Our work transforms the learning and life chances of students. Explore our research and how our Voice 21 Oracy schools are achieving a high-quality oracy education for their students.

We work with over 300 schools each year. Growing from supporting 140 schools in 2017, to 759 schools in 2020. In this time we’ve worked with over 9,000 teachers, and through them reached approximately 260,000 students across the UK. 

Through this work we can see the transformative impact oracy has on teaching, learning and student outcomes, as you can see from the case studies below.

Our frameworks and publications have also strengthened the ability of teachers and school leaders to practically understand what works and how to develop a high-quality oracy education.

We have also been building on the case for oracy and driving a movement for change. Through our seminal research reports and polling we’ve established a well evidenced case for oracy education in the UK. Through founding the Oracy Network, a group of organisations committed to oracy education, and through our work as the secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group on oracy chaired by Emma Hardy MP, we’ve built a coalition for change.

Research and case studies

Explore the impact of oracy in schools across the UK through case studies and research from our programme participants and reports on oracy from the wider sector.

Case study

“We don’t know how we ever taught maths without focus on oracy”

Oracy at Bishop Young Academy
“In the classrooms we’ve noticed that misconceptions are picked up much earlier because of the students improved ability to articulate themselves”

Case study

Good communication is a skill that you need to learn

Oracy at St Michael’s School

“Good communication is a skill that you need to learn, it’s not something that always happens naturally.”


Get Talking in PRUs evaluation

We wanted to make sure we supported PRUs in a way that worked for them, transferring what we have learned from working with more than 1100 mostly mainstream schools since 2017, and recognising and adapting to any differences brought about by the PRUs’ context.

Case study

Raising expectations of student oracy with their parents

It has made us reconsider the format of all parent consultations, particularly because it emphasises the most important part: enabling students to share the work they are particularly proud of.

Case study

Explore over 120 Oracy Sequences of Learning!

Explore over 120 oracy sequences of learning from participants in this year’s National Oracy Pioneers Programme. Each sequence details the aims, impact and steps that participants in the National Oracy Pioneers programme have taken in introducing oracy to their classroom.

Case study

Who is talking and how coherent is that talk?

Oracy at Torriano Primary School
“We talk about the children having a right to be heard, but who is talking? We can focus on vocabulary, but let’s think about talking in class. Who is talking and how coherent is that talk?”

Case study

“I have seen a growth in students overall”

Oracy at Madani Schools Federation
“The beauty of oracy for us was that it not only refined the curriculum and link to achievement and linked to the rounded and groundedness of students, but also links to the curriculum pedagogy of our staff.”

Case study

“Oracy helps me to learn because it helps me feel more confident”

Oracy at the Oaks Primary School
“The fact that students are able to reason in maths now. We were seeing very early on, that children in our baseline group, our small group of children that we assessed at the beginning of the project, suddenly we were seeing improvements in their maths reasoning skills.”

Case study

Voice Black Country

Voice Black Country is a two-year project, working with 27 primary and secondary schools and over 50 teachers across the Black Country, aims to improve students’ oral language skills through an explicit, coherent and consistent focus on oracy. Below, Lance Hanson, Head of Teaching School, Stourbridge Teaching School Alliance, shares his views on the importance of oracy and their experience of embedding it throughout their schools. 

Case study

Sutton Park Primary, Kidderminster

Our Oracy Leader’s Posts share insights from our Participants on our Oracy Leaders Programmes. Below, Angela Crawley. headteacher of Sutton Park Primary in Kidderminster shares her insights on how they’ve begun introducing oracy across their school.

Case study

The Wexham Way – From ‘nothing’ to ‘something’

Our Oracy Leader’s Posts share insights from our Participants on our Oracy Leaders Programmes. Below, Laura Fletcher, Assistant Head at Wexham Court Primary School in Berkshire shares her insights on how they’ve begun introducing oracy across their school.

Case study

Designing an oracy curriculum for PRUs

A high-quality oracy curriculum ensures that oracy is part of every student’s education, and is not left to chance or enjoyed only by a self-selecting few. For students in pupil referral units, who are likely to have (often untreated) speech and language needs, an oracy curriculum enables teachers to plan for their students progression in oracy across a range of contexts. 


Chartered College’s summary of the importance of oracy

An article in the Chartered College of Teaching’s journal ‘Impact’ demonstrates how oracy is linked to cognitive, personal and social gains for young people, as well as greater civic engagement and empowerment. Read the evidence here.


EEF on oral language interventions

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) shows that oral language interventions have a ‘positive impact’ on learning at a very low cost. Find out more about the evidence here.

Case study

Three Bridges Primary, Southall

Our Oracy Leaders’ posts share insights from how they’re leading and embedding oracy across their schools. 
Below, David O’Connell, Assistant Headteacher, Three Bridges, Southall reflects on their pedagogical shift towards oracy. 


Developing dialogic teaching: the power of coded transcripts

Sarah Seleznyov, Director, London South (formerly Southwark) Teaching School Alliance shares a write up of recent research on dialogic teaching collectively led by London South Teaching School Alliance, Rathfern Primary Chartered College Hub School and University of Cambridge academics from the CEDiR Group (Cambridge Educational Dialogue Research Group).

Case study

Cubitt Town Primary School

Our Oracy Leaders’ posts share insights from how they’re leading and embedding oracy across their schools. 
Below, Nicky Pear reflects on how they succeeded at using oracy as the driver of their curriculum. 

Case study

Parks Primary School, Leicester

Our Oracy Pioneer’s Posts share insights from our Participants on our Oracy Pioneer’s Programmes.
Below, Laura Bisiker, Oracy Lead at Parks Primary School Leicester shares her insights on how they’ve begun introducing oracy across their school.


Supporting active listening through high expectations and scaffolding

Amy Weerasekera, Oracy Lead, Primary, School 21 took part in the National Oracy Leaders Programme. For his impact project she chose to focus on listening.

“It was clear that although we had many confident speakers in our classes, they were not as proficient at listening. This had an impact on the quality of talk in lessons as students were not effectively listening or responding to their peers. In order for students to learn through talk they need to be able to listen and respond appropriately.”


Does improving the vocabulary of Year 4 students impact on their reading outcomes?

Alun Reeves, Assistant Headteacher for Learning, RSA Academies Abbey Wood First School & Church Hill Middle School, took part in the National Oracy Leaders Programme. For his impact project he explored the impact of oracy on vocabulary acquisition and reading in Year 4.

“Teaching across a pair of schools in Redditch (one a first school and the other a middle school), I work with many students who do not come from ‘talk-rich’ environments or have the early-life experiences of their more advantaged peers. As a trust of schools, we are committed to improving the oracy skills of students in our schools in the hope of closing this ‘word-gap’…”

Case study

Blackpool CoE Primary School & Westcliff Primary Academy

Our Oracy Pioneer’s Posts share insights from our Participants on our Oracy Pioneer’s Programmes.

Below, Lauren Crichard, Teacher at Blackpool Church of England Primary School, and Sophie Warren, Teacher at Westcliff Primary Academy, both schools in the First Federation Trust, share their insights on how they’ve begun introducing oracy in their own classrooms.

Partner School Programme

Partner School Focus: Easton CE School

In our Summer Term Partner School Focus, Clare Wellbourne, Assistant Head at Easton CE School, reflects on the why they prioritised oracy this year and their plans for the year to come.

How did you originally hear about Voice 21?

We had a ‘Year of Communication’ in 2016-17 during which we made a ‘Communication Commitment’ with the Communication Trust.

Case study

Oracy at Torriano Primary School

We caught up with Alice Kennedy, Oracy Lead at Torriano Primary School and part of our Oracy Leaders Programme 2017-2018. She shares her reflections on the programme and how she’s excited by being part of an innovative cohort of future leaders.

Why did you decide to apply to the programme?

Torriano has a Language Resource Base for children with Developmental Language Disorder and has developed universal provision based on the specialist approaches developed there. Our research into vocabulary development as part of the universal provision was shared at the Camden Oracy conference and the Voice 21 Speaking Summit 2017.

Case study

Uplands Infant School

Shazeeb participated in the Voice Leicester Pioneers Programme and began the Voice Leicester Oracy Leaders Programme in the summer term 2019.

What initially motivated you to pioneer oracy teaching and learning in your school?

I went to the Voice Leicester Oracy Project launch event and was immediately drawn to the purpose and values behind the project. I work in a school that is located in a high deprivation area of the city and where 95% of the children are EAL learners. Based on the 2016 Deloitte report “Essential skills for humans in the machine age” I felt it was vital we develop our children’s oracy skills so they are equipped for…

National Oracy Leaders Programme

Oracy Leader: Charlotte Gleeson

Charlotte is a History teacher at Manchester Enterprise Academy & and a participant on our Oracy Leaders Programme 2018-19. Below she shares how she’s begun embedding oracy into her classroom.

Why is oracy a focus at MEA?

I first heard about Voice 21 through school training last year delivered by our Vice Principal for Teaching and Learning.

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