The Communication Trust Newsletter
July 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:


New guidance on using the reception baseline assessment to identify children with speech, language and communication needs - FREE

Beyond MeasureBeyond Measure, a new piece of guidance on the reception baseline assessment, is now available from The Communication Trust. The guidance will help those carrying out the assessment in schools to use it as an opportunity for identifying children who may have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), helping to ensure that appropriate support is put into place for these children as quickly as possible.

Beyond Measure provides advice on how to look out for difficulties with speech, language and communication across the different EYFS areas of learning, and next steps if you have concerns about a child. 
Find out more about Beyond Measure, along with case studies from practitioners.  


Read On. Get On. 'Ready to Read' report

Read On. Get On. UpdateThe ‘Ready to Read’ report has been launched as part of the Read On. Get On campaign, explaining why children's early language skills are crucial in learning to read, and why children experiencing poverty face the greatest risk of falling behind from an early age. Anne Fox, our Director, was a national spokesperson for the launch of Ready to Read, and it achieved coverage in national media including the BBC, The Telegraph and The Sunday Times.

'Ready to Read' asks for a commitment to boosting the early language skills of our poorest children, and calls on the government to prioritise better quality nursery education in the new Budget as well as invest in the training of the wider early-years workforce.

Have a read

What's next?

This summer Read On. Get On. and Ladybird are sharing simple and fun family activities. Making sharing stories with little ones a habit can help them to build the language skills they need to start reading and getting on in life.

Links to resources and hints and tips developed by experts including those in our Consortium, I CAN and the National Literacy Trust will be provided to help parents boost their children’s language and reading skills.

Follow Read On. Get On (@readongeton) and I CAN (@ICANcharity) on Twitter and Facebook over the summer to make sure you are among the first to hear about how you can support parents to help get their little ones ready to read.

Early Years Pupil Premium trials – how have you used yours?

Do you work in early years in one of the pilot areas for the Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP)? Blackpool, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Hackney, Northamptonshire, North Yorkshire and Stoke-on-Trent all introduced the EYPP ahead of national roll-out (April 2015) in January 2015.

If you work in one of these areas, we’re very interested in hearing examples of how you have been using your EYPP to support children’s speech, language and communication, and would love to speak with you about this. This will help us in our work supporting the early-years workforce around use of the EYPP.

If you would be happy to speak to us please email Kelly at


Supporting SEND in the Early Years - regional seminars Autumn 2015

4ChildrenFollowing the successful release of the 4Children and the Council for Disabled Children (CDC) toolkit for SEN and disability in the early years, the two organisations are delighted to announce a series of seminars this October.

  • Birmingham –13th October

  • Leeds – 15th October
  • London – 21st October

These seminars will introduce you to this unique resource and give you the opportunity to hear from those who have used the tool in practice.

The seminars will also provide settings with the support to roll out the new SEND changes and offer opportunities to share good practice from those delivering services to children and families.

Book your place for a seminar here.

About the SEN and disability in the early-years toolkit

Each section of the toolkit provides a briefing on a particular aspect of the SEN and disability reforms as they apply to early-years providers. The sections are based on the statutory requirements and the guidance from the early-years, SEN and the disability frameworks. They draw on a range of relevant practice guidance and other materials to provide an accessible guide to SEN and disability in the early years.

Towards the end of most of the sections practitioners can find a useful tool, activity or reflective task to support them in applying the particular topic to their own setting.


Evaluation of children's centres in England (ECCE) project reports

The Evaluation of children's centres in England (ECCE) project is a six-year study commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE) and undertaken by NatCen Social Research, the University of Oxford and Frontier Economics. ECCE aims to provide an in-depth understanding of children's centre services, including their effectiveness for children and families and an assessment of their economic cost in relation to different types of services.

As part of the national ECCE research study, the DfE have released reports presenting the findings from three different surveys in the study.

  • Discover the findings from a survey of families and their experiences using children's centres – download the report.
  • Read results from a follow-up survey of children's centre leaders. This report describes how children's centre services changed between 2011 and 2013 - download the report.
  • The final report offers an evaluation that looks at the management, organisation and programmes offered in the centres - download the report.


'Just a Few Words' - Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Nye Russell-Thompson, a Performing Arts Graduate, has written and will perform 'Just a Few Words' at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 8th - 29th August.

'Just a Few Words' is a dual-character solo performance centred on a socially awkward young man with a severe stammer trying his best to tell someone how he feels about them.

The intention is to give audience members the opportunity to understand what having a stammer is like, through a relatable person who stammers and becomes increasingly frustrated with himself whilst trying to tell a person how he feels about them.

You can read the article Nye wrote for the British Stammering Association.

You can find out more information on Nye’s play here.


Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education Project (EPPSE 3-16+) report

The Effective Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education Project (EPPSE), a longitudinal study (1997-2014) ran for seven years and was funded by the Department for Education. Last month they launched a report examining the long-term effect of pre-school on children's education and development throughout compulsory schooling.

The main focus of EPPSE was to investigate the influence of pre-school on children's academic and social-behavioural outcomes. The research also studied the role of the home learning environment (HLE), the family, neighbourhood and other school experiences on children's learning, progress and dispositions.

Read the report 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 email

ACE Centre is recruiting!

ACE CentreACE Centre is a national charity offering a range of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Assistive Technology (AT) services for people with physical and communication disabilities and those who support them. ACE Centre is now recruiting for two posts:

Teacher or High-Level Teaching Assistantbased in Oxford

FTE Permanent contract - flexible working considered
Salary £20,253 - £41,140

Occupational Therapist – based in Oldham

FTE Permanent contract - flexible working considered
Salary £28,746 - £41,140

Applicants for both roles should have experience of, or interest in, working with AAC and AT, and a background in working with children and young people with a range of disabilities.

The successful applicants will join our trans-disciplinary team to deliver assessment, training, advice and information services to individuals with physical and communication disabilities across the Thames Valley & Wessex region. Both of these posts will require an enhanced DBS check.

The closing date for applications is Monday 31st August 2015.

Communication Matters AAC Conference 2015

Communication MattersCommunication Matters are delighted to share the full details of their annual AAC conference from 13th-15th September at the University of Leeds.

The conference provides a unique forum to meet and exchange information with representatives from all disciplines associated with AAC, it will be of particular interest to people who use AAC, parents, carers, professionals and suppliers of AAC equipment.

Delegates can choose from a large number of presentations, plenaries, posters and exhibitions that will be held over two and a half days. It is a great opportunity to hear about, and be part of, the latest developments in the field of AAC.

Find out more and register here – book before 31st July to take advantage of the early bird rate.

Contact a Family – 'Levelling the Playing Field: A Childcare Campaign for Disabled Children'

Contact a FamilyContact a Family are working in partnership with Every Disabled Child Matters (EDCM) and The Family and Childcare Trust as part of 'Levelling the Playing Field: the Childcare Campaign for Disabled Children'. They are calling for equal access to childcare for disabled children.

To launch the campaign they are releasing a legal guide - 'Helping you access free childcare for your two, three and four year old' to help parents with disabled children understand their rights around the government's free early education offer, and challenge decisions made by local authorities and childcare providers that result in their child being denied access to free childcare.

Its publication follows recent government proposals to extend its free early years' education offer to working parents and is published one year after an independent Parliamentary Inquiry concluded that families with disabled children are being failed by childcare at every stage.

The coalition of charities are also appealing to families with disabled children under five years old to take part in a short survey about their access to the free early education offer. The findings will be used to build up a national picture of the barriers faced by these families and can be found here.

The Adventures of ‘Jake and Tizzy’: a new series of story books from I CAN

I CANExplore the world of Jake and Tizzy in a series of storybooks produced by I CAN, the children’s communication charity.

The books are based on everyday familiar situations and routines so that young children can relate them to their own experiences. The Jake and Tizzy books are also a fun way to support language development at pre-school age, helping children to develop the skills they may need ahead of starting primary school.

There are eight beautifully illustrated books in the collection for parents, carers and child-minders supporting pre-schoolers with language development.

The Jake and Tizzy stories will be used as an integral part of the Early Talk Boost language intervention launching in September, but are available to purchase separately from mid-August as a set of accessible stories to share with young children.

Visit the Jake and Tizzy section of the I CAN shop to find out more.

Sense - V&A Curious Ceramics Sensory Back-Pack launch

SenseCurious Ceramics will be the V&A's first ever sensory back-pack, and was developed with the help of families of Sense, the UK's deafblind charity. Designed with multisensory artist Abigail Hirsch, the Curious Ceramics back-pack will be available all year round for families to use for free along with the V&A’s existing selection of back-packs.

The back-pack has been designed for children with visual impairments, but can be enjoyed by any family. The V&A are hosting a launch day for the new back-pack on 1st August.

Download the information leaflet.

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


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