The Communication Trust Newsletter
July 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:

In addition to this, the Trust has recently developed a new network, Language Leaders, specifically for head teachers, deputy/assistant heads and other senior leaders who are able to emphasise the importance of communication skills within their schools and networks. You can find out more about Language Leaders here or by emailing


No Pens Day Wednesday 2016 Activity Pack is now live!

NPDWWe are delighted to announce that our brand new No Pens Day Wednesday 2016 activity pack is now live on our website and available to download here. The pack contains lots of information about how to get involved and plan your No Pens Day Wednesday, whatever your setting!

For No Pens Day Wednesday 2016, we will have an increased focus on ‘No Pens Homework’, which will aim to encourage communication at home. A child's home learning environment is hugely important and parents have a vital role in supporting speech, language and communication development.

In 2014, we developed pens free homework one pagers for early years, primary, secondary and special schools and as a result of positive feedback in our 2014 and 2015 surveys, we aim to take this further in 2016 by ensuring all of our new lesson plans for this year have a homework element. We will also be adding homework components to a variety of our older resources. Ultimately, we want to ensure that pupils are communicating effectively in whatever environment they are in – whether this is at home, in school or with their peers.

In addition to this, we will be launching all of our new resources for this year in September, ready for the big day on October 5th 2016. To access these, as well as our huge suite of lesson plans and activity ideas from previous years, sign up and take part in No Pens Day Wednesday this October(or whenever works best for you!).



Policy update from The Trust – July 2016

It has been an extremely busy time in Westminster and at The Communication Trust! We now have a new Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening and we will be taking time over the coming months to ensure that the role children’s speech, language and communication skills play in supporting life chances is well understood by the Government, particularly in the earliest years.

As part of this ongoing work, earlier this month Octavia Holland, Director of The Trust delivered a presentation to the All Party Parliamentary Group which focused on the importance of early language skills, particularly for children from socially disadvantaged backgrounds and set out some top line policy recommendations focused on supporting the early years workforce.

We also submitted a response to the recent consultation on the proposals for the 30 hours free childcare extension, highlighting our concerns that the proposals prioritise flexibility of early years provision over quality. We emphasised the importance specifically of quality early education for children from disadvantaged backgrounds as well as the additional support children with SLCN require. We also highlighted our concerns about the current proposals' ability to guarantee the level and quality of support these two groups of children and their parents are entitled to. You can access our response in full here

We’ll keep our supporters up to date on further policy work in future newsletters and don’t forget, you can always stay up to date with our responses by keeping an eye on our policy page here.  



ITT framework and Teacher CPD standards published

This month, the government published some important reports regarding teacher training.

Firstly, the reports commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE) in response to the Carter review of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) and the government response were published on 12th July, including the report on a framework of core content for ITT. The report outlines recommendations for both ITT providers and initial teacher trainees as to what should be included within a core ITT curriculum. The recommendations were developed by an independent expert group, which was formed following the 2015 Carter Review of ITT. All ITT providers will need to ensure that their programmes align with the new framework, and are able to demonstrate this when submitting their requests for ITT places to the DfE from 2018 onwards.

Each recommendation or set of recommendations in the framework is based on the 2012 Teachers' Standards. For each of these standards, the report makes recommendations for providers and trainees; these can all be found  in the full report.

Other reports published in response to the Carter Review are Mentor Standards and Behaviour Management for ITT. These reports and the government responses can all be accessed via the link above.

In addition to the reports from the Carter Review Group, the Standards for Professional Development report produced by the Professional Development Expert Group was also released which can be found here.



Platform 3 FAQs

Platform 3 is an innovative and flexible way of studying and achieving the Level 3 Award: Supporting Children and Young People’s Speech, Language and Communication.

It allows practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds to gain a qualification in a vitally important area through an online route of learning, assessment and accreditation. As well as studying online, practitioners can also complete their assessment online, so learners can study and achieve their accreditation at their own pace, in their own time.

Due to the high interest we have received about Platform 3, we have developed an FAQs document to answer some regularly asked questions to help you make an informed decision about what Platform 3 involves.

To find out more about completing or delivering the Award, please visit or email us at



2016/17 project updates from The Trust

We wanted to take this opportunity to update our supporters about two of our new projects for 2016/17. Firstly, a huge thank you to all those who completed our professional development survey which ran June – July. It’s now closed and we’ve had over 1200 responses which is absolutely fantastic! We’ll be using the findings to inform a report presenting an accurate overview of the professional development support available to the children's workforce around speech, language and communication and SLCN and also to provide an assessment of how our members' offers contribute to this. The final report will launch in early 2017.

We’re also leading a project this year to produce a report that will provide an accessible overview of the current policy, evidence and practice landscape around support for all children and young people's speech, language and communication skills and specifically the situation for those with SLCN, relevant to a wide ranging audience. We’re really excited about this report and believe it will be a vital addition to the sector.

We look forward to updating our supporters on our progress with both of these big new projects throughout the year!


Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health – Disability Matters

DMLaunched in February 2015, Disability Matters is an innovative programme providing free online resources for those who work or engage with disabled children, young people (from 0-25 years) and their families. The programme is led by the RCPCH on behalf of a consortium of disability charities and medical bodies including Council for Disabled Children.

Disability Matters was co-developed with disabled young people and parent carers, and it gives voice to their lived experiences and offers practical advice about supporting disabled people to achieve the outcomes that matter to them. The programme is designed to be used for both personal learning and as part of facilitated workshops that may be co-delivered by disabled young people and parent carers. The mission of the programme is to help bring about the much needed transformation of the landscape of disability rights in the UK, breaking myths about disability and disseminating practical and useful information to the UK’s paid and volunteer workforces. 

The Disability Matters programme provides 58 free online learning modules designed to help professionals reflect on their attitudes and behaviours and develop the skills and confidence to make meaningful changes to their working practice. Topics include:

To find out further information about the programme please click here.


Youth Justice SEND project

18% of sentenced young people in custody have a statement of Special Educational Need or Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan compared to 3% of the general population. Over 60% have difficulties with speech, language or communication.

The Youth Justice SEND project, delivered by Achievement for All (AfA), the Association of Youth Offending Team Managers (AYM) and Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) will support professionals within young offending teams (YOTs), the youth secure estate and local authorities to effectively identify and meet the needs of young people with SEND by: 

  • Conducting deep dive research including interviews with young people, their families, surveys with lead professionals from within the secure estate and beyond
  • Connecting all professionals who work within and beyond the secure estate, using the extensive networking capacity at the heart of the youth justice system
  • Improving the knowledge, skills and confidence of young offending teams, the youth secure estate and local authorities to identify and support young people with SEND. 

To sign up for Achievement for All’s monthly project bulletin please click here for the latest news and information on training, events and research. 


First SATs results under new curriculum and assessment system published

This month the DfE published national results for the new primary school testing system in maths and English. The results show that only 53% of pupils met the new expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics. 47% of pupils failed to reach the expected standard in all three subjects.

This year's results are the first to be released following the introduction of a new curriculum in 2014 and are not comparable to test results from previous years. The changes to the curriculum and assessment system have significantly raised the standard pupils are expected to achieve in these key stage 2 tests.

These national results relate to pupil performance rather than school-level performance. A school's performance is judged on both attainment and progress. In September this year's results for pupil progress will be published, which together with the SATs results will be used to determine school level performance and which schools require extra support and possibly intervention.

For a more detailed breakdown of the results and a comment from the Education Secretary, please see the DfE press release here






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

I CAN – 85% of parents saw their child's language improve following Talk Boost KS2

I CANI CAN, the children's communication charity, have recently launched their new intervention - Talk Boost KS2, a targeted intervention for children aged 7-10 who have delayed language development. Talk Boost KS2 aims to boost children’s language skills to help them catch up with their peers and reduce the impact of language difficulties on their academic attainment and social development.

The intervention consists of small group sessions run by a trained teaching assistant. The sessions are held three times a week over a period of 8 weeks along with classroom activities and homework tasks delivered by class teachers. Children taking part in Talk Boost KS2 focus on various aspects of language which encourage independent learning. 

The evaluation findings showed that after eight weeks of running the intervention children made significant progress in language and communication, with 67% catching up with their peers in understanding language. Learning in the classroom was easier; children joined in more, took part in discussions more and listened more carefully.

For more information read the latest blog, visit or contact the Talk Boost KS2 team on or 020 7843 2515.

National Deaf Children Society – New factsheet for parents

NDCSThe National Deaf Children's Society have published a new factsheet for parents of deaf children about the new Ofsted/CQC inspections of local area SEND provision. The factsheet can be downloaded here and is also available via this page. These inspections started in May and all local areas will be inspected at some point over the next five years.

This factsheet explains to parents of deaf children how the inspections will be carried out and how they can get involved. It also includes a list of suggested questions for them to consider if they are asked by Ofsted/CQC for feedback on local area provision. Though aimed at parents of deaf children, it may also be helpful to other parents.


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


Sentence Trouble:
Talking Trouble:


If you would like to unsubscribe from all emails from The Communication Trust, please click here.

Privacy policy