Friday, 13 January 2012

Every year a year of communication? Anita Kerwin-Nye, Director

As we move on from the National Year of Communication The Communication Trust team are working hard to make sure that legacy of Hello is a strong one. While evaluation is starting in earnest on the impact of Hello it is clear that the work of the wonderful local champions, the efforts of the staff team, input from our funders and supporters and work across the Trust’s voluntary members have all combined in creating a wonderful focus on the importance of speech, language and communication skills for all children.

The Shine A Light Awards, Hello Heroes event and meetings between local co-ordinators and the Minister highlighted the inspiring work that has happened on the ground and the year was topped off by a CBE for Jean Gross as our wonderful Communication Champion. The Hello Journey showcases some of the year’s best bits!

The Year itself, the Champion, the progress we have seen in OFSTED, in early years and with the national curriculum were all proposals made 5 years ago by the Trust and as we look back at our original strategy we can be rightly proud – particularly of the way we have pulled together such an amazing cohort of talent and enthusiasm from the local to the national, across health, early years and education, across professionals, parents, children, young people and families and from the public, private and voluntary sector. Because, to quote Janet Cooper from Stoke Speaks Out , “communication is everybody’s business” and it is the Trust’s job to make sure everybody knows it!

But there is more to do.

As the Trust develops our next five year strategy we are ever mindful of the risks posed by cuts to services and system restructuring. We know that while policy may have moved forward, commissioning practice and the prioritisation of children’s speech, language and communication still need much work.

With education policy and school structures rapidly changing, The Communication Trust will be launching a schools campaign in 2012 to ensure that all schools are encouraged and supported to ensure that all children can reach their full potential. The work of the Hello heroes is not over yet and 2012 (and 2013, 14, 15 .....) will be another year of communication. And, to quote Mr Milliband, – bring it on!

No comments: