Communication Friendly Settings

Communication Friendly Settings

Communication Friendly Settings

Our Communication Friendly Settings (CFSe) programme is at the heart of the difference Elklan is making for many thousands of children across the country.

This structured approach gives front line staff the knowledge and skills they need to support children’s speech, language and communication development – embedding plans and interventions which are both effective and sustainable.

Communication Friendly Setting accreditation is awarded to settings and schools which have trained all their staff and continue to support them.

Hundreds have now achieved Communication Friendly Setting status. You can find out how, sign up for a free webinar and start your training here.

We’re very proud of how our programme has been proven to bring real benefits for both children and the professionals working with them. See the evidence below.

The CFSe journey

After coming up with the Communication Friendly Settings concept, we launched it in 2011 with funding from the Communication Trust. Over time we refined the model, extending it to a wider range of professionals and more schools.

Today, Elklan has a comprehensive programme tailored for use in early years settings as well as in primary, secondary and special schools. While some training varies to reflect the setting, the overall approach is the same:

Accreditation can be achieved in one year and renewed after three years. Find out more about the whole process.

The impact

Elklan training and our Communication Friendly Setting model have repeatedly been shown to have a positive impact on child development.

This evidence has come from independent evaluation and research, and through the personal testimony of staff. Some examples are shared here.

London Schools Excellence Fund

The London Schools Excellence Fund funded a pilot of our Communication Friendly Setting programme in five of the capital’s schools, assessing its impact in 2015.  

We trained 31 teachers and 35 non-teaching staff, who then cascaded the training to colleagues. In all, 326 staff participated.

Impact was measured by assessing the progress of more than 3,000 pupils and through a staff survey. Findings included:

Following the assessment, London Schools Excellence Fund recommended that our CFSe programme should be made available across England.

Elklan’s Communication Friendly Schools Programme had significant positive impact on the quality of support for speech, language and communication in 2 primary schools, 2 secondary schools and 1 special school.
London Schools Excellence Fund2015

Talking Matters

Elklan’s CFSe model was part of the Government’s Talking Matters programme for early years staff, designed to raise knowledge and confidence and improve children’s outcomes.

We trained 101 practitioners, who then cascaded it to 1,329 others. The programme reached almost 9,000 children aged one and a half to three.

Funded by the Department for Education, Talking Matters was independently evaluated in 2017 by the University of Sheffield – with fantastic results!

The research was conducted across 128 nurseries, preschools and children’s centres in six different parts of England – both inside and outside the programme.

It showed Talking Matters had a significant impact:

We’re grateful to all settings and individuals involved in Talking Matters and take this opportunity to thank the Elklan community for their support.

You can read the full report and the official press release.

More downloads:

The study showed that Talking Matters does have a positive impact on young children's language development.
Dr Judy Clegg, University of Sheffield

School Feedback

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Read other assessments of how Elklan’s Communication Friendly programme has improved staff confidence and practice: