The Communication Trust Newsletter
August 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 training and development section and new case studies on What Works

A new section for evidence-based training programmes for speech, language and communication has been added to What Works, the database of evidenced interventions to support children's speech, language and communication. 

We welcome the submission of training programmes to the new section; you can find the criteria that must be met in order to be added, as well as a submission form here. Please send your completed form and any supporting materials to

There are currently several training programmes under review for inclusion on the site. Keep your eye out for more information on specific programmes that will be added soon.

We have also recently added some new case studies to the What Works 'Interventions in Practice' page. Examples of how interventions have been used in practice really help create a fuller picture of an intervention, bringing the information on What Works to life. 

We encourage you to share your experience of using an intervention on What Works, and have developed a template and guidance to help you. Case studies for What Works needn't be a piece of academic research; rather they are an opportunity to recount your experience of an intervention, providing a clear and objective description that may be of help to colleagues.

For more information please see our page about interventions in practice.  

No Pens Day Wednesday 2015

With less than two months to go until No Pens Day Wednesday on the 7th October, we’re pleased No Pens Day Wednesday 2015to update you on the exciting new developments we have planned for the day.

In addition to our new sharing function and 2015 activity pack, at the start of September we will introduce new lesson plans, pupil evaluation tools and more. Watch out for announcements of when these resources go live here.

With an abundance of free resources already available and more on their way, there has never been a better time to be a part of No Pens Day Wednesday. Sign up to No Pens Day Wednesday today to see everything that we have to offer and encourage students to put down their pens and pick up their language!


Supporting Initial Teacher Training

Teachers have a crucial role in supporting children and young people's communication. We work in partnership with teacher training colleges to support people who are training to be teachers - raising their awareness, knowledge and skills in relation to SLCN.

We have developed training and resources that support trainees and highlight the importance of communication at school, provide information about speech, language and communication needs and help to highlight the role of teachers.

The Trust’s booklet Let's Talk About It, and a short specialist training session provide an introduction to SLCN for trainee teachers. The Trust is also looking at how local speech and language services can be better linked to Initial Teacher Training providers.

Download or order a copy of Let's Talk About It here.

If you're interested in accessing the 2-3 hour specialist session on SLCN, then please contact Kelly Bracken or on 0207 843 2530.    


We’re hiring a new director!

Anne is leaving the Trust at the end of September to take up the post of Chief Executive of Clinks, supporting voluntary organisations working with offenders and their families. 

Based on our success to date we are now entering a new phase and we are seeking a director to lead us into this stage of our exciting journey.

You will need to be a highly effective leader; someone who can draw together a range of different people, organisations and sectors in a rapidly changing environment. You will need to maintain and develop strong networks and relationships within and across public, private and voluntary sectors and ensure a cohesive policy and tangible solutions. You will need to lead a strong, highly-motivated team to deliver our solution-based programme of work and achieve our goals of positively impacting on the children’s workforce to lead to better outcomes for all children and young people.

For more information and to apply, please download the job pack and submit your application form to by midday, 15 September 2015.

I CAN reserves the right to close this vacancy early should a sufficient number of applications be received.

First interview date: Monday, 21 September 2015


Technology and Innovation Futures: GO-Science and POST surveys

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology is working with the Government Office for Science on a foresight project to identify emerging technologies that have the potential to give the UK a competitive edge, and to improve the delivery of public services. As part of this review, they are asking researchers, developers, investors, analysts and others who work with emerging technologies for their perspectives.

Complete the survey here.


Youth Social Action Fund - final deadline

If you’re an organisation working with disadvantaged children then you may be aware of the £1.26m Youth Social Action Fund, backed by the Cabinet Office, which offers funding to help develop youth social action opportunities.

The final deadline for applications is 28.08.15.

The Cabinet Office and Pears Foundation (the organisation administering the fund) are seeking applications to improve the reach and impact of existing programmes that are "sustainable and scalable" - read the specification document published last week.

The investment from the government is part of its pledge to support charity Step Up To Serve's #iwill campaign, which aims to increase young people's engagement in social action.

Find out more and make your application here.


National Children's Bureau - The Integrated Review: preparation and implementation survey

NCBNCB Early Childhood Unit would like to find out how local areas are preparing for, and implementing, the integrated review for children aged two to two-and-a-half.

Th0ey have launched a survey to collect this information - it has just 10 questions and is aimed at the leaders/managers of early years or health services and practitioners who will be carrying out integrated reviews.

