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Elklan Blog

OFSTED notice improvement following Elklan training

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

In April 2016 Elklan CIC was very pleased to be awarded money by the Department of Education to develop a sustainable programme for developing Communication Friendly Settings for children under 5. We have called it Talking Matters! The results of this are now beginning to bear fruit so that even OFSTED notice the difference!

An Ofsted quote:

'Staff are skilled at introducing vocabulary. They pronounce words clearly, use lots of descriptive language and demonstrate consistently high-quality communication skills.' A fabulous WOW moment for Whippersnappers, Essex! Congratulations!

What does the programme involve?

We chose to follow a similar 5 step model to that used within the ELDP and our successful Communication Friendly Schools packages.

Step 1:

  • Six local authorities applied to be part of the project and each identified 5 Early Years staff to be trained as Lead Communication Practitioners (LCPs).
  • Each LCP identified 5 settings to be part of the project in their locality = 150 settings across the UK
  • In 50% of the settings two members of staff were trained as Key Communication Practitioners (KCP).
  • 50% of the settings only received the cascaded training at Step 2, they acted as the control group.
  • The training for LCPs and KCPs involved completing Speech and Language Support for 0-3s at level 3 .

Step 2:

  • The LCP completed a level 4 portfolio showing evidence of embedding in the settings in which she delivered step 3.

Step 3:

  • LCP delivered Communication Counts (with optional accreditation at level 2) to all 150 settings. This was done with the support of the KCPs where available.

Step 4:

  • Settings are currently completing a Communication Friendly Setting audit with support from their LCP.

Step 5:

  • Communication Friendly Status will be awarded


The project is being externally evaluated by Sheffield University and so we hope to publish some successful outcomes soon! We are monitoring progress in the children as well as staff knowledge and skills so we are hoping for more positive results!

Keep checking this space and our website for more fabulous WOW moments and feedback from participants.

Not part of the project but want to achieve status for your Early Years setting?

This will soon be available for settings to purchase, for more information talk to us – call Roger Elks on 01208 841450 and he will explain all! Keep checking the website too, as we hope to provide more information soon!