The Communication Trust Newsletter
May 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 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 may be useful for schools and those working with children and young people. The catalogue is available to download on our website.

The Communication Trust relies on brilliant, local practitioners, our Local Champions, who are able to spread the word about the importance of speech, language and communication where it is needed most. If this sounds like you, and you would like to find how to become one of our 300+ Local Champion’s please email

In addition to this, The Communication Trust recently developed a new network of Language Leaders. Specifically for those in leadership roles, such as head teachers, deputy or assistant heads and other senior leaders, this network is for those who are able to share the importance of communication skills and effect change across their schools and networks from a strategic level. You can find out more about Language Leaders here or by emailing

We are particularly interested in recruiting Local Champions and Language Leaders who work across the 12 Government Social Opportunities areas. If you work in one of those areas we’d love for you to get in touch.



The Communication Trust is exhibiting at the Every Child Included conference on 14th June and the annual Pre-school Learning Alliance conference on 16th June 2017.

If you’re planning to attend either of these events, come and see us! We will be giving away lots of our resources including Universally SpeakingLet’s Talk About It and our new, recently launched report Talking About a Generation,  and many more!


The Communication Trust’s CPD offer

The Communication Trust offers a range of options to support your continuing professional development (CPD) in speech, language and communication (SLC). Our 2016 workforce consultation highlighted that 99% of practitioners recognise the importance of SLC skills for children and young people whilst 96% identified gaps in their learning in this crucial area.

Download our CPD learning pathway poster to find out more about our CPD offer including the Speech, Language and Communication Framework (SLCF), the online short course and our Level 3 qualification – Supporting Children and Young People’s Speech, Language and Communication.


Early years providers: we want to hear from you!

Are you an early years provider that has experience in commissioning speech, language and communication support? If your answer is yes, then we want to hear from you. The Communication Trust is developing guidance this year for early years settings that are planning to commission speech, language and communication support and to inform this, we think it is crucial to hear directly from providers about both commissioning successes and challenges.

If you would like to share your experience of commissioning SLC support and you’re happy to be contacted to arrange a short phone call, please do register your interest by emailing with your name and contact details.


New blog on the Developing and Using Evidence page by Caroline Bowen

‘What makes good research evidence?”, a blog written by Caroline Bowen, an Australian Speech Language Pathologist. Visit the Developing and Using Evidence page to read the full entry.

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


Have you used the Speech, Language and Communication Framework (SLCF)?

SLCF LogoThe SLCF is a free online professional development tool which sets out the skills and knowledge that everyone working with children and young people should have in order to support children and young people’s speech, language and communication (SLC).

The SLCF self-evaluation tool enables individuals to evaluate their skills, knowledge and confidence in SLC, 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.

If you’re not already registered you can sign up for free at

As part of our ongoing work around the Speech, Language and Communication Framework (SLCF), we have been funded under our contract with the Department for Education SEND Division this year to build on the success of the new SLCF and develop a new area on the SLCF website – ‘Evidencing Good Practice’.

This will involve developing a series of case studies showing the impact of using the SLCF on practitioners’ and settings’ practice to support the speech, language and communication development of the children and young people they work with.

The purpose of these case studies is to showcase examples of good practice to help others think about what they could do to improve their own practice around speech, language and communication support, using the SLCF.

The case studies will be hosted on the SLCF website in a brand new ‘Evidencing Good Practice’ area and will come from a range of individuals and settings, covering all ages from the early years to post-16.

We would love to hear how your experience of using the SLCF has led to improvements in your practice. To express your interest in submitting a case study or to find out more about why we are developing the case studies please contact


We are seeking feedback on the Involving Children and Young People with SLCN toolkit

Involving CYP with SLCN ToolkitYou may be aware that in February 2016 The Communication Trust launched a free online toolkit – Involving Children and Young People with SLCN – A toolkit for education settings.

The toolkit supports staff working in education settings to help them understand, review and shape their approach to involving children and young people as part of everyday good practice.

Containing information about what practitioners are required to do by the 2014 SEND Code of Practice 0-25, guidance, activities and approaches, it also signposts to practical tools that can be used across a whole setting to make systemic changes, making personalised, meaningful involvement of children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) an integrated way of practice.

You can access the Involving Children and Young People with SLCN – A toolkit for education settings for free by completing the registration form here.

This year, we have been funded under our contract with the Department for Education SEND Division to develop the toolkit further to include more practical tools and materials to support practitioners to involve children and young people of all ages.

In this crucial final transition stage of the SEND reforms, this year we will evaluate and further develop the toolkit to ensure it continues to be a useful resource for those working with children and young people with speech, language and communication needs. We are looking for practitioners to give us feedback about the existing toolkit to help us to develop and shape our plans. We will also be looking for practitioners to test any new materials that we create later in the year.

If you have used the toolkit over the last year, or would be interested in reviewing the toolkit over the next few weeks, we want to hear from you!

Get in touch with Kelly to find out more and express your interest -


Talking About a Generation Presentations

TAAGFollowing on from last month’s audio presentation from Sarah Lambert at Better Start Blackpool, the second of our Talking About a Generation presentations is available on our website, a video by Stephen Parsons on the Hackney Children's Speech and Language Therapy Service. You can view this video both on the Talking About a Generation page here and directly on YouTube here. Our final presentation from the scheduled event, by Marie Gascoigne and Jean Gross, will be made available next month.

