Essex Language and Communication Schools Award Scheme

Essex Language and Communication AwardSpecialist Teachers (Speech, Language and Communication Needs) have developed the Language and Communication School Award for mainstream primary schools in Essex.

An increasing number of children are entering schools with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN). In some areas, in excess of 50% of children start school with some level of SLCN. These children may not have the skills required to listen, attend, understand and talk about their learning and to engage in the curriculum.

Communication is fundamental to a child’s development, it is crucial for a child’s learning and social interactions both at school and into adulthood.

Many of these children have what can be called transient difficulties. This means that if they have access to quality environments, teaching and support strategies which are effective in accurately identifying language learning needs children make important gains in their language development.

The aim of the Essex Language and Communication School Award is to recognise a school’s excellence in supporting and developing children’s language and communication skills by developing provision at Universal, Targeted and Individual levels across four key areas:

  • The learning environment
  • The role of adults
  • Language development and learning
  • Person-centred approaches (the individual child)

Progression through three sets of standards is designed to build on and reflect the increasing expertise and provision within the school. Consequently, each standard requires a greater investment of time and commitment to build the skills expected to achieve the higher level.

The school will retain its status for three years after which it can be renewed by resubmitting the relevant award criteria

The three ELCSA standards are:

1. ELCSA Bronze Award – understanding how language and communication impact on learning and progress as well as nominating a school "champion" to begin to develop practice at one of the three levels of provision (Universal, Targeted, Individual)

2. ELCSA Silver Award – developing good practice in Speech, Language and Communication at two of the three levels of provision (Universal, Targeted, Individual)

3. ELCSA Gold Award – enhanced and extended practice incorporating all three levels of provision

The Essex Language and Communication School Award was officially launched in February 2014 by Jean Gross, formerly the government’s Communication Champion, and updated and relaunched in June 2017. The award can be achieved through a collective effort between the school (including children and parents) as well as the Specialist Teacher, other professionals, cluster schools and the wider Essex Language and Communication Schools community.

To take part in the award, please contact your school’s SLCN Specialist Teacher or email:

A Specialist Teacher (Speech, Language and Communication Needs) will be allocated to registered schools to support progression through the award.

Who the service provides for

Essex mainstream primary schools

Hours of operation

Term time only

How the service is accessed

Schools can register for the award by emailing the Specialist Teaching and Preschool Service at:

Operational locations

  • Essex


County Hall
Market Road