Friday, 14 December 2012

Children’s communication – what’s next?

The Trust's 2013-17 Strategy
We can all agree that the Hello campaign, the national year of communication 2011, was a success. More than 350,000 Hello resources were distributed and 72% of adults reported seeing Hello messages during the year. We also found that as more parents became aware of what good speech and language is, more began to report concerns about their children's speech, language and communication skills and to seek professional help and guidance. We also trialled three new ways of working to empower parents and the children’s workforce to help all children get more out of their speech, language and communication and to spot and support those who struggle in more effective ways.

For us, Hello as an awareness raising tool is over, but the issue of children with language delay or speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) has not gone away. We have been successful in influencing some areas of policy - getting Ofsted to include communication in their new inspection guidelines and the National Curriculum Review Panel to recommend its inclusion across the curriculum - but there's still more work to do.

Now we must make sure that the children's workforce - and by this we mean anyone who works with children and young people - is equipped with the skills, knowledge and confidence to know what good communication development is and to recognise and support children who are struggling.

In order to do this we will be taking forward one of our key strategic projects begun during the Hello campaign, Talk of the Town - a community-wide strategy for developing good communication in children and young people aged 0-19 through schools, early years settings, children's centres and families - and the Level 3 Award in Supporting Children and Young People's Speech, Language and Communication, developed by The Communication Trust with City & Guilds.

We know we face crucial challenges in our aim to make sure every child is understood because communication skills are so often overlooked and many children and young people's needs are often misinterpreted, misunderstood or missed altogether. Our strategy also allows us to continue to work with the youth justice sector where research has show there are high numbers of children and young people with unidentified SLCN.

The local landscape for delivering services is ever changing and our plan is to work with policy makers, local and national, to make sure children and young people get the best help and support they can.

You can join us on this journey by following us on Facebook and Twitter or by signing up to receive our monthly newsletter. For more information, click here.

Our five-year strategy is available here.

The Hello Evaluation can also be downloaded here.

No comments: