The Communication Trust Newsletter
March 2013


The Communication Trust is a coalition of nearly 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).

Our newsletters contain information about the work of The Trust, how we're continuing the legacy of the 2011 Hello campaign and updates from our Consortium members.


What Works launches today!

Today we have launched What Works, a database of interventions for practitioners working with children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

Developed with the Better Communication Research Programme, Work Works currently has 60 interventions on the database. These were chosen following extensive consultation with practitioners and a thorough literature review. New interventions will be added to the database and these will be examined by a Moderating Group including a team of academics, as well as representatives of The Communication Trust and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).

What Works is suitable for headteachers, teachers, teaching assistants, speech and language therapists, SENCos and other specialist staff.

Today marks the beginning of a one-year prototype phase where we will be asking for feedback from users to help us to improve the database. We would be very grateful if you could spread the word to your colleagues to let them know that the database has been launched and to ask them to share their thoughts by completing the online questionnaire here.

The RCSLT have also endorsed What Works. Chief Executive Kamini Gadhok said: “The RCSLT is delighted to have had the opportunity to work with partners at The Communication Trust to support the evaluation and development of the What Works website. At a time when commissioning of services is becoming more complex, any resource that supports this process is going to be vital.”

To view and register to use the database please click here.

If you have any questions, please read our frequently asked questions document here.

What Works - Search page

Grant awarded by the Education Endowment Fund

We are pleased to announce we have been awarded a grant by the Education Endowment Fund to test a school-wide approach to improving speech, language and communication support.

TOTTThe grant will be for the programme Talk of the Town, and aims to facilitate early identification, encourage joined up working and improve outcomes for children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). It addresses the high level of poor language that exists, especially in areas of social deprivation. To find out more about the programme please click here to view further information on our website.

The Education Endowment Fund is funding a randomised controlled trial of Talk of the Town. We will recruit 62 primary schools, 31 of which will be randomly allocated to participate in the full model for two years and the other half will receive training after the 2 year programme has been completed. The language and literacy skills of pupils in both groups of schools will be measured.

Welcoming the news, our Director Anne Fox said: “This grant will enable the sector to evidence the link between speech, language and communication and educational attainment. With the current emphasis on evidenced interventions and attainment this will support third sector organisations to access commissions in the evolving education landscape longer term”.

Queen’s University Belfast will undertake the independent evaluation.

If you work within a primary school and would like to hear more about the programme and how you might be able to get involved please contact Eve Wagg at

New resource available now! Listen To Us

Listen To UsWe have launched our latest resource, Listen To Us. It's a new, practical resource for people providing training support or professional development in speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). It includes a booklet and a DVD of carefully chosen clips showing children and young people with SLCN.

Listen To Us is designed to be led interactively by professionals with strong expertise in the area, such as speech and language therapists, specialist and advisory teachers. It aims to complement and support existing training and professional development activities by:

  • Providing opportunities for viewers to start thinking about and discussing SLCN.
  • Helping to develop the skills of the viewers in observing and reflecting on SLCN.
  • Helping viewers understand SLCN more effectively and how this may apply to their work.

These professionals can then use Listen To Us with a range of other practitioners who want to improve their knowledge of SLCN:

  • teachers
  • teaching assistants
  • SENCos
  • initial teacher trainees
  • speech and language therapy students

The DVD would support people as part of their initial training or as part of their continuing professional development.

Listen To Us is available to purchase for £24.99 and you can order online from *

If you have any questions about the resource, please email Amy Harker at

*All orders over £250 placed before midnight on Thursday 28th March will receive an extra 20% off.*


Our newsletter reader survey

We have a short survey to help us find out more about how useful you find this newsletter and the ways you use it.

Your feedback is essential to help us to ensure we continue to produce informative and accessible information.

We’d be really grateful if you could take 5 minutes to fill in the survey, which you can access here.