Hard copies of the report are still available to order online – for information on how to order or download a digital copy, click here.


Achievement for All conference - Wednesday 14th June

AfAOn Wednesday 14th June 2017, Achievement for All, in association with Oxford University Press, will bring together experts, teachers and leaders in education, from early years to post 16, along with parents and carers of home educated and SEND children, to explore how we can collectively unite to ensure every child is included, regardless of background, challenge or need.

The Every Child Included conference, which will be held at Newbury Racecourse, will see speakers, practitioners and education leaders share their strategies from early years, schools and post 16 settings from across the country, providing delegates with real examples of how the lives of children and young people have been transformed through inclusion in the classroom and beyond.

Speakers Sir Kevan Collins, CEO of EEF; Dame Alison Peacock, CEO, Chartered College of Teaching; Andy Cope, The Art of Brilliance; young entrepreneur Ollie Forsyth; Gary Wilson, author and education expert; and Professor Sonia Blandford, CEO, Achievement for All, will join panel discussions from leading practitioners (chaired by Brian Lamb OBE) to demonstrate how schools and settings can:

  • Achieve the best value and highest impact from pupil premium allocations
  • Improve resilience, outcomes and employability for all children and young people
  • Improve staff wellbeing and morale

Tickets cost £65 per delegate. Parents and carers of SEND children and home educated are invited to attend the conference at no cost. To find out more, please get in touch.

For further information and to book tickets please click here.


Opportunity to be involved in Pearson Assessment’s new project – receive Amazon vouchers if you are selected to take part!

PearsonPearson Assessment is running a new project: the standardisation of the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals – Fifth UK Edition (CELF-5UK). They are inviting you to take part in their project to help provide Speech & Language Therapists with the most up-to-date assessment tools.

For more information and to sign up, please click on the appropriate link below:

If you are a parent of a child aged 5-15 years, click here.

If you are a young person aged 16-21 years, click here.



Webinar on looked after children 

On 13th July, the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and National Association of Virtual School Heads (NAVSH) are holding a joint webinar on looked after children from 1pm -1:45pm.

The webinar will cover:

  • the role of Virtual School Heads in promoting the educational achievement of looked after children in England
  • the often unidentified speech, language and communication needs of looked after children and their impact
  • how speech and language therapists support the identification and appropriate response to those needs
  • local good practice of speech and language therapy services working with their Virtual School Head in Hackney

Virtual school heads promote the educational achievement of looked after children in their local authority. The Children and Families Act 2014 requires every local authority in England to have at least one virtual school head. You can find out more about them and the NAVSH here

Participants can submit questions to the speakers before and during the webinar. For details of how to register for the webinar please see RCSLT's website here


Sutton Trust teacher polling on Pupil Premium and budget cuts

The Sutton Trust has released the results of its survey with more than 1300 teachers, conducted by the National Foundation for Educational Research as part of its annual Teacher Omnibus survey. The Sutton Trust asked teachers and senior leaders nine questions about their use of the Pupil Premium, as well as areas affected by budget cuts. 

The most common priority for spending of the pupil premium was early interventions schemes, with nearly a third reporting this as a priority, followed by 'additional teaching assistants' at about 20%. Almost a third of senior leaders said that their school is using the Pupil Premium to plug gaps elsewhere in the school's budget. 

About half of respondents said that their school has had to cut back on teaching assistants because of budget cuts, though this figure was higher specifically among secondary school respondents, with 65% of senior leaders in secondary schools saying this was the case. More than a third of all respondents reported having to cut teaching staff. 

You can view the full data 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


Bercow: Ten Years On – gathering the view of children and young people

Communication Matters LogoThe evidence gathering phase of Bercow: Ten Years On review is well under way. There has been a fantastic response to the call for evidence, collecting the views of a range of stakeholders and hearing experiences of support for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). If you’ve not yet completed a survey it’s not too late – this phase will remain open until the end of June so you still have a few more weeks.

In addition to this you now also have the chance to share Bercow: Ten Years On news more widely. Over the next few weeks the review will open and run three additional surveys:

  • one for commissioners to gather information on how support for children and young people SLCN is planned and funded;
  • an employer survey to seek the views of the communication skills of young people in the workplace;
  • and a specific consultation activity for children and young people to gather their views on the support they receive.

Information about all of the Bercow: Ten Years On surveys is available at Please do share information as widely as you can - gathering the views of as many stakeholders as possible will be crucial to ensuring I CAN and RCSLT get the information needed to inform the report.

A UK communication access symbol - have your say

Over the past year, Communication Matters, the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists, the Stroke Association and others have been working together towards the potential launch of a communication access symbol for the UK. The aim of the project is to find a symbol that can be used in a similar way to the wheelchair symbol denoting physical disability. The symbol would be used by businesses and services to indicate that staff have had training in supporting people with communication difficulties and are meeting minimum standards. 

The group have now opened a survey inviting votes on different options for the symbol. The closing date is 9 June, and they would very much like to involve as many people with communication difficulties as possible, so please do share the survey with your networks. The survey is online but you can contact the team to give your feedback in other ways. 

You can access the survey here, or email

More details about the Communication Access project are available 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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