Voice 21 Insights and Impact 2021-22


We’re delighted to share with you our Voice 21’s Insights and Impact report which outlines our key achievements and learnings from the 2021/22 academic year.

At Voice 21, we think deeply about oracy education, regularly reviewing and refining approaches to develop students’ speaking and listening skills and dissecting how, through our support, we can most effectively equip teachers and school leaders with the capability, opportunity, and motivation to embed a high-quality oracy education across their schools. 

In 2021-22 we learned a lot, from the 605 Voice 21 Oracy Schools we worked with, as well as a number of specific projects we led to further understanding of particular aspects of oracy education. Our Insights and Impact report collates these insights and shares the difference we made to Voice 21 Oracy Schools and their students and the wider education system. 

What difference did we make?
  • 90% of teachers said their students’ oracy skills had improved
  • 75% of teachers said their students were more engaged in school
  • 77% of teachers said oracy had boosted attainment 
What did we learn?
  • Oracy leadership requires professional development and support – confident oracy leaders make a tangible difference in their school but they require specialist, domain-specific leadership skills.
  • Oracy boosts attainment in reading – an oracy-rich approach to vocabulary development can improve attainment in reading
  • Oracy increases student confidence- oracy boosts students’ academic and social-emotional confidence 
  • Oracy matters across subject domains- oracy isn’t just for English teachers- empowering students to speak like specialists enhances outcomes across the curriculum- yet, oracy expertise in secondary schools is disproportionately concentrated in the English department
  • Oracy education is crucial at transition- anxiety, and nervousness in relation to speaking increase as students move to secondary school and so oracy education which can help students overcome this is particularly important at this stage of schooling.
  • Oracy teaching enhances early language provision- explicit teaching of spoken language in the early years supports the development of communication and language skills.
  • Oracy can be assessed – Comparative Judgment- which relies on assessors making quick comparisons between videos of student talk- is a reliable way to assess oracy. 

We’ve used these insights to make 7 recommendations to realise the benefits of oracy education in every school. We invite you to read the report and use it to begin a dialogue with your colleagues about how best to equip students across your school with the oracy skills they need for success in school and life. 

We look forward to sharing more about what we’re learning and the impact we’re having this year and beyond.

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© 2022 Voice 21. Voice 21 is a registered charity in England and Wales. Charity number 1152672 | Company no. 08165798