The Communication Trust Newsletter
November 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


What is Platform 3? – the video!

Platform 3We are very excited to share a new Platform 3 video which is now live on our website here and on YouTube here. The video provides an overview of Platform 3 and the steps involved in completing the Level 3 Award via this online route.

Platform 3 is an online and cost effective learning route for the delivery and undertaking of the Level 3 qualification: Supporting Children and Young People’s Speech, Language and Communication. Platform 3 helps all practitioners working with children and young people from a wide range of background, access this continuing professional development (CPD) Award.

Why is this qualification so important?

Speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) is the most prevalent special educational need in state funded primary schools and is associated with the 3 most prevalent needs in secondary schools: social, emotional and mental health, moderate learning difficulties and specific learning difficulties. Raising the skill level of everyone working with children and young people helps to increase the quality of provision and ensures better outcomes for children and young people.



Call for a #ChildrensCentresPlan

Last month, The Trust released the findings of our Children's Centre polling. Over 160 Children’s Centre staff (covering over 250 Children’s Centres) responded, with over a third of respondents stating that there was not enough support for early language – this was despite half of centres considering this area a primary focus.

In our blog post, which you can read here, we called on the government to set out a clear plan for the future of Children’s Centres, with support for early language at its heart. Consortium member, I CAN also issued a press release with comments on our survey, which can be accessed here.

We would be very grateful for any help that people are able to offer in publicising this work on social media . Below we have included a selection of prewritten tweets – if you’d rather write your own, please be sure to include the hashtag #ChildrensCentresPlan.

  • @Comm_nTrust is calling on the government to set out a clear plan for the future of Children’s Centres #ChildrensCentresPlan
  • 1 in 3 Children’s Centres say there is not enough support for early language – we need a #ChildrensCentresPlan
  • Delays to consultation on Children’s Centres puts support for children’s early language at risk #ChildrensCentresPlan



New blogs and mini triumphs added to our Developing and Using Evidence web page

Developing and Using Evidence'Making sense of it all: Explaining the evidence (or lack of it)’ and  ‘Good Science, Bad Governance’ are two newly uploaded blogs from Emma Pagnamenta, Research Manager at RCSLT and Anna Grey, Evaluation Consultant at Cornish and Grey.

We have also had two new mini triumphs shared on the page by Words First and Consortium member, Elklan. Both have made great steps towards developing their approach for evaluation. To read all new additions to the page, please click here.

If you would like to share an idea for a blog or would like to submit a ‘mini triumph’, get in touch with us at



Communication Commitment Survey - Win a set of Progression Tools!hine A

CommitmentThe Communication Commitment turned 3 years old this month, and to celebrate, we're looking to revamp our website so that it is able to meet the specific needs of our user base as much as possible. The survey is appropriate for everyone - whether you've been using the Commitment for years, months, weeks or even if you've never used it at all! Your feedback will allow us to measure the impact of the Commitment website and is crucial in helping us to review and plan how it can be improved.

Everyone who completes the survey has the chance to enter a draw to win a set of free Progression Tools from the Trust (with a choice between primary or secondary tools)!

The survey can be accessed here and is only open until 14th December 2016; we look forward to hearing from you!


The Oracy Network: New publications on the importance of speaking and listening in schools

Voice21 and the English Speaking Union have this month launched The Oracy Network, a group dedicated to encouraging the development of children and young people’s speaking and listening skills. The first publication by the group ‘The State of Speaking in Our Schools’ is now available and is accompanied by a collection of essays by teachers, academics and educational thinkers on the importance of oracy entitled 'Speaking Frankly'.

The report involves research with more than 900 teachers across the UK and examines the state of oracy in schools, as well as presenting evidence for the importance of spoken language skills.



Strategy Launch: Read On, Get On

ROGOA new strategy has been launched that aims to ensure every child leaves primary school able to read well, and every five year old is able to achieve a good level of development in language, communication and emergent literacy.

The Read On. Get On coalition, which includes Consortium members, National Literacy Trust and ICAN, has set out the core principles and goals of its campaign here. The strategy presents the research on the links between children’s language and literacy and emphasises the importance of a strong focus on language development.





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

Afasic Seeks Schools and SLT Teams for Transition Courses

AfasicAfasic are seeking to identify mainstream secondary schools, especially in economically deprived areas across the UK, which could be a venue for a week’s specialist transition course for Year 6 pupils with speech, language and communication needs, during the summer holidays 2017.

This targeted course for SLCN pupils, can run alongside an existing mainstream transition programme, or other sports or cultural activities planned in the holidays. Delivery is by local Speech and Language Therapy Teams, usually with some matched grant funding through Afasic.

The course specifically supports Ofsted requirements for SEND and inclusion and shows effective leadership across clusters, parental and pupil engagement. It is supported by research from City, IOE and Newcastle University, using a tried and tested model. For more information you can watch a short film produced by the SLTs running Greenwich transition courses and read the project briefing or contact Sue Denton here.

Mencap Launch FamilyHub

MencapTo celebrate their 70th birthday, Mencap have launched a new online community for parents of children with a learning disability. FamilyHub will serve as a platform for parents to talk freely and share their experiences, triumphs and challenges.

The community can be accessed via Mencap's website here, and allows parents and family members to seek advice and support from others who are 'experts by experience' and whose family situation is similar to their own.

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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