Welcome to our new Voice 21 Oracy Schools

We are delighted to welcome 152 new Voice 21 Oracy Schools to our network of education providers from across the UK who are dedicated to providing a high-quality oracy education for their students.

Now, more than ever, opportunities for students to express themselves, articulate their thoughts and feelings, and feel heard are key to students’ success in school and in life. 

The vital importance of oracy has been thrown into sharp relief by the pandemic. Polling as part of the All-Party Group on Oracy’s ‘Speak for Change’ report found that 66% of primary and 44% of secondary teachers said school closures during the pandemic had a negative effect on the spoken language development of pupils eligible for free school meals. 

We also know “Young people with poor communication skills are one and a half times more likely to have mental health difficulties, even after taking account of a range of other factors that might have played a part.” (Communications Trust, Talking about a Generation, 2017).

The ability to communicate through spoken language is one of the strongest predictors of future life chances when children are at school. The EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit shows oral language interventions are now ranked joint-second when addressing their impact on student outcomes. Left unaddressed, this gap will grow. 

We believe that teaching oracy can change this, not only benefiting students’ spoken language skills but also their confidence, capacity to learn and success beyond school. 

Our community of Voice 21 Oracy Schools all recognise the impact a high-quality oracy education can have on students, regardless of their background. Each school has signalled its commitment to transforming its school’s teaching, learning and ethos, and to joining our national network of Voice 21 Oracy Schools.

We know that creating and sustaining a whole-school approach to oracy education takes time and expertise. Our approach is long-term, impact-led and layered, reflecting the complexity and difference in each of our schools.

We are very excited to be working with all of our new Voice 21 Oracy Schools throughout 2022 and beyond. From developing leadership for oracy in your school through our consultancy to fostering expert classroom practice through our professional development courses, we are passionate about supporting each of our schools to embed a high-quality oracy education in their context.

From the whole team at Voice 21, welcome!

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