The Communication Trust Newsletter
October 2011


Hello, the 2011 national year of communication, is a campaign to increase understanding of how important it is for children and young people to develop good communication skills.

The campaign is run by The Communication Trust, a coalition of over 40 leading voluntary sector organisations, in partnership with Jean Gross, the Government’s Communication Champion. The campaign is sponsored by BT and Pearson Assessment and is backed by the Department for Education and Department of Health.

This newsletter provides updates on current developments in the world of speech, language and communication and on Hello.

October - It's Not Just Words

The theme for October focused on children who have little or no speech. For them communicating can be very difficult and they use a range of different ways including facial expressions, signing or computer aides to get their message across.Jean Gross The Hello theme for October is timed to coincide with International Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) month.

To highlight the needs of these children and to celebrate what has happened so far during the National Year of Communication on Wednesday 19th October, we held an event at the House of Commons.

The event – sponsored by Annette Brooke MP - saw speeches by Sarah Teather, Minister for Children and Families, Anita Kerwin-Nye, Director of The Communication Trust, Jean Gross, Communication Champion, and Gillian Gaskell, a Speech and Language Therapist at Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust, who is a one of our Hello Local Co-ordinators. The highlight of the event was a speech from 18-year-old Ben Morfey. Ben has Ben with John Bercowquadriplegic cerebral palsy and cannot speak, but uses an electronic communication device, which he operates by pressing a switch with his cheek.

John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, whose review in 2008 recommended the year of communication, also dropped in to meet delegates and spent some time chatting to Ben.

To read more about the event please click here.

Other highlights from October include:

Communication Matters, who are running a number of events and activities, are marking the launch of iMuse – a new programme to enable museums to encourage participation by people with AAC and highlighting case studies of AAC users. They will also be announcing the winners of the ‘I’ll be asking the questions’ initiative. AAC users were challenged to devise 10 questions to present to somebody famous with the prize for the best questions being an opportunity to interview a well-known person.

Find out more at

CBeebies TV programme Something Special will be celebrating its 100th episode. It's supported by The Makaton Charity, and features character Mr Tumble using signing in a variety of places and situations. The Makaton Charity also have a new article on the importance of this month’s theme and free downloads to make the most of autumn activities.

A new free factsheet from Signalong has been made available here in support of the October theme – this is something they have kindly done every month to support the different Hello topics.

A lot of groups and individuals have been sharing their information on our Your Stories section of the Hello website. An interesting story from Meru has been added on the history of communication aids and their organisation dating back to 1976. This can be viewed here.

What to look forward to in November

Our theme for November is ‘Celebrating Communication’, where our main event for the month with be the Shine A Light Awards, where we will be awarding groups and individuals for their work in this area.

We are also developing a new downloadable toolkit with ideas and activities for celebrating different aspects of communication. The toolkit will include information, advice and activities for practitioners and for parents and will cover the following areas:

  • Celebrating special moments
  • Celebrating festivals
  • Celebrating success
  • Celebrating friends
  • Celebrating diversity
  • Celebrating identity
  • Celebrating your city

The toolkit will be available from from the end of October.

We will also be adding further information, including information on supporting children and young people who have English as an additional language, to the Talking Point website -

Anti-Bullying Week - 14th-18th November

This year's Anti-Bullying Week slogan is Stop and think - words can hurt. The aim is to challenge children and young people to stop and think about the language they are using in their face-to-face and digital communications. The use of words and expressions that are homophobic, racist, sexist or
disablist - as well as being offensive - when left unchallenged can lead to bAnti-Bullying Weekullying and intimidation.

Anti-Bullying Week is run by the Anti-Bullying Alliance who have developed a free pack to support the theme. The pack is filled with information about tackling verbal bullying, ideas for practical activities and further resources presented in separate, easy to download PDFs. The pack also includes an advice sheet for parents and carers.

Please click here to go to the pack.

Shine a Light Awards update

Shine a LightThe 40 judges involved in the Shine a Light Awards met at Pearson Assessment’s headquarters in London on the 12th October to debate the applications and select the winners. 

The number and the standard of applications have been enormously high, so the judges inevitably found it very challenging to separate the merits of all the excellent work taking place across the country. Nevertheless, decisions were made and a total of 38 organisations / teams / individuals / initiatives will receive a Shine a Light Award and prizes at the Awards Ceremony on the 23rd November 2011.  

In an Oscar style, category winners will be announced at the ceremony, so we look forward to an exciting event to support the Hello monthly theme in November of “cerebrating communication”.

Watch this space for more information on the winners.

Charity of the Month - Communication Matters

Communication Matters is a UK wide organisation that helps people of all ages and ability who need to use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).  They are supporting a range of events and activities across the UK, linked to the Hello campaign.

Communication Matters

In September the Communication Matters National Conference, UK’s leading annual AAC event, attracted approximately 400 people. They had fantastic keynote speakers in Graham Pullen, Anna Reeves and Martin Pistorius who reflected on the past 10 years of being a person who uses AAC. In looking back he extracted the potential lessons learned from using AAC to communicate in a variety of contexts, aspects of communication and the importance of dreaming and shared this with an audience of professionals, families and people who rely on AAC to communicate. Abstracts and presentation notes are available here.

At the conference Communication Matters launched an activity to be carried through to October’s AAC awareness month. They issued large yellow wave hands and challenged everybody to take them away to engage staff and students in activities for the month of October. There was a great buzz about this and we have heard of many new activities planned around Hello as a result.

Communication Matters are excited about The Communication Trust's plans for October and delighted to be working with them through the month which hopes to further raise awareness for all those who need AAC.

For further details please visit the Communication Matters website

Hello website


Hello facebook

Launching a new Level 3 Award in speech, language and communication

We are delighted to announce the launch of the new City & Guilds CPD Level 3 Award in Supporting Children and Young People’s Speech Language and Communication (Number: 4337) which went live on the 1st October 2011. This continued professional development award is made up of three units: two mandatory and a third chosen from an optional list.   Qualifications

To view and register for this award please visit the City & Guilds website here. If you are looking to take the award personally please find your local City & Guilds awarding centre by putting your postcode in the allocated box on the right hand side of this webpage.  

The Communication Trust has developed tutor and learner materials to support the delivery of the Award. These materials are available from

For further enquires please contact Eve Wagg at

Guide for Schools - your thoughts needed

In response to demand from teachers, head teachers, speech and language therapists and others involved in choosing interventions to apply in school settings, The Communication Trust is pulling together a guide to effective approaches and programmes that schools may wish to employ to support children’s speech, language and communication. More details are included in a one-page summary which you can read here.

We're at the beginning of this process and want to involve stakeholders in developing this project. We're working with professional bodies such as the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT), teaching/education bodies and our 44 Consortium members to help us shape the project at this development stage. Going forward we will also be working with these organisations to help populate the Guide with content.

We would love to hear from you if you are interested in getting involved this project. We would be very grateful if you could complete our online questionnaire where you can share your ideas on what the Guide For Schools should include -

If you would like to hear more about the project or discuss how you or your organisation could get further involved in the consultation, please contact Catherine on 020 7843 2554 or

Request your speech and language assessment brochure

Pearson Assessment, Hello sponsor, has produced a mini guide for speech andPearson Brochure language therapists on their range assessments that are available for use with children and adults who have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

From the bestselling Early Repetition Battery (ERB) through to the CELF-Preschool 2UK and Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals - Fourth Edition UK (CELF-4UK), their wide portfolio covers a number of areas impacted upon by SLCNs, including language, literacy, emotional and behavioural difficulties, cognition and more.

Request your copy online today and visit for more details.

Children's Workforce Development Council update

CWDC Train the Trainer Courses – applications now being accepted
As part of Children's Workforce Development Council's (CWDC) work in 2011/12, they are providing up to 80 train the trainer places for trainers who have resources in place to go on to deliver and assess the new Level 4 Work with Parents Award (Intense support to families with multiple and complex needs). This new Award was accredited on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) on 1st October and is available through City and Guilds.

It's expected that trainers will go on to deliver the new award to practitioners providing intense, sustained whole family support. The train the trainer courses will be at no cost to trainers however CDWC cannot fund back fill or travel.

Everything you need to apply, including application forms, guidance notes, locations and dates are available here.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact

CWDC lines up for transition
CWDC has spent the last several months working closely with the Department for Education (DfE) and discussions are coming to fruition. It has now been confirmed that from April 2012, the Early Years Workforce Qualifications Audit Tool, along with work from their Early Years and Educational Psychology programmes will transition to the Teaching Agency.

In the run up to closure in March 2012 they will continue to work with DfE to ensure safe landing of their work in supporting the workforce. Over the coming months they will keep us all up to date with what’s happening to their delivery programmes.


Upcoming conferences

The Dyslexia-SpLD Trust - Empowering Parents and Carers  - Thursday 27th October 2011

The Dyslexia-SpLD Trust are holding a free event where they will be launching a new project aimed at supporting parents and carers in the community with children with dyslexia and specific learning difficulties. The event is at Victoria Park Plaza, London SW1V 1EQ from 10.00 a.m. – 3.30 p.m.

Chair:                  Tim Mungeam, Chief Executive, Springboard for Children
Keynote:             The National Network of Parent Carer Forums

Topics for discussion:

  1. How do we communicate effectively with parents in the community?
  2. Where would you like to meet, what issues would you like to discuss, how should we present the information?
  3. Bridging the gap between home, school and specialist help; how to get the best out of parent  champions.
  4. What is working already that you would like more of, for example, models of good practice?

How to book
To book a free place, please email:

Joining the Dots – Leeds Metropolitan University – Thursday 3rd November

This event is a celebration of 2011 as the National Year of Communication and will be launched by Jean Gross, Communication Champion.  The aims of the event are to:-

  1. Raise awareness of current research in speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) in children and young people
  2. Disseminate good practice in education and speech and language therapy
  3. Hear the experience of young people living with SLCN
  4. Promote collaborative working

You candownload the flyer with further information here

Registration started in September and to indicate your interest please email

International Communication Conference - Thursday 10th November

In support of Hello, the National Year of Communication, The College of Teachers will be holding the first International Communication Conference at the Institute of Education on 10 November 2011.

Presenting 8 expert speakers in the morning with an engaging choice of afternoon workshops, this event will give all attendees - whether you are a teacher, parent, commissioner or work for provider of a related service a unique opportunity to learn, engage and network with the experts and other like minded attendees.

Workshops will include:

- Professor Peter Chatterton-Effective learning, working and communicating in a digital age
- Professor Rosie Sage-Identifying narrative levels for learning success
- Professor Bozydar L.J. Kaczmarek-Narrative is key to learning? Research evidence from all ages and abilities
- Daryle Abrahams-Using analytical psychology as the basis for differentiation in the classroom to understand preferred learning styles

Take advantage of our online Early Bird Rate for a limited time only. Please use discount code COMMSCONF2011 at the checkout

For further information please click here.




Progress - Common-sense counselling for teachers

How do you help pupils who regularly misbehave, truant or fail to engage in their education in any positive way? Progress helps teachers and other members of the children’s workforce learn how to interveneProgress effectively when children or young people are failing to achieve, not because of any educational need but because of issues in their lives or aspects of their character. The course is based on the work of Professor Gerard Egan and adapts the skills of counselling to the everyday needs of the teacher or teaching assistant.

The team at Dialogue Lab, a consortium member, devised the course for Essex County Council for teachers in PRUs, secondary schools and it’s now being offered to primary schools as well. Any teachers, schools or local authorities wanting to improve pastoral skills can book on the one day introductory course or the full three day course.



News from our members

The Communication Trust is a consortium of over 40 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 Trust’s consortium please go to for more information or e-mail

Afasic England / Achievement for All  Event - Saturday 26th NovemberAfasic

Afasic England is hosting a meeting at Resource for London on Saturday 26th November from 10.00am to 2.00pm and is delighted to announce that Brian Lamb OBE will be there to talk about an important new initiative, Achievement for All(AfA).  

AfA takes a whole school approach to school improvement focused on improving technology and learning for all children and young people, particularly the 20% of the school population identified as having SEN and disabilities. AfA has had a profound impact on children, schools, teachers and parents, demonstrating accelerated progress in reading, writing and maths for 28,000 pupils.

The Government is proposing that AfA will replace School Action and School Action Plus, and this change will therefore have a significant impact on the future education of children with speech, language and communication needs.

Coffee/tea will be available on arrival from 10.00am, with the meeting starting at 10.30pm. After the presentation, and a Q and A session, there will be a brief AGM, followed by sandwiches and refreshments.

The meeting will be free and everyone is welcome – you do not have to be an Afasic member to attend. If you are planning to come then please let us know at You will find directions for the venue at

I CAN - I CANCommunication Triathlon

With 276 days to go until the start of the Olympic Games, primary schools across the UK are being encouraged this month to register for the Communication Triathlon and join thousands of children and staff across the country who have already ‘exercised’ their speaking and listening skills.

The Communication Triathlon has been developed in partnership between Openreach and I CAN, the children’s communication charity. The Triathlon is a series of active and fun-filled events for primary schools, intended to boost speaking and listening skills, which can be undertaken by a class, a year group or a whole school over the course of a week or even a day. The programme encourages children to take part in three London 2012-themed speaking and listening activities around Thinking, Talking and Teamwork and is split across 4-7 and 7-11 year olds.

The Communication Triathlon is free to take part in as it is supported by Openreach, BT’s local network business and is part of Get Set, the official London 2012 education programme.

Schools can register for a free activity pack, which is full of fun activities devised by experts to help improve Thinking, Talking and Teamwork during a special day or week-long event by visiting

Mencap - Introducing Spellathon.netMencap

Spellathon is a groundbreaking, new and exciting, FREE, global, digital sponsored spelling competition taking over the world from October; raising funds for learning disability charity Mencap.

Set in a futuristic digital universe and presented by 'The Professor', a 3D bee character voiced by none other than Stephen Fry; Spellathon is fun playing, fast moving, a highly visual game and can be played anywhere, by anyone - children, students, and adults of any age!

Whilst competing against the clock, against others or even in reverse mode, or rather esrever edom! Spellathon entrants pledge a target number of words to spell correctly whilst practicing ahead of the online global championships to be held in March 2012. All words spelt correctly, are "banked" in your hive and your scores are displayed on the global leader board!

Register now at and BEE ready for the world's first, unique global Spellathon!


Hello is sponsored by:

BT and andPearson Assessment

Contact Us

If you would like to contact us please call 0207 843 2550 or email
The Communication Trust, 8 Wakley Street, London, EC1V 7QE


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