Good communication is the gateway to learning, friendships, academic achievement and success at work

Communicating the Code

The Communication Trust has developed Communicating the Code  specifically for people working directly with children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and it should be of use to those working in early years, schools and post 16 settings.

The resource contains practical information, case studies and links to great resources to help all those involved with children and young people with SLCN fulfil their responsibilities effectively under the new Code of Practice.

We have drawn on the latest evidence base, including the recent landmark Better Communication Research Programme, and have worked with partners and practitioners across the sector to develop a resource that is useful to you in your work.

Communicating the Code is set out in sections to reflect the Code of Practice, so that practitioners can access the information they require quickly and easily. It aims to:

  • Highlight key issues for SLCN in the new Code.
  • Identify key strategies (including evidence and examples) which may help to overcome these issues.
  • Signpost to useful resources, examples of good practice and further information.


How Communicating the Code can help those working with children and young people with SLCN:

  • It interprets the Code of Practice in relation to SLCN for all sections, something no other resource to date has done.
  • It sets out your responsibilities as a practitioner in the new Code of Practice for children and young people with SLCN.
  • It is practical and solution-focused - looking at the issues practitioners face, and then suggesting strategies and approaches to address these. It signposts to further information, case studies and resources to assist.
  • It brings together research and good practice on effective working in all settings at a universal, targeted and specialist level for children and young people with SLCN.
  • It contains clear tips and guidance on how to enable the child or young person to participate in outcome/target setting if s/he has SLCN.
  • It considers how to work most effectively with parents, families and other professionals - a key objective of the SEND reforms.
  • And through this, it aims to increase your confidence in identifying and supporting children and young people with SLCN.


Please click here to download the full Communicating the Code document.


You can also download any section(s) you are interested in seperately below:

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Chapter 2 - Children and Young People

Chapter 3 - Developing Outcomes

Chapter 4 - Engaging with Parents

Chapter 5.1 - Early Years 

Chapter 5.2 - Schools

Chapter 5.3 - Post-16

Chapter 6 - Education Health and Care (EHC) Plans

Chapter 7 - Joint Commissioning

Chapter 8 - The Local Offer

Chapter 9 - Youth Custody


Additional Resources

There is a wide range of other guidance available to help practitioners deliver the Reforms which Communicating the Code seeks to add to rather than duplicate:

  • Please click here to find additional resources and support. 

  • Please click here to see examples of good practice and case studies relating to SLCN and the Code of Practice.  

  • You may also be interested in our 'Cracking the Code posters' which have been developed specifically for early years practitioners to help develop knowledge and skills around the SEND reforms and speech, language and communication development.

  • Guides to ages and stages of communication development, top tips for supporting speech and language, activity ideas... and much more can be found at:

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