Our response to the Consultation on Early Education and Childcare Staff Deployment

We welcome the drive for improving qualifications for the childcare workforce, but are urging the Government to ensure that they have a clear focus on how best to support children’s speech, language and communication development.

Our full response to the More Great Childcare consultation is available here.

Charity of the Month: Communication Matters

Communication MattersCommunication Matters is a UK wide charity which works for and brings together everybody who as an interest in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Membership includes people who use AAC, family members, professionals who support them and suppliers who design and manufacture AAC solutions.

Communication Matters has a wide range of activities with the aims of:
• increasing awareness about AAC
• improving Service Standards
• encouraging research
• lobbying Government for change

This month sees the launch of two significant pieces of work - the Big Lottery Fund grant Communication Matters-Research Matters project including the AAC knowledge website, and also the Department for Education grant AAC project. These are exciting times but we have to continue to lobby to secure funding for the future provision of AAC UK wide.

Our annual National AAC Conference moves to Leeds this year to enable us to expand and to encourage even more people who use AAC to attend. The dates are 15th-17th September 2013 at the University of Leeds.

For more information on Communication Matters and to register for the conference please visit




The National Scholarship Fund – Application process opening soon

The National Scholarship Fund is available for SEN support staff in England who already have a level 3 qualification. The application form will be made available on Monday 8th April and the deadline for submitting applications closes on Thursday 25th April 2013.

The Department for Education have outlined that the aims of the National Scholarship Fund for SEN support staff are to:

  • Foster high expectations of those working to support disabled pupils and pupils with SEN in the classroom.
  • Strengthen knowledge and understanding of SEN and disability, both in support staff and across the school.
  • Open up career opportunities for SEN support staff and enable them to have more control of their careers.
  • Share learning, knowledge and expertise across the school system.
  • Bring about a culture change to create expectations within the sector about the importance of scholarship throughout a support staff’s career.

If you are interested in the National Scholarship Fund and want to find out more please visit the Department’s web pages on the fund here.

Making Ourselves Heard network

Making Ourselves HeardMaking Ourselves Heard (MOH) is a network to ensure disabled children's right to be heard becomes a reality. MOH is hosted by the Council for Disabled Children and comprises of organisations and individuals who share an interest in improving disabled young people's participation in all decisions and matters that affect them.

Since November 2011, a small group of interested organisations (Council for Disabled Children, Allfie, Scope, Whizz-Kidz) have met to share information and opportunities around disabled young people's participation. It was agreed at these meetings that the MOH national working group should reconvene to provide opportunities for a wider group of experts in disabled children's participation to come together.

To find out more about the network please visit their web pages here.

Building a fixer nation!

FixersFixers is a national movement of young people 'fixing' the future, addressing any issue they feel strongly about. How each Fixer tackles their chosen issue is up to them - as long as they benefit someone else. The award-winning Fixers project has already supported almost 7,000 16 to 25 year olds across the UK to fix the issues that are firing them up.

Fixers create high-quality resources - including films, websites and printed materials - to share with other young people, employers, practitioners, policy makers and service providers. And they are given an authentic voice in the community through Fixers' monthly reports on peak time ITV news broadcasts.

Now, thanks to a £7.2 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund, Fixers will work with a further 20,000 young people over the next three years. Fixers is a trademark of the Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT).

To find out more about the project please visit the website here.

News from our members

The Communication Trust is a consortium of nearly 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.

If your organisation would like to become a member of The Communication Trustís Consortium please go to or for more information e-mail

1Voice1 Voice – Summer 2013 family weekend 12th to 14th July 2013

For the 12th year running 1 Voice is hosting a family weekend for all those who use AAC, their families and friends. Running at the Hayes Conference Centre in Derbyshire from Friday 12th July to Sunday 14th July; the weekend welcomes children and young people who use AAC, their brothers, sisters, parents and carers to attend an inspirational and enjoyable weekend.

With activities for children, young people and parent/carer workshops, everyone has a wonderful opportunity to take an active part in the weekend, as well as enjoy the social and networking opportunities. Each of the 1 Voice weekends is themed and this year children and young people are invited to create fantastic tales about adventurers who travel far and wide as well as have fun at the disco, and tell people about their AAC.

Many of the volunteers work in the field of communication and their adult Role Models are an inspiration to children and families alike.

The cost for the whole weekend is heavily subsidised thanks to the generosity of 1 Voice funders. If you are an AAC user, family member, carer or volunteer and would like more information please see the website at or email us on

If you’d like to know more or want to pass information on please see the flyer here.

I CANI CAN and Openreach - Training bursary offer for primary schools

I CAN has teamed up with Openreach to offer primary schools a chance to receive a bursary to fund training in the Talk Boost intervention.

Talk Boost was developed jointly by I CAN and The Communication Trust and to support children aged 4-7 who start school with delayed language. It is a 10-week intervention, which aims to boost the children’s language and communication skills through small group activities in listening, vocabulary, sentence building, storytelling and conversation. Evaluation of the pilot showed some children caught up by 12-18 months following Talk Boost.

So far eleven schools have successfully secured a bursary, but primary schools in these areas may still apply: Wiltshire, Devon, Somerset, Norfolk, Suffolk, Shropshire / West Midlands, Northants, Kent / Medway, Lincolnshire, Portsmouth and Southampton.

If your school is interested in applying for an Openreach bursary to receive Talk Boost training please visit the website Please pass on this information to your networks.

NASNational Autistic Society - Conferences, 16th May in Bristol and 11th June in Manchester

Understanding and supporting challenging behaviour, Thursday 16th May, Bristol
This conference will discuss the causes of challenging behaviour for people with autism. You will hear the latest information from experts in the field and learn from case studies illustrating best practice. This conference features key speakers who will discuss the causes of challenging behaviour for people with autism. Hear the latest information from experts in the field and learn from case studies illustrating best practice. With three different seminar streams to choose from, delegates can select the seminars which are most relevant to their work.

For more information on the day or to register please click here.  

Autism and Relationships, Puberty, Sex and Sexuality, Tuesday 11th June, Manchester
Discover useful tools and strategies to use at home, in the classroom or in other learning environments so that you can offer information and support, and help people with autism to make the right choices for them. As well as keynote presentations discussing inappropriate behaviour and sexual awareness and identity, the conference will feature interactive seminars focused on key issues such as keeping safe, sexual health, puberty and the legal framework for teachers and support workers.

For more information on the day or to register please click here.  

*Please note there is an early bird rate offered on this conference for delegates who book before 12th April.*

NDCSNational Deaf Children's Society - Recruiting a Local Groups Regional Development Manager

The National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) is the leading charity dedicated to creating a world without barriers for deaf children and young people.

NDCS is looking for a skilled and experienced manager who is able to work on a part-time basis to proactively and flexibly deliver tailored support to volunteer groups within the London region. The successful candidate will be an excellent communicator and relationship builder, able to plan and deliver a wide range of high quality projects on time and on budget. You will be highly organised with good attention to detail, as well as a creative problem solver and innovator. 

£13,350 - £15,799 per annum, 17.5 hours per week, 21 month fixed term contract, home based within central London. Deadline date is Friday 5th April. Click here to find out more.

SymbolSymbol UK - Offering Attention Autism training in association with Gina Davies

This workshop will focus on how a thorough understanding of autism and its impact on communication and attention can lead to innovative and joyful intervention that delivers highly effective therapy that invites the child to learn and inspires communication. The workshop will include demonstration of the approach and activities and will be supported by film footage of the work in action with groups of autistic children.

The one day workshop will take place on Friday 24th May 2013 in Berkshire. The session costs £90 to attend. For further information or to book your place please see the flyer here or contact Barbara Flook at Symbol on

Contact us

If you would like to contact us please call 0207 843 2526 or email
The Communication Trust, 8 Wakley Street, London, EC1V 7QE


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