Stephen Ford ICAN Dormers Wells School 0082 1

Talk about Talk Secondary: outcomes from the first year

I CAN’s latest project for secondary schools, Talk about Talk Secondary, is now entering the second year of its pilot. The programme trains and supports young people who struggle with their communication skills, to deliver workshops to local employers about communication difficulties and the impact they can have on young people.

In February this year, Rachael Black, I CAN’s monitoring and evaluation coordinator, wrote a blog about the type of data we have been collecting to measure the impact of the programme. Now she’s back to give an update about the results we have had from the first year of the programme.

To measure the impact of Talk about Talk Secondary we have been gathering feedback from a range of people and although there is still more to collect, analysis of the information we have collected so far shows Talk about Talk Secondary is having an impact on young peoples’ communication skills.

The young people and school staff who took part in the programme were both asked to rate the young peoples’ communication skills before and after Talk about Talk Secondary. Both staff and young people rated the skills higher after participating in Talk about Talk Secondary; the young people cited that their non-verbal skills had improved the most and the school staff felt that the young people had most improved in explaining things clearly and working in a team.

We surveyed employers to find out which communication skills they felt young people needed for the workplace and they rated ‘working in a team’ to be in their ‘Top Five communication skills’. If you are an employer and would be interested in completing the survey it is available here.

School staff have also been rating their confidence for various competencies in supporting speech, language and communication; on average staff rated themselves as more confident across all of the competencies after Talk about Talk Secondary, particularly in understanding different types of communication difficulties.

You can find out more about Talk about Talk Secondary on the I CAN website here.