The Communication Trust Newsletter
December 2015


The Communication Trust is a coalition of over 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).

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:


Festive wishes from the team!

Christmas Card 2015


LuCiD Research Project

LuCid The Communication Trust is very pleased to be an impact champion for The ESRC International Centre for Language and Communicative Development (LuCiD). LuCiD is a five year research collaboration aiming to transform our understanding of how children learn to communicate using language. A team of researchers and PhD students are investigating important questions about language development as part of their work.

LuCiD have developed some useful articles for practitioners, published in Nursery World magazine, based on the research that they are doing. These can be viewed here.

To receive the latest updates from LuCiD, subscribe to their newsletter

New resources launching in 2016!

In January and February 2016, we will be launching three new resources on our website for schools and the wider children's workforce.

  • Mid January 2016 - Communicating the Curriculum

    A practical resource to enable primary schools to define and monitor progression within the National Curriculum Programme of Study for Spoken Language for Years 1-6. It will show schools where language development relates to the National Curriculum, and also how they can use this to inform and identify a pupil's progression with their spoken language skills.

  • Late January 2016 - Involving children and young people with SLCN and their families

    The University of West England and Bristol Speech & Language Therapy Research Unit were commissioned by The Trust to undertake a research project focussed on the perspectives of children and young people with SLCN, and their families, on their involvement in decisions about their support and services and also to establish what outcomes were most important to them within the context of the reformed SEND system. The findings will be presented in a short report in January.
  • Late February 2016 - Involving children and young people with SLCN

    This online practical  toolkit is a resource for staff working in education settings, to help shape their approach to involving children and young people with SLCN as part of everyday good practice. The toolkit will build on some of the findings of the research project and contains information about what practitioners are required to do by the 2014 SEND Code of Practice 0-25 as well as guidance and tools for school staff.
Keep an eye on our Latest news page to access these resources when they go live. If you have any questions, please get in touch with Jo on

Family Fund

Family FundFamily Fund is the UK’s largest grant giving charity for families raising disabled or seriously ill children across the UK.

Family Fund helped 72,043 families over the last year with over £33 million awarded in grants and services. Family Fund provides a large and diverse range of grants to families accommodating their different set of circumstances. Grants awarded include computers, tablets, family breaks, garden works, games, books, music, sensory toys plus many more essential items and services.

Oscar, one of the children that the Fund helped, was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder in 2009. Oscar was non-verbal, instead using PECs or Makaton to communicate with his mother Caroline. After advice from a Health Visitor, his mother applied for an iPad. Once it arrived Oscar soon mastered the use of apps and formed sentences on the iPad and eventually spoke his first full sentence and hasn’t stopped since.

To find out more and request an application pack visit the Family Fund website. Alternatively you can call 01904 621115 to speak to a member of the team. A family can make an application once every 12 months until the child turns 18.

Follow the Family Fund’s activities by following them on Facebook and Twitter.


New toolkit from Making Ourselves Heard

Making Ourselves HeardMaking Ourselves Heard have launched a new toolkit to provide information to young people on the SEND reforms and their right to be involved in decisions about their support. ‘Your Rights, Your Future’ is aimed at professionals working with young people. The toolkit offers a range of interactive activities for professionals to use with young people to support their understanding on the changes to their SEND support and how it affects them. 

CDCThe resource focuses on four key areas prioritised by young people: Education, Health and Care Plans; Post-16 Decision Making; the Local Offer and Personal Budgets.

To read or download your copy of ‘Your Rights, Your Future’ please click here.

To find out more about training opportunities on the SEND reforms for young people’s groups in your local area please contact Pamela Shaw on or 020 7833 6853.





News from our members

The Communication Trust is a Consortium of over 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 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

Ambitious about Autism training programme

Ambitious about AutismAmbitious about Autism is running a national training programme to support more young people with autism move into further education. This one-day course is based on the learnings from the Finished at School Programme. The aim of the programme, which ran between 2013 and 2015, was to deliver an integrated model of transition support to enable more young people with autism, including those with complex needs, to access further education and training beyond school.

The training is aimed at further education college staff (including curriculum managers and learning support teams), sixth form college staff, secondary school SENCOs and local authority transitions leads. The training provides practitioners in schools, colleges and local authorities the opportunity to plan clear actions to improve transition from school to college for young people with autism. Although the project had a specific focus on young people with autism, the learning has relevance to other young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.

For more information please click here.

Further dates available for I CAN Licensee Training

I CANEarly Talk Boost supports 3 – 4 year olds’ communication and language skills in early years settings. Only three months after launching Early Talk Boost, it is now in 250 settings and evaluation results have shown that those children involved made an average of six months’ progress following the nine week intervention (more than twice the progress of their peers).

I CAN currently have 116 trained licensees delivering Early Talk Boost in settings. If you would be interested in becoming an I CAN licensee to deliver Early Talk Boost and other I CAN programmes, new dates for licensee training are now available. To find out more information please click here or email

NAPLIC 2016 conference - online booking is now open!

NAPLIC The NAPLIC Conference and AGM will take place on Saturday 23rd April 2016 at the Aston Business School.  

The 2016 conference is titled "Exploring how spoken language underpins progress in literacy" and will feature keynote speakers Dorothy Bishop and Maggie Snowling.

Dorothy Bishop is a professor of Developmental Neuropsychology in the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford. Dorothy's research is concerned with trying to understand the nature and causes of language impairments in children. Read more on the University of Oxford website

Maggie Snowling is President of St John’s College at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on children’s language and learning and she is specifically interested in the nature and causes of children’s reading difficulties and how best to ameliorate them. Read more on the University of Oxford website

To view the conference programme click here.

If you are a member of NAPLIC, tickets can be found here.

If you are not a member, tickets are available here.

National Autistic Society – Upcoming conferences
National Autistic Society
The National Autistic Society have a number of conferences next year, all of the details and information about how to book a place for each event can be found below.

Autism and technology conference – 2nd February 2016, London, UK

  • This new conference will look at how technology can help autistic people as well as the professionals who support them.
  • Key speakers will present the latest research and developments in technology.
  • Topics include: assistive technology, biometric readers and how they can help alleviate anxiety, staying safe on the internet, and the power of online communities and social media.

Find out more about this event here.

The National Autistic Society’s Professional Conference – 1st-2nd March 2016, Telford International Centre, Telford, UK

  • This conference is a must for all professionals working with those with autism. Last year the conference was attended by nearly 700 delegates.
  • The event provides a unique opportunity for professionals from education, health and social health sectors to network, discuss best practice and share learning.
  • Expert speakers will present an overview of the changing environment and the latest developments in the field of autism. There will also be a series of seminars to choose from.

Find out more about this event here.

15th International Conference on the Care and Treatment of Offenders with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disability – 19th-20th April 2016, Manchester, UK

  • This international conference provides a discussion platform for professionals providing care for offenders with a learning or developmental disability, including autism. Delegates will learn new strategies and share good practice.
  • The conference also offers unparalleled networking opportunities for delegates from the UK and overseas.

Find out more about this event here.

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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