The Communication Trust Newsletter
February 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


The new and improved Speech, Language and Communication Framework has launched!

SLCF LogoWe are very excited to launch the improved and updated Speech, Language and Communication Framework (SLCF).

The SLCF is a free online professional development tool, accessible to all, which sets out the skills and knowledge that everyone working with children and young people need in order to support the speech, language and communication (SLC) development of those they work with.

The SLCF self-evaluation tool enables individuals to assess their skills, knowledge and confidence in SLC, to highlight their professional development needs, and to find training, resources or information to ‘fill the gaps’ identified by the SLCF. Individuals can track their CPD progress over time, allowing them to see where their knowledge and confidence has increased.

In addition, the SLCF provides short online universal level activities to support learning and enable practitioners to check how much they know about a particular aspect of SLC development or speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

The SLCF also has a group function allowing groups of practitioners, departments, whole settings and organisations to assess their collective strengths and development needs and track progress over time. This function can enable settings to prioritise and plan CPD for staff, to inform objective setting and appraise staff based on their CPD progress.

Register for the SLCF for free today at

We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences of using the SLCF, and we would be grateful if you could spare 10 minutes to complete this survey Enter before 10am on 28th March to be in with a chance of winning a £50 Speechmark voucher!


Professional Development in Speech, Language and Communication: Findings from a National Survey

In summer 2016, more than 1200 members of the children and young people’s workforce responded to a survey from The Communication Trust, which asked about their experiences of professional development in speech, language and communication (SLC).

Their responses revealed that, although they were nearly unanimous in their belief in the vital importance of children’s SLC skills, there are significant gaps in their professional development in this area. The majority (53%) reported that they had had little to no initial training in typical speech, language and communication development, and 60% had little to no training in identifying and supporting children with speech, language and communication needs.

The Trust has developed a report presenting our findings, which span every educational phase, and include responses from those working in a variety of roles across education, childcare, and health. In the report we also offer recommendations as to how the workforce’s access to quality professional development in speech, language and communication might be improved. We’re very grateful to all those who completed the survey or helped us to share it.

You can access the report at



The Communication Trust's Resources Sale!

We are excited to share that we are offering a discount of up to 25% on some of our resources on the I CAN Shop.

The discount will apply to the following resources:

  • Speech, Language and Communication Progression Tools - The Progression Tools are a suite of Tools which were developed to support schools and early years settings to find out more detail about the speech, language and communication skills of individual children. They aim to provide a quick way of determining where children are against where they should be for their age, and provide more information about how these vital skills are progressing.
  • Small Talk - Small Talk is for parents who have children between the ages of birth and 5 and explains what a child will usually be doing in terms of speaking and listening at their age. It offers suggestions of ways to see if they’re doing certain things and also gives advice on what parents can do to support their child’s learning.
  • Listen To Us – Listen To Us is a practical resource for people providing training support or professional development in SLCN. It includes a DVD of carefully chosen clips showing children and young people with SLCN and a supporting booklet, offering some questions for reflection on top of the DVD.

The offer will be available from 1st March to 31st March 2017.


New DfE Report on Children with SEN in the Early Years

The Department For Education (DfE) has released several reports presenting research and analysis undertaken as part of the Study of Early Education and Development (SEED). These include a report presenting the findings of a small qualitative study into meeting the needs of children with SEND in the early years.

Other recent reports cover provider experiences of the Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP), the cost and funding of early education, and good practice in early education. The DfE has also released the findings of a survey with providers about their use of the EYPP. It is evident from both reports on the EYPP that significant proportions of providers are using these funds to support the speech, language and communication needs of eligible children.

Please see the website here for the full reports.   


Interactive Event Tackling Socio-Economic Inequalities in Childhood Test Scores

Academics Roxanne Connelly from the University of Warwick and Vernon Gayle from the University of Edinburgh will be presenting their research findings in London on March 21st, on the subject of tackling socio-economic inequalities in childhood test score.

The event is part of an ongoing academic project Have Socio-Economic Inequalities in Childhood Cognitive Test Scores Changed?’, which focuses on the ever-increasing divide between children from different socio-economic backgrounds and their performance in educational tests and assessments. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the event will encourage the audience to take an active role in leading and informing discussion topics. This will enable researchers to listen to the experiences of those working and living with social inequality and ensure that research remains reflective and reactive to the current issues and problems dealt with on a daily basis.

The event is open to a range of people from the general public such as parents as well as more professional bodies like teachers and charities. For further information on the event and to find out how to secure a place, click here.



Early Intervention Fund (EIF) Conference

Early Intervention Fund LogoThe Early Intervention Fund (EIF) have announced the date and agenda for their national conference. On May 11th 2017, EIF will bring together people and voices from across the early intervention sector and all levels of government, commissioning and delivery for a day of learning and knowledge sharing.

High-profile keynote speakers will reflect on important changes and trends in the political and policy environment we all work in, while curated panel sessions will tackle a series of challenging questions around the theory, evidence and effective implementation of early intervention.

Throughout the day there will be opportunities to meet and exchange ideas and experiences with people who are passionate about early intervention and improving the lives of children and families across the country. For more details and to register, click 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 Trustís Consortium please go to or for more information email


Ambitious About Autism Youth Lecture

Ambitious LogoYouth Patrons from Ambitious About Autism are hosting their first ever youth lecture on 27th March 2017. The lecture will help those interested in autism, young people’s voices or mental health to learn about what it’s really like being a young person with autism today, what research says about autism and wellbeing, and what they can do to help.

The young people will:

  • Present the findings of their joint research with the Institute of Education about young people with autism's experiences of mental health and wellbeing
  • Share stories of what 'normal' means to them
  • Present the resources they've developed to support young people with autism to tell people around them what 'normal' looks like to them
  • Offer you opportunities to ask questions of an expert panel

Dr Laura Crane from the Center for Research in Autism Education and Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist Dr Juli Crocombe will also be speaking at the event.

More details can be found on the Facebook event here. There are limited tickets available for this free event, so sign up here as soon as you can to avoid disappointment.

Communication Matters - Study Days on AAC and Literacy

Communication Matters LogoCommunication Matters will be hosting a series of study days focussing on AAC and literacy, the first of which will take place on Friday 28th April in Buckinghamshire. The first meeting will aim to kickstart a special interest group, with two more study days planned for this year. 

The aim of the three study days is to share knowledge and experience between the mainstream and specialist sector with a view to improving the literacy learning of students who have complex communication needs, particularly those who rely on AAC. Both professionals and families are welcome. 

Please click here to find out more. You can download the flyer and booking form 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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