About South Yorkshire Talking Together

South Yorkshire Talking Together is a regional initiative to support children’s speech, language, and communication development in South Yorkshire. The four Local Authorities in our region (Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster & Sheffield) teamed up with South Yorkshire Futures – Sheffield Hallam University’s social mobility partnership – to support our region’s children develop these critical life skills.

Why was it set up?

Almost 30 per cent of children do not achieve the expected level of development in communication, language, and literacy in South Yorkshire. That’s over 4,500 children that are at risk of not achieving their potential each year.

Speech, language, and communication (SLC) skills are critical to children’s development. Being able to speak clearly, process sounds, understand others, think critically, and express their ideas are fundamental building blocks to overall development, and educational outcomes later in their lives.

SLC skills underpin other areas of children’s development. They enable children to understand and be understood, to build relationships with others, and to learn. Children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have a high risk of difficulties with reading, writing and spelling.

Our ambition is that all children in South Yorkshire begin school ready to thrive.

What do you do?

South Yorkshire Talking Together offers a wide range of support for parents, carers, practitioners, and anyone else working or interacting with children under the age of 5.

We provide training for the children’s workforce in our region, through our regional skills strategy, and we promote key messages that support early speech, language, and communication development.

Our team meets regularly to share best practice across our region and focus on how we can improve local services to best meet the needs of children.

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