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Becoming an Elklan Communication Friendly Setting - Special

Elklan Communication Friendly Setting (CFSe) accreditation is awarded to settings that have trained and support all their staff in communication and language development. They will also show evidence of embedding this knowledge in targeted interventions and through the implementation of a Communication Policy. Accreditation can be achieved in one year and can be renewed after three years. It is the most cost effective strategy available for whole-setting capacity building in communication.

Communication Friendly Setting (CFSe) Award for Special School Settings - an overview of the process

Becoming a CFSe involves three elements each of which can be commissioned separately:

  1. Training Teaching Assistants
  2. Training the whole setting staff through trained Lead Communication Practitioners
  3. An audit of the embedding of practices and policies in the setting

The CFSe programme for Special Schools

1. Communication Support for Verbal Pupils with ASD,
Communication Support for Severe and Complex Needs or
Speech and Language Support for SLD

Level 3 course (9 credits)

2. Communication Counts

5 x 1-hour training
Each LCP completes Level 4 portfolio (10 credits)
All staff receive resources, training and support from the LCPs

3. Audit and Accreditation

About the stages:

1. Training Teachers and Teaching Assistants

Elklan accredited training programmes

For CFSe status one of a possible three accredited courses should be completed at Level 3 by a minimum of two of TAs and two teachers. The courses that can be taken are:

To find the course that is right for your school, please contact Clare McKee,

Staff who have already completed any of these courses within the two years prior to commencing the CFSe process can be counted. However, training more TAs adds to the setting's capacity and will help to extend the CFSe status after the third year. We encourage settings to consider upskilling all TAs with this accredited training. (If staff have previously completed Speech and Language Support for 5-11s or Speech and Language Support for 11-16s then please contact us to let us know.)

The teachers will become Lead Communication Practitioners (LCPs) in the school.

2. Training the whole setting staff through Lead Communication Practitioners

In this element the capacity of the setting is increased as a minimum of two Lead Communication Practitioners cascade the relevant Communication Counts training to the whole setting staff. This includes lunchtime supervisors, support staff and administrative members of the team. The LCPs (one of whom is the SENCO) are provided with teaching notes, tutoring and resources to facilitate this. At the same time they are mentored by an Elklan tutor and complete a Level 4 portfolio. This involves an analysis by the LCPs of the embedding of the training and an evaluation of the impact in the setting on staff practices and pupil learning.

LCPs cascade the Communication Counts training to ALL staff (teaching, non-teaching, support and administrative) in 5x1 hour sessions over 5 half terms to develop and support speech, language and communication throughout the setting. The session plans vary depending which core course has been studied. The Communication Counts syllabus for the different courses is as follows:

Communication Counts for Complex Needs
Communication Counts for Verbal Pupils with ASD
Communication Counts for SLD
1. The Different Communication Steps 1. What is Communication
Where does ASD fit?
1. What is Communication? Developing adult-pupil interaction
2. Communication Creators, Communication Crumblers 2. The Importance of Non-Verbal Communication and Structure 2. Asking Effective Questions
3. The Development of Symbolisation and the Link with Language 3. Developing Interaction and Making Sense of Sensory Systems 3. Strategies to develop understanding and Make it Visual
4. Using Objects, Pictures, Signs and Symbols 4. Asking Effective Questions 4. Extending Vocabulary
5. Means, Reasons and Opportunities 5. Developing Vocabulary and Narrative Skills 5. Using Modelling and Developing Narrative

Please contact Clare McKee, for guidance on the correct course to study and therefore deliver.

3. Gaining Communication Friendly Setting Accreditation

Settings access an online CFSe audit. All documentation is uploaded online. This includes lists of staff trained, the setting's Communication Policy and examples of interventions and strategies used and embedded in the setting.

Feedback on the impact of whole-school training:

Pricing information

Please contact us for up to date pricing information for your setting.

Register your setting's interest

If your setting wishes to achieve Communication Friendly Setting status, please get in touch.

See also: