The Communication Trust Newsletter
January 2012

TCT 2012

Hello and welcome to the first newsletter of 2012 from
The Communication Trust.

Our newsletters this year will share information about the work of the Trust, how we're continuing the legacy of the Hello campaign and updates from the world of speech, language and communication.

You'll also be able to find out what is happening with member organisations of the Trust.

Jean Gross report - Two years on

The final report of the Communication Champion for children, Jean Gross CBE is now available.Jean Gross Report

The reflections in Two Years On: final report of the Communication Champion for children are based on findings from an extensive programme of meetings with local commissioners and service providers across England, undertaken between January 2010 and December 2011. Jean Gross has met with 105 out of the 152 local authority / NHS Primary Care Trust pairings in England. 

To download the report, please click here.

Jean Gross has made 30 recommendations to Government, local authorities, the voluntary sector and schools on the future of speech, language and communication services for children. The press release can be downloaded here.

The Communication Trust's response to Two Years On is available here.

If you have any queries on this, please email Laura Smith, Head of Press and PR, on

Here are some of the links to the coverage:
Interview on the BBC Today Programme. Follow this link to listen again, it starts at 53 minutes, 40 seconds into programme
- BBC London, interview with Vanessa Feltz, to listen again, follow this link and listen from 1hr 2mins in
- BBC Radio 5 Live, interview on Victoria Derbyshire show, listen from 30 minutes in
- BBC News Online
- Children and Young People Now
Daily Mail
- The Independent

New Year's Honour

Jean Gross started the New Year in style by being awarded a CBE in the New Year's Honours List for services to education. The Communication Trust is delighted for Jean, please click here for the full press release with more information about Jean and the Trust's response.

Looking ahead – evaluating Hello and its legacy

Time and effort is now fully focused on understanding the successes and learnings from Hello. Evaluation is taking place from now until the end of March 2012.

There’s a clear legacy from Hello which in no small part is down to the fantastic work done by local people and national partners. Together we have worked to make the very best of the opportunity that the National Year of Communication gave us.

We want to hear your thoughts on what we did well, what could have been improved, what lessons you learnt and the impact the National Year has made on you and your stakeholders. Coming next month is a Hello evaluation toolkit that has been designed predominately to support evaluation of Hello work at local level.

Even more importantly we want to hear how The Communication Trust could continue to support you and how, notwithstanding the challenges facing local practitioners, you plan to carry on your good work into 2012.  Our resources will continue to be available on the Hello website, including Universally Speaking and all the materials you need to hold another No Pens Day.

We still want to capture your stories of best practice at area and setting level as well as your individual case studies of parents, children and young people. They are a powerful way for us to share best practice with national decision makers and to join up the work happening all over the country.

If you have a question in the meantime, contact Laura Smith, Head of Press and PR on or call 020 7843 2519.

Anita Kerwin-Nye, Director of the Trust, has written a blog which talks about the Hello legacy. Please click here to read.

Voice for Life Events

Following on from the National Year of Communication, 2012 proves to be just as exciting with new events and new information guides for parents.

Afasic England, in association The Communication Trust, is running three free events, bringing together parents, professionals and children with speech, language and communication needs. These will include seminars, workshops, exhibitions and fun activities for pupils with SLCN.

Many of the workshops are being run by members of the Trust's Communication Consortium. With over thirty workshops per event to choose from, including one-to-one advice sessions available throughout the day, these events will provide information as well as a chance to talk to local providers, professionals and other parents.

The events will take place in...Afasic
The Rose Bowl, Southampton on Thursday 8th March 2012
Leicester University on Thursday 15th March 2012
Durham University at Stockton on Tees on 22nd March 2012

For further details and to book please click here.

New booklet for trainee teachers available to order

We have developed a booklet for people who are training to become teachers to give advice and guidance on children's communication skills. Let's Talk About It includes information on:Let's Talk About It

• The importance of communication
• The impact that speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) can have for children and young people on learning and attainment, and on social, emotional development and behaviour
• How teachers can better identify children with SLCN and through making communication a priority, work more affectively with all children in their classroom
• Signposts trainees to a range of further information sources

Please click here to download the booklet.
Please click here to order (5 copies maximum available per order).


Development Officer vacancy at The Communication Trust

The Development Officer is a new role, tasked with offering support to our membership to grow their capacity; partnership bidding for joint initiatives; and fundraising for the Trust and our programmes of work.

The role will suit someone with exceptional communication and persuasive skills; an eye for detail and strong organisational capacity and the ability to work to tight deadlines and manage several conflicting priorities. Experience of fundraising, project management or work in a Third Sector organisation is desirable but not essential for the post as training in specific skills will be provided as part of the role.

For an application pack please e-mail





Talk of the Town update

Talk of the Town (TOTT) is a project supporting children’s speech, language and communication development from 0-19 within a Federation of Schools in Wythenshawe, South Manchester. Talk of the Town

TOTT is a community wide approach to the early identification of speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) which began in May 2011. It's funded by the Department of Education until March 2012 but we are planning to embed the project into school plans for at least 15 years. TOTT aims to ensure there's support for children and young people with SLCN every step of the way so that every child and young person has the opportunity to fulfil their full potential.

The project involves many different people and organisations - the staff and leadership team of the three Federation schools, The Communication Trust and our consortium, the local speech and language therapy (SLT) department, specialist consultants, independent SLTs, the police, charities, early years services and most importantly children, young people and their families.

Please click here to read an update on the work delivered so far and find out what we have in store for the rest of the academic year.

Youth Justice update

A report this week, published by the Centre for Social Justice, calls for an urgent need for youth training in secure institutions for young offenders to include speech and language disability awareness. It also recommends specialist youth training for magistrates and defence lawyers.  Sentence Trouble

This underpins our awareness raising and work we have already done to deliver speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) training to over 2000 staff in over half the Youth Offending Teams in England and Wales.

We are also currently working with the Juvenile Awareness Staff Programme (JASP) Steering group to review the current training programme for Youth Offending Institutions, to ensure young people with SLCN are recognised and supported.

To download the full report please click here.

 To see the Trust response to the report please click here.

Youth Justice are now on Twitter! Follow us at to find out about training updates, youth justice policy news and top tips for better communication. Help us to get to 100 followers by 1st March!

Think Big update

The Communication Trust is working in partnership with O2 and the National Youth Agency on their Think Big project.  O2 Think Big

Young people are encouraged to apply for grants of £300 to support a project idea that they have. Young people involved must be 13-25 years old and their project must relate to communication in some way; either awareness raising or developing young people’s communication skills.

For more information and to discuss this matter, please do call Alison Marrs, Professional Advisor, on 0207 845 2541 or email her on

Think Big is ongoing until the end of the project in December 2012 and the Trust has been allocated 25 x £300 grants for this year. For successful £300 projects there is an opportunity for young people to apply to compete for a further £2,500 grant in order to expand and extend their original project.

For more information and application forms click here.

Charity of the Month - Afasic

Afasic is the UK charity representing children and young adults with communicAfasication impairments, working for their inclusion in society and supporting their parents and carers.

Afasic provides information and support for parents and professionals through its publications, national helpline and website. It organises training events for young people, parents and professionals around the UK. Members meet in local groups in many areas of the UK.

For more information abot Afasic please go to

Planning for Life After 16 – NEW

These five new education leaflets provide information to the parents of young people with speech, language and communication needs looking to go into Further Education after 16.

These leaflets address the difficulties that may arise and how best to tackle them, including: what to expect from the Further Education system, how to access support, the student’s legal entitlements and how to navigate the transition from secondary school to college.

Please click here for more information.


New book: Listening to Children and Young People with Speech, Language and Communication Needs

The Communication Trust has contributed to a new book titled 'Listening to Children and Young People with Speech, Language and Communication Needs' edited by Sue Roulstone and Sharynne McLeod. A percentage of the profits from the sales of the booklet will go to Afasic, a charity which supports children who have a specific language impairment and their familes.

To find out more about the book and how to order please click here.

Talking Trouble

Talking Trouble is a new microsite, developed as part of Hello, Talking Troubleto highlight the communication barriers faced by children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

The interactive site allows people to highlight what their child might struggle with, look at a list of identifying factors and then be signposted for further help and support.

It has been developed for parents and anyone who works with children and young people who may not know much about this area.

To view the site please go to

Achievement for All vacancies

Achievement for All 3As is a national charity which supports schools to improve the aspirations, access and achievement of learners and young people. The Achievement for All (AfA) framework improves pupils’ progress attendance and behaviour, parental engagement, peer relationships, participation in extra-curricular activities and access to future opportunities for pupils. A 2-year pilot of the framework in 450 schools has shown a profound impact on the outcomes of pupils with SEND and on school improvement. The charity is now rolling out this framework across schools in England.

They have the following vacancies:

Chief Operating Officer

To support the continued growth and development of the charity, (AfA) require a Chief Operating Officer responsible for the effective development and implementation of operational strategies to help Afa3As to achieve its mission. Reporting to the CEO, you will support your senior leadership colleagues in strategic planning within agreed budgets and extending the future scope and reach of the charity.

Please click here for more information.

Director of Programme Management

To support the continued growth and development of the charity, AfA require a Head of Programme Management who will lead a new Programmes Management Office (PMO) for the charity from conception, through implementation and effective delivery. This is a unique opportunity to join an education charity in the process of evolving from “start up” toward the next phase of growth, with opportunity for the right person to shape the future of the PMO and the business.

Please click here for more information.

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 Trust’s consortium please go to for more information or e-mail

ACE Centre - Network and training days ACE Centre in 2012

Networking day – a focus on AAC and Autism, Tuesday 20th March

A great opportunity to get together with other professionals, parents and carers interested in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Assistive Technology (AT).  The day will include key speakers in the field, with a particular focus on AAC and autism, along with opportunities to see the latest software, strategies and equipment.

Getting started with AAC, Thursday 22nd March

Baffled by the technology? Overwhelmed by the jargon? This course will introduce you to Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and shed light on why it’s used, who it’s for, the benefits, and the communication skills that you need to develop to support its use.

Moving on from PECS, Wednesday 30th May

This popular course looks at children on the autistic spectrum who’ve been using PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and explores ways they may be able to develop their communication further using a variety of different forms of AAC and supportive software.

iPads, iPods and Communication, 3rd July

This brand new course takes a balanced look at this rapidly changing area, providing information about apps, access and accessories, as well as iPad and iPod alternatives.

For further information, email  01865 759800


An exciting opportunity has arisen for a full-time Occupational Therapist/Physiotherapist to join the ACE Centre’s inter-disciplinary team. The role would suit an enthusiastic and highly motivated individual with experience of using person-centred approaches and of working with augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and assistive technology (AT). However, they would also welcome applications from individuals with relevant skills.

For an application pack, please email or call 01865 759800 quoting reference ACE010.

Alternatively follow this link for further details and to download an application form.

Communication Matters - AAC Research Involvement NetworkCommunication Matters

Communication Matters has launched a research network of people who use communication or speech aids, their carers and professionals involved in assessment, training and support of users.

The Network will be available for academics and others doing research into AAC and will promote the involvement of people who use AAC in research projects. It is being set up as part of a 3 year research project run by Communication Matters called “Communication Matters - Research Matters: An AAC evidence Base” that has been funded by the National Lottery through Big Lottery Fund.

Please click here to view the press release with further information.

Cued Speech - One day workshopCued Speech

Friday 2nd March, 10am-4pm

This workshop is suitable for:
♦ education professionals working with deaf babies and children
♦ parents, other family members and carers of deaf babies and children

The day can be a ‘taster’ for those deciding to use or recommend Cued Speech, or used as a foundation for learning to cue.
This workshop will:
♦ cover the basics of the Cued Speech system
♦ include research which proves its success
♦ provide information about ways Cued Speech can be used
♦ introduce the THRASS ‘Phoneme Machine’ (free downloadable interactive software which gives deaf
children access to phonics)
♦ showcase the Cued Speech e-learning website for on-going learning,

To find out more please click here.

I CAN - What happens when children need to learn to talk in more than one language?I CAN

When parents and professionals are thinking about a child learning English as an additional language (EAL), they often ask “Do some children find it more difficult than others?”, “If a child is struggling to talk is it just because they are learning a new language?” 
I CAN’s advisors working on the I CAN Help Enquiry service ( answer these questions in a new blog.

I CAN has also produced their Talk Together leaflet in eight languages to help more parents understand how to support children’s language development. The languages are: Arabic; Czech, French, Polish, Punjabi, Somali, Urdu and English. Talk Together is a simple 8 page illustrated booklet which explains to parents:

  • the importance of language
  • the key milestones in a child’s speech and language and development
  • how to support children’s language development
  • what to do if they think there is a problem

They can be downloaded free of charge from

NAPLIC Conference and AGM 2012NAPLIC

This year’s NAPLIC conference, ‘Communication Supportive Environments: What makes the difference for children and young people with SLCN?’ will be held on Saturday 21 April 2012 in Birmingham.

NAPLIC's 2012 conference will feature keynote speakers Jean Gross (The Communication Champion), Marie Gascoigne (Director, Better Communication CIC), Members of the Better Communication Research Project Team, Geraldine Bates (Speech and Language Therapist for North Bristol NHS Trust) plus a number of practitioner presentations by staff from schools or settings from early years, primary and secondary phases who have transformed their own communication environments.

The conference will be of interest to teachers and SENCOs, Teaching Assistants, Speech and Language Therapists, Advisory Teachers for SLCN, Educational Psychologists and LA Advisors.

This will be a fantastic opportunity to hear about the latest best practice from across the sector and to keep the momentum of Hello going into 2012!

For more details, visit


Hello is sponsored by:

BT and andPearson Assessment

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


Sentence Trouble:



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