering Association - Stammering course in Leeds

Parents and practitioners working with teenagers in Leeds can get support at a ‘Positive Self’ session next month.

The 2 day course for 13-16 year olds on 8th and 9th April will:

- Support young people to focus on the link between their thoughts, feelings and behaviour so that by looking at the way they think and how that can make them feel they can explore ways to change what they do.

- Offer parents a session providing the opportunity for them to meet other parents of young people who stammer and an introduction to the strategies introduced in the package.

For more information please click here to visit the British Stammering Association’s website.

Communication MattersCommunication Matters - Road Shows

Book a free place on a Communication Matters Road Show and find out about the latest developments in communication aids, software and specialised equipment.

The UK's leading AAC suppliers will be at the road shows demonstrating an exciting range of equipment and software for people with complex communication needs.

The road shows are aimed at professionals (e.g. speech and language therapists and teachers), people who use AAC (16+), and their family members/enablers.

There will be five sessions of product demonstrations, as well as an exhibition slot for hands-on trial of systems, and lots of valuable handouts and literature to pick up.

For more information or to book a place, please click here.

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

The Early Language Development Programme seeks to tackle the debate around the skills and qualifications of early years’ practitioners with the final few spaces available to access free training before the end of March 2013.

ELDPThe Government’s recently released ‘More Great Childcare’ report recognised the need for skilled staff to achieve high quality childcare and good outcomes for children. I CAN is keen to make sure staff have the skills and knowledge to support children in developing good communication and language skills.

 The ELDP supports staff working with very young children (those under 3 years).

So far, 827 lead practitioners have been trained and provided with training materials and toolkits to share their knowledge with a range of practitioners and parents in their local area.

If you are a lead practitioner interested in attending the two day training, the final dates available are:
Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 March, in Cheshire East
Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 March, in Bristol
Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 March, in Basingstoke

For more information click here or contact hmcnamara@ican.org.uk

The Makaton CharityThe Makaton Charity - Baby signing app launched

The Makaton Charity has released an app called Signing for Babies, based on the Makaton Signing for Babies training. It enables quick access to Makaton symbols and signs with video tutorials demonstrating each of the signs.

The app costs £8.99 and is available from iTunes for iPhone and iPod Touch users.

Please click here for more information.

Contact Us

If you would like to contact us please call 0207 843 2526 or email enquiries@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk
The Communication Trust, 8 Wakley Street, London, EC1V 7QE

Website: www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk
The SLCF: www.talkingpoint.org.uk/slcf

Sentence Trouble: www.sentencetrouble.info

Talking Trouble: www.talkingtrouble.info


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