here - The Communication Trust

Communication Leaders
A project all about communication led by
and for children and young people
What is Communication Leaders?
• A project supporting children and young people to take on a
unique leadership role in communication within their school.
• An innovative way of improving speech, language and
communication development for children and young people,
which is young person led.
• A project that is being piloted over 2 years with 4 partner
locations: Wandsworth (London), Clacton-on-Sea,
Nottinghamshire, and Wythenshawe (South Manchester). It is
being funded by The Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
Communication Leaders at secondary:
Young people in school years 8 and 9 will
become communication role models across
the school.
They will support vulnerable year 7
students with the transition to secondary
school by leading practical school based
activities, as well as being supported to
develop their own communication skills.
Project objectives:
• To enhance the skills and confidence of Communication Leaders as a direct
result of their involvement in the project
• To enhance the confidence and communication skills of year 7 students
who are being supported by the Communication Leaders
• To augment the professional development of support staff who are
mentoring the Communication Leaders
• To implement a framework of support for the children and young people
involved through access to mentors, partners and self evaluation and
• To evaluate the Communication Leaders concept against expected outcomes
– for young people, their school and the local community
• To explore how Communication Leaders can be sustained longer term, whilst
publishing and sharing learning
Why focus on communication?
Language &
Social &
Why focus on communication?
Language has critical importance for learning and wider development (Goswami,
U., and Bryant, P. 2007)
A focus on talk in the classroom can significantly enhance the way all children
respond to schooling, in all subjects (Mercer, N. and Littleton, K. 2007)
Secondary school is not too late to support and enhance speech, language and
communication (Joffe, V. 2011)
Students with low educational attainment and poor language have significantly
greater social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (Joffe, V. 2012)
Around 50% of young offenders have a clinically significant language impairment
on formal testing (Snow and Powell 2011)
Employers rank ‘effective communication’ as the competency most required and
desired (Graduate recruitment, learning and development, Kaplan 2014)
Communication has a strong position in the new Ofsted inspection
framework, both in relation to teaching and learning and with a
focus on those children who don’t attain well. Considerations are:
• How well teachers teach communication skills and pupils’
achievements in communication skills and their application across
the curriculum;
• The achievement of disabled pupils and those with SEN since joining
the school;
• How gaps are narrowing, the attainment of pupils eligible for pupil
premium, how teachers systematically and effectively checking
pupils’ understanding in lessons and make appropriate interventions;
• Teaching strategies, together with support and intervention to match
individual needs
SEND reforms
In line with the SEND Code of Practice 2014, being part of
Communication Leaders can support your school with:
 Identifying and monitoring pupils who require SEN support
 Encouraging teaching and support staff to be responsible for the
SEN needs of the children in their class
 Implementing targeted interventions as part of the graduated
 Identifying and supporting staff training needs
 Increasing the involvement of children and young people
themselves in decision making and planning
 Committing to an increased focus on life outcomes for pupils,
including employment, rather than units of provision
 Developing a whole school approach to SEND
Why should my school get involved?
• Communication Leaders is a unique project where young people
take on a leadership role in communication
• Resources and training will support Communication Leaders in
their role, and they will get a reward at the end to say thank you
• The project will be tailored based on the needs of your school and
roles can be delivered when it suits you - all of our schools are
doing the project slightly differently
• School staff will be supported to do language checkers with
communication leaders, as well as those students that the leaders
are supporting as part of their CPD. You will receive this data to
monitor how the students are progressing
• Pre and post evaluation will monitor the impact of the project and
you will receive the final project report
“He was very nervous. Low self esteem.
Since the project he has become more
confident – lovely to see !”
School mentor, Newark
“This is clearly a very forward thinking
project and one we are very pleased to be
part of. Having been a teacher for 14
years, I have seen many schools try and
set up peer to peer intervention activities
with little success. The difference with the
Communication Leaders project is the
clear guidance and support given by the
Communication Trust.”
AVP Extended Learning
“...The leaders and those being
led already seem more
confident within themselves.
This for me continues to be a
successful, exciting and
forward thinking project. The
potential benefits to all
involved are clear and I look
forward to being involved in
its second year.”
Keith Dawes, Clacton
Coastal Academy
Find out more...
If you would like further information about the
project, please contact Amy Harker:
[email protected]
0207 843 2530

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