The Communication Trust Newsletter
April 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.


We're recruiting...

We currently have five roles available at The Communication Trust. Please see below for details:

Professional Advisor

Minimum NHS Band 7, £30,764 - £40,558 + London weighting if office based.
35 Hours per week
Fixed term to 31 March 2015
Based in London or working from home

We have recently received a grant from the Education Endowment Foundation to test a school-wide approach to improving the speech, language and communication skills of primary aged children and are seeking a qualified Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) to be our Professional Advisor for this work. In addition to developing expert advice and content for materials, the post holder will also provide professional support and guidance for a group of SLTs working on the programme. With a background in mainstream and special education settings, you will be experienced in working collaboratively within a multi-disciplinary team.

Please click here to view the job pack.

Closing date is 10am on Thursday 25th April 2013. Interviews are on Monday 29th April 2013 in London.

Team Administrator

£18,200 - £19,690 per annum, 35 Hours per week
Fixed term to 31st March 2015
Based in London

Our small but busy team works on a wide range of projects and events at any one time and we rely on the right systems being in place to help our office run smoothly. We're looking for a well-organised Administrator to join our team and help us deliver our programme of work for the year ahead. You'll need to be flexible and adaptable to a fast-changing environment and be able to support colleagues on a range of tasks whilst dealing with numerous enquiries from those we work with. 

Please click here to view the job pack.

Applications to be received by 10am on Monday 29th April 2013. Interviews will take place on Wednesday 1st May 2013.


Programme Manager, Qualifications

£40,297 per annum, 35 Hours per week
Fixed term to 31st March 2015
Based in London

We have recently secured a grant from the Department of Education to pilot a sustainable e-learning platform for early year's practitioners to access online a qualification in speech, language and communication. We're seeking an exceptional Programme Manager to join our small team in central London to manage the delivery of this work. You'll need to be experienced in successfully managing multiple projects and multiple stakeholders in a complex organisation.  An understanding of children's communication development and/or the qualifications sector would be a distinct advantage.

Please click here to view the job pack.

Applications to be received by 10am on Tuesday 7th May 2013. Interviews will be held on the Tuesday 14th May 2013 in London.


Professional Advisor

£30,764 - £40,558 + London Weighting according to experience (equivalent to NHS Band 7)
35 Hours per week
Fixed term to 31 March 2015
Based in London / flexible working arrangements may be considered

As we launch our new strategy, we are looking for an excellent Professional Advisor to work collaboratively within our exciting, government-funded programme of work.

Coming from a speech and language therapy or educational background, you will provide high-quality expert advice, develop accessible information and learning materials and resources and ensure effective evaluation of this work across two main areas:

  • Our Department of Education contract, which includes disseminating findings from the Better Communication Research Programme, developing a network of local co-ordinators and leading on our work in initial teacher education.
  • An innovative, multi-agency project to develop e-learning options for learners to access a level 3 qualification in speech, language and communication.

Please click here to view the job pack.

Applications to be received by 10am on Monday 13th May 2013. Interviews will be on Tuesday 21st May in London.

Project Officer

£24,246 - £26,340 per annum, 35 Hours per week
Fixed term to 31st March 2015
Based in London

We have recently received a grant from the Education Endowment Foundation to test a school-wide approach to improving the speech, language and communication skills of primary aged children. We're seeking an experienced Project Officer to support the successful delivery of this project over the next two years. You'll have experience of developing and coordinating large-scale projects and will be used to managing successfully a range of stakeholders with competing priorities. This is a vital role integral to the success of a high-profile project, delivered in partnership with 62 primary schools across England.

Please click here to view the job pack.

Applications to be received by 10am on Tuesday 14th May 2013. Interviews will be held on Monday 20th May.


What Works update

On Monday 25th March we 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.

In the 4 weeks since its launch over 2,500 people have registered to use the site. Thank you for all your interest so far.

If you work in schools and are looking for interventions that may be suitable for the children you work with please visit the website,, to register and find out more.

Listen To Us - our latest resource

Listen To Us is a 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 UsListen To Us aims to complement and support existing training and professional development activities by:

- Providing opportunities for viewers to start thinking about and discussing SLCN.
- Helping viewers to understand SLCN more effectively and how this may apply to their work.

It’s designed to be led interactively by professionals with expertise in the area, such as speech and language therapists and advisory teachers. It’s designed to be relevant to a range of viewers, including:

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

The DVD will 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, at

Jean Gross“There’s no better way of understanding how best to support children and young people with SEN than listening to what they tell us. This resource does just that. It will be exceptionally useful in refining our understanding of speech, language and communication needs. It will help a wide range of professionals notice children with these needs who might otherwise be missed, and develop their knowledge about the different areas in which children can struggle. The pick and mix discussion questions make the resource highly flexible. I am sure it will be widely used.” Jean Gross CBE

New resource coming soon: Progression Tools

We know that some children have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) that can impact on their ability to listen, understand and express themselves. The Progression Tools are a series of tracking tools that support teaching staff to identify children who may be struggling with their speech, language and communication and help them determine how children are progressing with these skills at key ages.

The tools are based on theoretical information on typical language development and provide a relatively quick way of determining where children are against where they should be for their age. They are not diagnostic tools; they provide information to help practitioners decide whether children would benefit from a targeted intervention or whether they need specialist assessment and support.

In the upcoming months, the Progression Tools will be available to purchase for the following ages:

  • Age 3 
  • Age 4
  • Age 5-6
  • Age 7-8
  • Age 9-10
  • Age 11-12
  • Age 13-14
  • Age 16-18           
If you are interested in hearing more information about the Tools, please register your interest by emailing Amy Harker on

Our work going forward

2013-2014 marks the first year we’ll be rolling out The Trust’s new strategy. This year we’ll be involved in a number of activities under each of our strategic objectives:

1. Making speech, language and communication a burning issue

  • We'll lead the dissemination of the outputs and findings of the landmark Better Communication Research Programme (BCRP), producing information materials and resources for a range of audiences in partnership with members of the Communication Consortium.
  • We'll host No Pens Day Wednesday again in 2013 to help schools focus on communication. 
  • We’ll use all of our channels to highlight the importance of supporting children and young people’s communication and supporting those with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). 
  • We'll focus our attention on the passage of the Children and Families Bill through Parliament and will continue to support the SLCN working group of parliamentarians and peers to focus on issues relating to SLCN in the Bill.
  • We'll run a Communication Leaders project to develop the capacity of young people to advocate for good support for children and young people’s communication and SLCN in their local communities.

2. Empowering the workforce

  • We'll develop, revise and review a number of resources to empower the workforce for children and young people including working with partners in the Consortium and broader voluntary sector. 
  • We’ll test and refine the What Works database for evidence based interventions, launch a new communication commitment as part of our focus on schools and distil the learnings from the BCRP into practical resources for the workforce. 
  • We’ll continue to develop ways for more professionals to develop skills and knowledge regarding communication and SLCN through a new project to develop an e-learning platform to increase access to The Trust’s level 3 award.
  • We'll further refine the Talk of the Town approach working with 62 primary schools to evidence the link between speech, language and communication and educational attainment.

3. Strengthening our base

  • We’ll focus on supporting the Communication Consortium, revising membership and the support and benefits our members receive. 
  • We’ll work alongside other organisations supporting the workforce and the changing service landscape through the SEN schools group and the Council for Disabled Children.
  • We’ll work with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therpists on the passage of legislation and reforms to ensure that children and young people who require specialist support are able to access it.  
  • We'll host the Communication Council on behalf of the Government. 

4. Supporting the changing local landscape for services

  • We'll focus our attention on supporting schools and local authorities to implement the revised system for supporting children and young people with SLCN when the Children and Families Bill is passed into law. 
  • We'll continue to promote ways of working with children and young people which meet their needs and the objectives of local providers and we'll advocate for ways of working in partnership with voluntary providers. 
  • We'll support a network of Communication Champions across the country. 

Our work in this year will be funded by a number of sources. We're under contract to provide a service for SLCN on behalf of the Department for Education (DfE) as well as in receipt of a grant from the DfE to improve access to qualifications. Additionally our approach to Talk of the Town will be grant funded by the Education Endowment Foundation and our Communication Leaders project is funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. We're grateful also to our corporate partners BT and Pearson Assessment for their continued support to our work.

We look forward to keeping you up to date as we continue to deliver our new strategy. 


Policy work we're involved in

We respond to policy consultations on behalf of the Communication Consortium, the collation of 47 voluntary organisations with expertise in speech, language and communication. We have submitted a number of consultation responses recently that are all available on the policy section of our website at

These include:

  • Consultation on the ‘Full and Relevant’ Criteria for new Level 3 qualifications for Early Years Educators - This consultation proposes the 'full and relevant' criteria to underpin new Level 3 qualifications from September 2014, which will qualify individuals to become Early Years Educators.  The Communication Trust believes that these criteria only partially set appropriate expectations, and lack an overall vision and understanding of the role of the Early Years Educator in terms of nurturing, promoting and supporting effective communication development of babies and young children.

  • Consultation on National Curriculum Framework - The DfE has been consulting on the National Curriculum Framework which sets out how the Government intends to approach finalising its revised curriculum. The Trust is pleased to see spoken language recognised as being fundamentally important to the learning and development of all children. However, we are concerned that these good intentions are not fully reflected in the Curriculum framework and therefore risk being lost in the translation into classroom practice. We believe this issue requires an explicit language strand introducing into the Curriculum to give teachers the structure from which to drive improvement.

  • Children and Families Bill - The Communication Trust's Position Paper for Second Reading, March 2013 - The Communication Trust has worked with its Children and Families Bill Task group to develop a position paper in advance of the Second Reading of the Bill. The Trust welcomes the Government’s overall vision to improve outcomes for children with SEN and we broadly support the intention of the clauses in Part 3 of the Bill. However, the Trust has specific concerns about the effect of some of the changes on the one million children and young people in the UK with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), the most prevalent special educational need in primary-aged children.

If you would like any more information on any of these responses, or would like to discuss the Trust’s work on policy more generally, please contact Catherine Hillis on

Charity of the Month: Place2Be

Place2BePlace2Be is the leading UK provider of school-based emotional and mental health services for children aged 4-14. Last year we worked in 174 schools reaching 64,000 children and their families; this year they are expanding further.

Place2Be’s clinical staff and skilled Volunteer Counsellors help children find appropriate ways to communicate their distress or worries. They offer one-to-one counselling, a self-referral service called Place2Talk and group work. Their support enables children to build positive relationships. It removes emotional barriers to learning, helping improve children’s classroom learning and academic progress while building their resilience, providing them with brighter prospects.

They evaluate and demonstrate the positive impact of their interventions. They offer consultancy support and workplace learning to teachers. Place2Be is also a recognised provider of specialist training and university-validated professional qualifications for those working with children.

To find out more about Place2Be’s school-based services, training courses and clinical placement opportunities, please visit




Pearson Assessment launches new youth justice and forensic, speech and language therapy minisite for professionals

PearsonResearch has shown that at least 60% of young people in the youth justice system have speech, language and communication needs. In response to the growing awareness of this issue, Pearson Assessment has created a new information site, setting it in line with the key objective of The Children’s Communication Coalition (CCC) for England in mind, to: ‘Ensure appropriate screening, specialist assessment and intervention are available to children and young people who are already in the criminal justice pathway.’

The site launched this April, provides information on the range of assessment tools available, information on related research articles, details of The Communication Trust’s Youth Justice Programme as well as links to relevant websites, groups and newsletters.

You can find out more at


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.

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

Communication MattersCommunicating Matters - Shining a light on AAC

Communication Matters  – the lead UK wide charity which works for and brings together everybody who has an interest in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) - calls for improvements in funding for provision of AAC services and devices.

23,000 people across the UK may be living without access to a powered communication aid that would enable them to have a voice, and help them to reach their potential, according to new research Shining a Light on Augmentative and Alternative Communication released today (22.04.2013) by Communication Matters.

Nearly a third of a million people across the UK (316,000) are benefiting or may benefit from AAC support, according to the report – the culmination of a three year AAC Evidence Base research project. Of these 31,600 people could be using powered communication aids yet the research suggests only around 9,000 are currently.

The new findings, which expose the great variation in service provision across the UK, stem from research carried out by the University of Sheffield. The research highlights there is little consistency in identifying, assessing and providing AAC devices and many local areas are failing to make effective provision.

To download the Shining a Light on Augmentative and Alternative Communication report please click here.

Please follow the links below to read a number of fact sheets produced by Communication Matters:
- About Communication Matters
- What is AAC?
- Creating a service model for AAC

ELDPEarly Language Development Programme – free training now available

We're really pleased that I CAN, along with the early language consortium, has achieved over its original target for phase one of the Early Language Development Programme. The final number of lead practitioners trained to deliver 3 different courses supporting speech, language and communication development with children under 3 is a fantastic 998!

This means there are 500 early language hubs across 112 local authorities in England who are now offering local training courses for practitioners wanting to learn more about supporting communication and language development with babies and toddlers. Visit to find out details of your nearest hub.

5,000 practitioners have benefited so far from this local training. I CAN advisors will be supporting greater cascading of the these training courses in phase 2 of the programme over the next 12 months.

An even deeper understanding of early communication and language development can be gained through a new level 4 course, ‘Speech and Language Support for 0-3s’developed by Elklan, as part of ELDP.  This free training can be accessed either as an e-learning package or as a face to face training course, both over 12 weeks.

For more information about this free course, please contact Sally McAlister on 020 7843 2562 or

For up to date information on all aspects of the Early Language Development Programme, visit

I CANI CAN - Launches new film for 125th anniversay

I CAN has produced a new film that helps show what it might feel like to have a difficulty communicating. The film was developed for I CAN's 125th anniversary in 2013, and is designed to raise awareness of speech, language and communication needs.

Please watch the film here and share it with family and friends to help more people understand this often 'hidden difficulty.'


KIDSKIDS - New eLearning package

KIDS has launched a new eLearning package for parents and carers, aimed at explaining the key points about personalisation, personal budgets and how they may impact on their family life.

KIDS is the charity that works with disabled children, young people and their families. As part of the ‘Making it Personal’ project, sponsored by the Department for Education, KIDS has created an eLearning suite aimed at parents and carers of disabled children and young people.

Anyone wishing to access the free eLearning can do so by creating an account here.

The eLearning is intended as a simple walk through some of the information presented in the ‘Taking a Personal Approach: A Parents Guide to Personal Budgets’ handbook. The handbook was produced earlier this year for parents and carers about personal budgets and how ongoing government changes may affect them.

The Parent’s Handbook is still freely available in long and short versions for ease of use. You can download it from the KIDS website here.

The Makaton CharityThe Makaton Charity - New Makaton Friendly organisations

The Makaton Charity are delighted to announce that The Science Museum in London and The Donkey Sanctuary in Ivybridge are just two of the latest organisations to become Makaton Friendly!

To find Makaton Friendly places near you, or to find out how to nominate places not yet on the list, please click here.

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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