The Communication Trust has, this week, published its evaluation of 2011’s Hello campaign, the national year of communication, revealing a major boost in public awareness of the importance of speech, language and communication. The organisation also launched its new five-year strategy which focuses on empowering the children’s workforce to achieve two major goals: to ensure all children are supported in developing good speech, language and communication skills and that those who struggle are identified early and supported to communicate to the best of their ability.
Anne Fox, Director of The Communication Trust, said: “We face crucial challenges in making sure every child is understood because the children’s workforce still lack confidence in recognising and supporting SLCN and so many children’s needs are misinterpreted, misunderstood or missed altogether. Our next five years will take the work we’ve already done further and wider, so that the children and young people’s workforce will have the opportunity to develop the confidence, skills and knowledge they need to enable all children to communicate to the very best of their ability.
Elklan are one of the partners of the Communication trust. They train speech and language therapists and specialist advisory teachers to cascade Open College Network (OCN) accredited training under license. All their courses help to develop the speech, language and communication skills of all children and young people but especially those with communication difficulties.Tutors deliver the courses to education staff, other professionals and parents living and working with children and young people aged 2-25 years.
Elklan primarily works though skilling SaLTs and teachers employed by the statutory sector to enable them to support the staff and parents they are working with more effectively, We also have a growing network of independent trainers across the UK who can deliver directly to schools and other establishments. There is an excellent selection of courses:
Speech and language support
• For under 5s
• In the classroom (5-11’s)
• For 11-16’s
• Post 16’s
• Vulnerable young people (those in youth offending institutions)
• For verbal children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
• ‘Communication support for children with severe and complex needs’ (runs for 7 sessions.)
Courses for parents/carers/those in school or early years settings who don’t wish to complete a core course:
• With under 5s (7 weeks)
• With 5-9’s (7 weeks)
• Together (7 weeks)
• With special children (5 weeks)
These courses provide a route for participants to gain particular expertise in a range of conditions. They each run for 5 weeks.
Supporting children with
• Hearing Impairment
• Autism Spectrum Disorder
• Unclear speech
All our courses are accredited through Open College Network South West Region (OCNSWR)
Communication Friendly Schools
Elklan now accredits schools as communication friendly. To achieve this they have to have 2 TA’s trained on Elklan’s OCN course, ‘Speech and Language Support in the Classroom’ at level 3 and the SENCO and teacher trained on Elklan’s level 4 OCN programme, ‘Speech and Language Support for Communication Friendly Schools’. They then cascade the key elements via Elklan’s 3 x 1 hour ‘Communication Counts’ course, to the whole school thus ensuring embedding of the strategies.
Peer audit ensures that strategies are implemented and a certificate is issued, valid for three years.
Elklan are striving to support the recommendations of the Hello campaign and have already trained over 1,200 speech and language therapists to be Elklan tutors and over 550 specialist advisory teachers to work in a co-tutor role. This hugely successful 'Train the Trainer' programme has enabled training to be cascaded to over 20,000 staff working in pre-school, primary and secondary education in both mainstream and specialist settings as well as parents.