Professional development in speech, language and communication – new report from The Communication Trust.

Last summer, more than 1200 members of the children and young people’s workforce, including many health visitors, responded to a survey from The Communication Trust, which asked about their experiences of professional development in speech, language and communication (SLC). Their responses revealed that, although they were nearly unanimous in their belief in the vital importance of children’s SLC skills, there were significant gaps in their professional development in this area. The majority (53%) reported that they had had little to no initial training in typical speech, language and communication development, and 60% had little to no training in identifying and supporting children with speech, language and communication needs.

In England, there are likely to be at least two children in every primary school classroom with a clinically significant language disorder, and many more with delayed language development. The Communication Trust, in partnership with their consortium, works to maximise the impact of the voluntary sector and collaborate with government to devise effective solutions to improve the support that is provided to children and young people.

The Communication Trust has produced a report presenting the findings of their consultation with the workforce and offering recommendations to government and national bodies, local authorities and commissioners, the voluntary sector and training providers, and the workforce and service providers. Their recommendations were developed in consultation with their consortium and other key sector, practitioner, and academic partners.

Speech, Language and Communication Framework (SLCF)

The Communication Trust works to support the workforce in enabling all the children and young people they work with to communicate to the best of their ability through resources such as the newly updated and improved Speech, Language and Communication Framework (SLCF). The SLCF is a free online professional development tool which sets out the skills and knowledge that everyone working with children and young people need in order to support the speech, language and communication development of those they work with. The SLCF self-evaluation tool enables individuals and groups of practitioners to highlight their professional development needs and to find training, resources or information to ‘fill the gaps’ identified by the SLCF.

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