2.6.21: Update to UK centres regarding remote and face-to-face assessment for the rest of the academic year

Celebrating 70 years of successful ESB assessments! In the Spotlight – ESB centre, Articulacy

English Speaking Board (International) celebrates its 70th Anniversary in 2023! To honour this special milestone, we have launched a significant outreach campaign that will make access to our suite of speech and language qualifications more available to organisations with limited finances which are seeking to close the disadvantage gap.

English Speaking Board (International) and Articulacy share a common aim to help young people communicate more effectively and confidently to allow them to reach their aspirations – and follow their dreams.

Launched to mark ESB’s achievements over the past 70 years and to mirror the innovation of our founder, Christabel Burniston, our 70/70 Campaign aims to find and financially support by 2023, 70 organisations where their young people or community members face disadvantage due to socio economic factors, disability or migration status and would be supported in their aspirations if they could achieve an ESB qualification. ESB will support them financially to access its assessments, support and training.

This is not the first time that we have provided financial support to grant learners access to our qualifications. The Christabel Burniston Fund has supported more than 40 centres over the last three academic years.  The 70/70 Campaign is an expansion on the support we already offer and amongst other things, aims to give young people a clear advantage as they progress through secondary schools, FE colleges, and employment.

Inspiring high quality communication in people of all ages is something ESB and Articulacy continue to recognise, with both organisations being engaged in the value of oracy as a vehicle for social mobility.

ESB began its fruitful relationship with Articulacy in 2016. Established in 2012 by Julia Ward and Ali Shorer, the company specialises in offering workshops that build confidence and raise self-esteem through spoken English. They work with businesses, on individual projects and in education from primary schools through to universities across the South West of England and inspire learners regardless of age or ability to become self-assured and articulate speakers.

Like ESB, Articulacy is a member of the Oracy Network, a group of organisations passionate and dedicated to supporting speaking and listening skills in children and young people. This group played a key role advising the work of the Oracy All-Party Parliamentary Group Inquiry ‘Speak for Change’. With the subject of Oracy fast becoming a hotly debated subject, and its impact on young people, the All-Party Parliamentary Group published its Final Report in April, endorsing ESB’s assessment methodology as a valuable part of teaching Oracy to learners and highlighted the positive impact that oracy education has on progression.

Articulacy has been using ESB qualifications to add additional value to their workshops for some years after reaching the same conclusion as the APPG Final Report. By incorporating ESB into their workshops, learners are awarded with an accredited qualification at the end of their training, giving them a sense of achievement as well as evidence of their progression.

ESB and Articulacy

Julia Ward, says: “Our mission is to inspire all young people, regardless of age or abilities, to become confident and articulate speakers. We run week-long workshops for disengaged youngsters, within each school’s curriculum, using the framework of an ESB qualification to provide focus and direction. These young people start the week with no experience of public speaking and most believe, the challenge is too great. However, by the end of the week it is astonishing to see how much they progress. It is so rewarding to see them attaining their ESB accredited qualification and to share in their sense of achievement and progression”.

Tina Renshaw, ESB’s Chief Executive explains: “Articulacy is a centre that is using ESB to further its cause, across a number of schools and university outreach programmes, but ESB would like to help many more. We are passionate about stretching the most able and supporting the least confident to realise their potential by closing the disadvantage gap. Articulacy and ESB have a shared belief that good communication skills lie at the heart of social mobility and share a similar goal of creating a future where class background is no barrier to what you can achieve.

“Under the umbrella of our 70/70 campaign, we hope to support hundreds of young people to gain speaking and listening qualifications that may not have been previously possible. ESB would love to hear from you!”

Who can apply for funding from the 70/70 campaign?

Education SectorThird Sector
Primary Schools
Secondary Schools
Further Education
Special Schools
Pupil Referral Units
Prisons   
Charities
Community Groups
Youth or Adult Societies


We use two main sets of indicators for state schools: The percentage of pupils receiving Pupil premium and the Government’s Indices of Deprivation for the area that your school serves. For third sector organisations we will look at your current income and external funding and the Government’s Indices of Deprivation for the community your organisation supports.

How can you apply for funding?

If you are interested in finding out whether your centre is eligible for funding and wish to know the options available to you, please email business@esbuk.org. Additional information on how to apply will also be provided.

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