Five things to look forward to in 2020

December 2019

Here at Voice 21, we are feeling a little hoarse as we head off for the holidays after a record year of oracy activity!

2019 started with a bang with the publication of our first book Transform Teaching and Learning Through Talk the Oracy Imperative.

The Spring brought our biggest ever Great Oracy Exhibition with over 500 delegates from around the country gathering at School 21 to experience this unique showcase of oracy practice, ideas and performance. It also saw the formation of the Oracy All Party Parliamentary Group with Emma Hardy MP as Chair.

In the summer, another fantastic group of Oracy Leaders graduated from our National Oracy Leaders programme (run in partnership with Oracy Cambridge). For the first time this year, leaders produced an impact project on the change oracy had made in their school which were published here. They were joined for the first time by our inaugural cohort of Oracy Pioneers who had completed our year long programme to develop expert classroom practitioners in oracy.

There was no rest in the summer holidays, as Voice 21 doubled our team, ready for the new school year.

The first half of the Autumn saw the new 2019/20 Oracy Leaders heading to Cambridge University for the Oracy Institute residential and 170 teachers start their oracy journey on our National Oracy Pioneers programmes in York, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and London.  We were also excited to start working with Alternative provision schools, as our Get Talking in PRUs project (supported by Nesta and the Dulverton Trust) got underway in 11 PRUs nationally.

The second half of the term began with the launch of the Oracy Benchmarks. Bringing together our understanding, learning and experience from the over 700 schools we have supported, the Benchmarks outline what a high quality oracy education looks like at a school and teacher level and how to approach delivering it for all your students.

In addition, the Voice 21 Exchange online platform for the 1462 teachers participating in our programmes to share ideas and practice and access new research, evidence and inspiration went live.

Over the course of 2019, Voice 21 has been privileged to work with groups of schools in our Voice Areas across the breadth of England and in Wales and Scotland (check out this map to find out more). We have also learned so much from our network of Partner Schools that have invited us in to work alongside them as they embed oracy in their classrooms, curriculum and culture.

Thanks to all the 646 schools and 1462 teachers who have joined Voice 21 on our mission to get talking in class this year.

2020 promises to be a special year for us, as it marks our five year anniversary! We will be announcing a programme of events and opportunities in the new year but if you are impatient, here’s five things you can look forward to in 2020:

  1. New chance to pioneer oracy in your school: Applications opening for an additional National Oracy Pioneers cohort to begin in 2020. Due to demand we have added an extra programme in don’t want to wait to September sign up here
  2. The 2020 Great Oracy Exhibition. Promising to be bigger and better than ever, the GOE 2020 will be back at School 21 and you can buy tickets now or apply to deliver a session here
  3. Voice 21 Connect. Looking for more oracy inspiration and want to see how other schools have used our approaches? Voice 21 Connect will be going live in January offering free interactive learning, case studies, resources and video content on all things oracy – look out for the launch email with details of how you can join.
  4. Speaking for Change Inquiry. After a brief hiatus for the election, the Oracy All Party Parliamentary Group will be reforming to restart the Speaking for Change Inquiry that has gathered so much interest. We will be sharing further opportunities for you to have your say early in the new year.
  5. Five year anniversary activities.  Voice 21 is hitting the road for a series of special regional events. If you want us to come to a town near you drop Alex an email at

We hope you have a fantastic festive season full of convivial conversation, delightful discussions and cheer!

All the best

Voice 21

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