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Talk Boost intervention for language-delayed children launched at Cracking Communication Conference

Talk Boost, a new targeted and evidence-based intervention supporting language-delayed children in Reception and Key Stage 1 to make significant progress with their communication skills, was launched yesterday (Wednesday 28 March) at Cracking Communication Conference. Cracking Communication, hosted by The Communication Trust, was attended by over 100 school leaders and curriculum coordinators on how to meet the communication elements on the new Ofsted and National Curriculum frameworks.

Talk Boost has been developed by I CAN, the children's communication charity, and The Communication Trust, with support from the Every Child a Chance Trust. Talk Boost can boost a child's communication by an average of 18 months after just ten weeks of intervention.

Virginia Beardshaw, Chief Executive of I CAN, said: "I CAN is delighted to have launched Talk Boost with The Communication Trust. This ground-breaking 10-week intervention programme for use by teachers, teaching assistants and parents/carers has been shown to narrow the gap between 4-7 year olds with language delay and their peers.

"In some parts of the UK, particularly socially deprived areas, upwards of 50% of children are starting school with language skills that are under-developed for their age. Language delay can significantly impact on children's attainment, their literacy and numeracy development and ability to learn and make friends. Many of these children have the potential to catch up but only if they receive timely intervention –Talk Boost provides just that. Primary schools can find out more about Talk Boost by visiting www.talkboost.org.uk."

Anita Kerwin-Nye, Director of The Communication Trust, says; "For the first time, Ofsted frameworks have placed communication alongside literacy and numeracy as key areas for inspection. Schools will be challenged to show how children with SEN are progressing and to demonstrate how the gap is being reduced between pupils with the lowest and highest attainment.

"Whilst the national year of communication has finished, our leadership role at The Communication Trust is continuing. Over the next six months, we will be showcasing best practice from the voluntary sector on what works to support all children's communication, particularly those with SLCN. Talk Boost, developed with I CAN is an excellent example of this and schools are telling us it could help over half of their learners."

For more information on Talk Boost, go to www.talkboost.org.uk or email talkboost@ican.org.uk

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For more information, pictures or interviews contact Emma Selim, Press and PR Officer, on 0207 8432543 or email eselim@ican.org.uk

Notes to editors

About I CAN

  • I CAN is the children's communication charity. www.ican.org.uk or www.talkingpoint.org.uk
  • We are here to ensure that no child is left out or left behind because of a difficulty speaking or understanding.
  • I CAN's mission is to make sure that everyone in contact with children knows how important communication is, what a communication difficulty looks like and what they can do to help.
  • We do this through our special schools for children with severe and complex communication needs; increasing public awareness of the problems children face; giving expert advice to parents and families; providing assessments for children; giving teachers and people working with children the skills to help children who struggle; campaigning to ensure children and families get a better deal.

About The Communication Trust

  • The Communication Trust is a campaigning voice for children with speech, language and communication needs. It raises awareness, influences policy, promotes best practice among the children's workforce and commissions work from its members.
  • It is a coalition of nearly 50 leading voluntary sector organisations and an advisory group, which includes the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, Association of Educational Psychologists and the General Teaching Council.
  • The Trust ran Hello the national year of communication – in conjunction with Jean Gross, the Government's Communication Champion for Children – aiming to make children's communication a priority in homes and schools across the UK.
  • For more information about the Trust visit www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk or www.hello.org.uk

About Talk Boost

  • Talk Boost is a targeted and evidence-based intervention, supporting language-delayed children in Reception and Key Stage 1 to make significant progress with their communication skills.
  • It has been developed by children's communication charity, I CAN and The Communication Trust, leaders in the field of children's speech, language and communication.
  • Trials of Talk Boost have shown it can boost a child's communication by on average 18 months after just 10 weeks of intervention.