Thursday, 29 November 2012

What are the causes of poverty and social break down?

A new study has been launched, which will explore the fundamental causes of poverty and social  breakdown. The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has identified these as:

  • welfare dependency
  • family breakdown
  • educational failure
  • drug and alcohol addiction
  • serious personal debt. 

Communication Trust Professional Director Wendy Lee will be part of the working group on educational failure, which will feed into the overall report.  Wendy Lee said: “The research evidencing the poor language of children living in socially  disadvantaged areas is becoming stronger and stronger and we know the massive impact poor language has on educational success, attainment and on long term prospects for children and young people in socially disadvantaged areas. We also know how strong language skills can help children in these areas “buck the trend” and do well in school and beyond. “We are pleased to be able to feed in the issues for these children and some of the evidenced solutions and our optimistic about the impact the report could have on children’s life chances.”  

The CSJ also commissioned a YouGov poll to coincide with the launch of the study aimed at 
identifying the causes of the serious social problems facing Britain. About 55 per cent of people surveyed said at least one of their local communities features broken families, crime and poor schooling.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

A busy few weeks........

I can't believe we are almost at the end of November, where did the time go? I have been too busy to regularly blog. What have we been doing in recent weeks?

Speech & ; Language Therapy

We have:

  •  had lots of new therapy clients most of whom have complex communication needs 
  • lots of lovely 'old' clients for therapy and review
  • Two new members of the team: Natasha Hallam and Georgina Deakin
  • Started to carry out a project in 8 schools in Lichfield to help narrow the gap between children with delayed speech, language and communication and their peers
  • Almost finished Chuckle Talkers with Chuckle Productions at Silkmore Children's Centre Stafford
  • Finished the tendering process for the county council (the worst job of all!)
  • written an article on tendering for ITP magazine
  • Written an article on verbal reasoning and behaviour for Nursery World

The Book 

The book, 'How to get your child ready for school' is finished and is being formatted. This is a book to help parents know what to do to help before school. I have long moaned about them teaching the alphabet and counting by rote, so this is my answer.

Smart Talkers Pre-School Groups

These are a series of groups for pre-schoolers which focus on communication.
  • A new team member Kirsty to help cope with 6 new  groups in Children's Centres in the Tamworth area
  • Interviewing again on Friday
  • Met with franchisees 
  • Smart Talkers Surrey and Smart Talkers Essex have exciting plans
  • Smart Talkers India are expanding to school aged children
  • Smart talkers Cambridge is on hold due to illness but she will be back with avengance!
  • We are planning an AGM training day for June next year

S &  L World; the global bulletin for SLT/P

This is an international quarterly publication for professionals in the speech therapy/pathology world. New issue out now

Speech Therapy Activities website

This is a website we are developing with lots of information for parents. We will have free downloads with advice and help. We will also sell resources: so far we have  an auditory memory pack, an s -pack, a t-pack, a k-pack, an l-pack and a d-pack. These have all been tried and tested by clients. Meeting Andy at Devmac next week so will have more news then.

Training & Consultancy

We have a huge range of courses for parents and professionals. Ones this month include voice tips for teachers, which we ran throughout Staffordshire and An introduction to Signing. We are running the accredited under 5s Elklan training in January and have plans to run business development days across the UK from Spring see or for the range of courses

Bits n bobs

We also help another training provider with their marketing and are producing the special edition of Independent talking Points for  ASLTIP. We have also made videos of signs and interviews about Baby Sign with Shelley from Little Signers Club.

Think that's about it.......  but the to-do list is still growing!! 

Monday, 19 November 2012

Voice Tips for teachers

Last year a teacher received thousands in compensation for losing her voice, and thereby her source of income, but I don't know any schools who have invested money into training so it doesn't happen in their school. There will be at least one teacher in every school who has trouble with their 'throat' or voice and all would benefit from being shown good practice.

Looking after your voice should be part of all teacher training but it isn't. We cover the essential points in an hour workshop. Participants will:

  • understand how voice is produced
  • realise the important factors involved
  • identify the environmental factors
  • be able to reduce the risk factors
The workshop has a practical element so participants may want to wear loose, comfortable clothing.

Cost: £100 per staff meeting

A few places left at Barton Children's Centre Thursday 29th November 4-5 pm £20 per person

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Shine a light updates

Paul RossExcitement is building around the Shine a Light Awards 2012!

Shortlisting took place earlier this month and the judges have made their choices. Over the next week, we will be sending out invitations to the awards ceremony, which will take place at Pearson's headquarters in Strand, London on November 21st. 

We wish all the best of luck to Wyndham Primary Academy in Derbyshire which  has been selected to receive one of the following awards, either winner of Primary school of the year, a runner up or the winner of an outstanding achievement award. They have been through the Elklan school accreditation process which has helped them develop their working practises to this excellent level.
They're also delighted to announce that the celebrity host at this year's award ceremony will be television presenter Paul Ross.

Mr Ross has formerly been a journalist and radio presenter, and is perhaps best known as showbiz reporter on This Morning. He played the part of 'Mr Sit-up Britain' in the film Bridget Jones' Diary and was a contestant on Channel 4's Celebrity Come Dine With Me in 2009.

Thank you to everyone who helped us spread the word about the Shine a Light Awards 2012 and bringing in some interesting applications.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Are you thinking of developing your therapy business?

Are  you already working independently, thinking about developing the business but not sure where to start?  It's a big decision to go  from working part-time or by yourself to take the next step.

We have put together a course to go through the essential factors that will enable you to do this.
Participants will: understand essential business drivers, learn about effective advertising and marketing, identify social media potential and learn how to harness this and look at websites and SEO.
We will also look at how a business plan can be a practical tool.
Presented by me, Libby Hill and Ray Wellington. I am the Consultant SLT from Small Talk Ltd with extensive NHS and private experience as well in other industries. I am also the editor of S & L World:the global bulletin for SLT/SLPs. Ray is Director of Strategy at Milton Bayer Communications which is a strategic,creative marketing agency. Between us we have the knowledge and experience to help you decide if you want to take things further and how you could do this in simple, practical ways.
We are running them in London 15/3/13, Manchester 30/3/13, Bristol 13/4/13 and Birmingham 11/5/13. £150.00 per person for more info and to book a place.