Please complete the survey here or forward it on to the most appropriate colleague.

The survey closes on Friday 4th September 2015.


CARE Early Childhood Education and Care survey

The CARE project is funded by the European Union to develop knowledge about early childhood education and care in European countries, in order to provide information to improve services.
They have created a short online questionnaire in order explore the values beliefs and experiences of people who have an interest in early education and care: as parents/guardians, as staff or professionals, and as policy makers.

The project is designed to provide information that can help policy makers across Europe and influence decision making in the European Commission.

Take the questionnaire.

Find out more about the study here.


Council for Disabled Children Independent Support Programme

The Council for Disabled Children Independent Support Programme has recently selected, edited and refined 56 case studies relating to parents, carers and young people who have received support funded through the programme. Each case study helpfully illustrates what support was offered and, just as importantly, what the experience was in light of that support.

Some key messages feature throughout the case studies are:

  • Importance and need for trust
  • Families' voices are heard
  • Bridging the gap between families and professionals
  • Families find it hard to ask for help, they don’t want to be judged or found inadequate.
  • Families feel listened to
  • Families are given the necessary time to tell their story
  • Ensuring families are empowered to make informed decisions and choices
  • Being able to provide the correct information and support at the right time
  • IS may be a relatively low level intervention service, however, the positive outcomes for parents and young people can be significant
  • Rhe training and experience gained so far in the EHCP process meant being able to provide useful and relevant advice making the necessary difference
  • Knowing that someone with even a little knowledge was on their side, gave the family a confidence boost
  • The importance of empowering families at every opportunity
  • Feeling included throughout from start to finish
  • Encouraging and facilitating participation
  • Being inclusive means; focusing on how to get the best out of people and/or situations
  • Not all parents would be capable of participating to the same level as these parents, or necessarily have the time.

View the case studies 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 training - Postgraduate Certificate in SEN (Assistive Technology)

ACE CentreDo you work with children, young people and/or adults who use assistive technology (AT) to support their communication and learning? Are you looking to broaden your knowledge, understanding and practice in this area?

If so, ACE Centre's Postgraduate Certificate in SEN (Assistive Technology) could be for you. Designed for teachers, therapists and practitioners who work with individuals benefitting from AT and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), the postgraduate award combines taught days at ACE Centre with independent study and written assignments. The course is validated by Manchester Metropolitan University and consists of two 30 credit units. The first unit will commence in October 2015.  

Year one looks at AT from the perspective of access and control, and recording and retrieving information:  it considers an individual's need for AT and critically reviews some of the available hardware and software solutions, and their implementation.

Year two explores the needs of individuals with complex communication difficulties and critically evaluates the available range of AAC resources and strategies, examining the issues of assessment, implementation, support and training. 

Applicants should have a first degree or other qualification at an equivalent level, or have a lower level qualification together with appropriate experience (from which you have developed the skills, aptitude and knowledge to succeed at Masters level). Exceptionally, substantial appropriate experience alone may be acceptable.

Find out more about the qualification here.  

If you have any questions, email or contact Sara Dale on 0161 358 0151.

New Jake & Tizzy books from I CAN

Jake & TizzySupport a young child’s language development with I CAN’s Jake & Tizzy series of illustrated story books, which take children through everyday situations and routines to develop their language with scenarios to which they can relate.

If you’re a parent, carer or childminder with pre-schoolers and would like to help them develop their language skills ready to start primary school, then the Jake & Tizzy books are a simple, fun way to do so.

You can buy copies individually or as part of a boxed set - find out more and buy your copies here.
KIDS - Survey on personal budgets and short breaks

KidsKIDS, a leading disabled children's charity, is seeking information from young people aged 0-25 on both personal education budgets and short breaks for two projects they are currently undertaking.

KIDS is aiming to reach 225 respondents over the next two weeks and would appreciate the support of members to share the link to this survey with any relevant networks of young people.

The survey is made up of nine short questions, mostly in yes/no format and should only take a few minutes to answer. The survey is available here.

National Deaf Children’s Society - new 'assess, plan, do, review' guidance

NDCSTeachers are now expected to follow the 'assess, plan, do, review' cycle with any child with a special educational need.

The National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) and the National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NatSIP) have produced a briefing and template PowerPoint presentation on how the ‘assess, plan, do, review’ cycle can be applied to deaf children to meet the requirements of the SEND Code of Practice and to improve outcomes.

These can be downloaded from the NDCS website or NatSIP website.

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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