The Communication Trust Newsletter
January 2017


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 childrenís workforce and commissioners to support all children and young peopleís 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


Events – Spotlight on The Nursery World Show 2017

The Communication Trust is exhibiting and speaking at The Nursery World Show 2017, the largest event in the early years and childcare calendar, on 3rd and 4th February 2017.

If you’re there, come and see us at stand 168! We will be giving away lots of our resources including Universally SpeakingLet’s Talk About It and the Cracking the Code poster, to name just a few! We will also be showing visitors some of our new and updated resources including the Speech, Language and Communication Framework (SLCF).


New resource - Commissioning Speech and Language Therapy Services for Your School: The 'One Stop Guide'

Would you like some guidance on commissioning speech and language services for your school? We have developed a ‘One Stop Guide’ to take you through key steps to consider when you are planning to commission speech and language support. These include top tips on decision making around the service that you commission, practical steps to integrate your service into your school and how to assess if it’s actually working.

To access the ‘one stop guide’, an accompanying short video and some school case studies, click here.



Changes to the What Works Moderating Group

LuCiDThere have been a few changes in the What Works Moderating Group that we’d like to provide an update on.

1.Yvonne Wren will no longer sit on the Moderating Group panel due to other research commitments. She has sat on the panel for two years and has been instrumental in the development of the database. We would like to thank and wish Yvonne all the best in the future.

2. To recruit a new member, we advertised the role at the end of 2016, to which we had an extremely high standard of applicants. This has resulted in the recruitment of two new members; Anne Hesketh from University of Manchester and Ann Clark from Queen Margaret University. They will both join the panel from March 2017.

To find out more about What Works, click here.


No Pens Day Wednesday Evaluation and Date for 2017 Event

We are thrilled to announce that our No Pens Day Wednesday (NPDW) 2016 evaluation report is now live on our website! To view the full report, please click here

The feedback this year has been fantastic - 83% of respondents said that taking part in the event raised their awareness of SLCN, 95% said that as a result of their involvement in the day they would do things differently around school and over a quarter of respondents stated that they had identified pupils who were struggling with spoken language that they had not known about before. 

We’re also very happy to reveal that we now have an official date for this year’s event. No Pens Day Wednesday 2017 will be held on Wednesday 4th October, so please save the date (though also remember that you can run your day whenever suits you best - the resources stay on the site all year round)!

Whether you’re working in an early years setting, a primary, secondary, special school, as a child-minder or in a local service, there are a range of No Pens Day Wednesday ideas and resources that can help your pupils and students put down their pens and pick up their language!

Keep an eye on the web page over the coming months for more exciting announcements. Register here to access existing resources and receive our newsflash updates when we add new materials.



Free Communication Commitment and Senior Leaders Events – March 2017ine A

The Communication Trust would like to share information about two free events we are hosting in March.

1. On Thursday 30th March we will be holding a networking seminar for head teachers, deputies and senior leaders which will be take place at the Ibis Styles Centre hotel in Birmingham from 10:30am to 4:00pm. Among other things, we will be discussing workforce development and commissioning guidance. Travel expenses will be reimbursed for this meeting and lunch will be provided.

2. On Thursday 16th March we will be hosting a Communication Commitment event, which will be held at the Hilton Hyde Park hotel (directions to the hotel can be found here) in London from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. We will be presenting on the Communication Commitment and highlighting the new additions to the Commitment website, the event will also be a fantastic opportunity to meet and share best practice about how schools and SLTs can work together to support pupils’ communication skills.

Places to each event are limited so if you would be interested in attending, please RVSP to Jack Williams - as soon as possible.


New RCSLT SEND Reforms Report

TCTThe Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) have published a new report regarding the special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms in England. The report outlines the findings of a SEND survey, commissioned by the RCSLT, regarding their members’ experiences of the SEND reforms, associated successes, challenges and areas for improvement.

The report highlights mixed progress in implementation and worrying trends. RCSLT members have highlighted areas of positive practice that can be built upon including the involvement of parent and carers in decision-making and partnership working, but reported that:

  • Children without EHC plans are not getting the support that they need, and there has been a refocus of resources to support children with EHC plans, which has often been to the detriment of children without EHC plans.
  • Joint commissioning arrangements are patchy, and in some cases speech and language therapy services are not being commissioned for children and young people aged 0-2 and 18-25.
  • Engagement with the EHC planning process, including attending planning meetings, continues to be a challenge.

Over the coming months the RCSLT will be taking forward policy recommendations from the report to help improve support for children and young people with SLCN. To read the full report click here.

In other RCSLT news, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) are collaborating with RCSLT on a research priority setting project focused on five key areas of practise: dysphagia, learning disabilities, language disorders and aphasia. They will be holding one of a series of priority setting workshops for service users, carers and practising health professionals, including one in March focusing on Learning Disabilities. To find out more information about the workshops please click here.


Government Commits to Children’s Centres Consultation

The Department for Education has announced that the children's centres consultation originally due to launch in spring last year is still going ahead, and is likely to launch in early 2017 as a departmental priority.

This follows the release of the findings of The Communication Trust’s Children’s Centre polling and our Director, Octavia Holland’s blog post on the future children’s centres. The Communication Trust has called for the government to set out a clear plan for the future of Children’s Centres, with support for early language at its heart.





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 Trustís Consortium please go to or for more information email


Inquiry into support for children and young people with SLCN – take part!

NCDSAs part of Bercow: Ten Years On, a project designed to examine support for children and young people with SLCN in England, I CAN and the RCSLT have launched an inquiry.
There are two ways to take part:

  • Submit written evidence sharing experiences of the reality of SLCN support and information for children, young people and their families and the impact of this on outcomes for children and young people.
  • Complete a short online survey into the support children with SLCN are getting, and the scale of the issue.

This first phase is aimed mainly at people who work with children with SLCN, or who have responsibility for providing services. However a wide range of stakeholders are invited to engage with their call for written evidence, including practitioners, parents and carers, children and young people, service managers, commissioners, and employers.

Find out more about the Bercow: Ten Years On inquiry here.

Free support days for parents of children with speech, language and communication difficulties

NCDSAfasic are running a series of parent support days in a range of locations across England. The free workshops are designed to enable parents to understand their rights and how best to manage relationships with professionals in order to get the right support for their children and young people.

The following dates and locations have been confirmed:

  • 22 February – Bristol
  • 23 February – Swindon
  • 14 March – Milton Keynes
  • 15 March – Cambridge
  • 28 March – Penrith
  • 29 March – Newcastle

You can find out more about Afasic’s workshops and learning page 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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