The Communication Trust Newsletter
April 2016


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).

We have developed a catalogue that provides information on the products and services available from our Consortium that are useful for schools and those working with children and young people. The catalogue is available to download on our website.

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, find out more about how to become a Local Champion for The Communication Trust.

For more information, please email:


New site for the What Works training database

What WorksThe What Works training database has moved to a new site. The database brings together evaluated speech, language and communication training programmes to enable professionals to find out more about the evidence behind the programmes. You are able to view who the training programme was written by, who the training is aimed at and how it has been evaluated.

We welcome submissions of training programmes; details on how to submit are available on the website.

Please note that although the What Works training database was developed from the What Works intervention database, the level of evidence and evaluation required is different. The moderating process also differs as submissions will only be reviewed by one member of the Moderating Group and training submissions will not be discussed at group meetings, so there are no deadlines for submitting programmes.

If you have any queries about making a submission, please do contact us at


GCSE English Language Spoken Language Endorsement - Arrangements for learners with communication issues and/ or hearing needs - update April 2016

Ofqual worked with the awarding bodies for England, ourselves at The Trust and our members at NDCS and BATOD to produce guidance to support learners with communication and/or hearing needs in the Spoken Language Endorsement for GCSE English Language*. This guidance was published in September 2015.

Some changes and additions to the guidance have recently been implemented to ensure it also supports pupils who use Cued Speech; an updated version has been published and is available on our website here.

The aim of this document is to encourage as many learners as possible to access the Spoken Language Endorsement and to provide practical guidance and support for their teachers. The guidance focuses on making clear flexible arrangements that can be put in place to best support students with SLCN to access the assessment and showcase their language and communication skills to the best of their ability. This guidance was updated in April 2016 and you can access it here.

*Effective from 2014, Ofqual took the decision to remove the spoken language assessment from the weighted element of the GCSE English Language. The Communication Trust contributed to various consultations around this before the decision was confirmed, strongly opposing the proposal, as well as responding to subsequent changes to the format of the assessment. You can access our responses to these consultations here


Save the Children report - Lighting Up Young Brains

Save the ChildrenThe Save the Children report, Lighting Up Young Brains, has been written in conjunction with the Institute of Child Health at University College London and highlights pre-school years as a "critical opportunity" for the brain to develop key skills.

The report highlights that last year six children in every reception class in England struggled with their early language skills. The report also recommends that much more needs to be done to ensure that every child gets the best support in the early years. That's why they are calling on the government to invest in good quality childcare to support children's early development.

To read the report, please click here.


New consultation now open on early years free childcare offer

As part of the government's offer of 30 hours free childcare for working parents of 3-4 year olds, the Department for Education (DfE) are seeking out views from parents, professionals and providers on how the offer will be delivered.

The consultation looks at how the entitlement will be delivered and how it will be responsive to the needs of parents.

As part of the consultation DfE are particularly interested in hearing opinions on particular subjects and areas including:

  • how places might be delivered more flexibly;
  • provision for children with special education needs and disabilities;
  • the role and responsibilities of local authorities in securing places;
  • information about childcare for parents, and
  • the ‘grace period’ for parents, where their circumstances may change

The deadline to contribute views and ideas is Monday 6th June. For more information on the consultation and to find out how to get involved please click here.


Opportunity to be involved in Pearson’s research project

PearsonPearson are carrying out a research project to develop assessments of children's thinking, reading, spelling and maths abilities. They are collecting data on two assessments: the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Fifth UK Edition, and the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test - Third UK Edition.

By testing large numbers of children they are hoping to understand how children of each age typically perform, which in the future will allow health or education professionals to use these tests for a range of purposes, for example to tell when an individual child is beginning to fall behind.

If you would like to be involved in the project, please select the following relevant link to sign up: a school/nursery or an individual.





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


CommCommunication Mattersunication Matters - upcoming Roadshows

Communication Matters are running free Roadshows with updates from all the main AAC suppliers in the UK. These are taking place in the following locations over the next few months:

  • Glasgow (Beardmore Hospital) - Tuesday 10th May
  • Newcastle (Racecourse) - Wednesday 11th May
  • Cambridge (Belfry Hotel) - Thursday 30th June

The Roadshows may be of interest to AAC users, parents, carers and professionals who are new to the field of AAC and voice output technology. It might also be helpful for anyone who works with children or adults with severe speech, language or communication difficulties who require support with communication.

To find out more information or book a place please click here.

The Early Talk Boost Evaluation Report 2015

I CANEarly Talk Boost was developed by specialist speech and language therapists and a highly experienced nursery teacher, in response to the fact that almost a quarter of children are not reaching expected levels for their age in communication and language by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

The recently published Evaluation Report shows the effectiveness of Early Talk Boost. The report also describes the intervention itself, setting out the rationale for its design as well as more detail about its evaluation. . It outlines its results and discusses these findings and their implications.

Early Talk Boost was piloted between September 2014 and September 2015 to evaluate its impact on children’s early language development. The evaluation framework was designed with the support of Professor Tim Pring at City University London to be as close as possible to a randomised controlled trial, considered to be the gold standard of research methods. The results speak for themselves; children involved in the programme made an average of six months progress following a nine week intervention helping them to catch up with their peers. This is twice the amount of progress of children who did not receive the intervention.

You can read the full Evaluation Report here.

KIDS Personal Budget video for young people

KIDSKIDS have developed a new personal budget and Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan video for young people. A personal budget is an amount of money identified by the local authority to deliver parts of the provision set out in an EHC Plan. To read more about personal budgets please click here

There are 3 versions of the video including Makaton and subtitled versions which can be found on the KIDS website. Please find the direct links to all the videos below.

Personal Budgets explained

Makaton version

Subtitles version

KIDS are keen to gather feedback from young people about the videos so please do get in touch with Lynn Horsfield at if you have any feedback to share.


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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