AO of the year

ESB fully endorses the findings in Speech and Language UK’s new report: 1.7 million young futures

Speech and Language UK’s new report highlights that 1.7 million children are struggling with talking and understanding words in the UK, which is adversely affecting their future personal development and wellbeing.

ESB wholeheartedly supports the report’s recommendations and the charity’s call on the Government to take urgent action so that these children can have their needs identified and met.

“Supporting children with speech and language challenges should be as much of a priority as literacy and numeracy.” (1.7 million Young Futures Report)

Research from Speech and Language UK’s report highlights that if children don’t get help with speech and language, they risk...

  • Worse literacy and numeracy
  • More mental health problems
  • More offending
  • Less secure employment
  • Low GCSE grades
  • Being excluded from school
ESB’s CEO Tina Renshaw, says: “What has always been evident to us at ESB, is the centrality of oracy in achievement – commensurate with literacy and numeracy. They are the building blocks of effective learning, participation, economic achievement and development.”

For nearly 70 years, ESB has been empowering learners to succeed – especially those who face disadvantage – through its accessible portfolio of speech and language qualifications.

ESB is passionate about closing the disadvantage gap and the key points of this new report mirrors ESB’s own findings through its commitment to empowering all learners whatever their background.

Through its Christabel Burniston Fund, ESB is instrumental in opening up a host of opportunities for disadvantaged learners. Financial provision from the Fund, established in honour of ESB’s founder, Christabel Burniston MBE, is allowing learners who face disadvantage due to socio-economic factors, special educational needs and disabilities, and/or migration status, to access its qualifications and, in turn, develop the key speaking and listening skills they need to achieve their aspirations.

Says Tina: “Giving learners the tools to thrive in education, training and employment has always been at the forefront of ESB’s work and we recognise that by giving free training for staff and offering a reduction in assessment fees to those in need, opens more doors for all.  In order to evidence the benefits of this funding, ESB is currently undertaking a project to provide individual impact report to funded centres to allow them, and us, to fully understand the benefits to their learners. Each report highlights the extent to which a focus on oracy using external assessment has a quantifiable impact on learners’ knowledge, skills and personal and social development.”

The reports use data provided by schools and learners such as:

  • Learner Pre and Post Assessment Data
  • Teacher Baseline Assessment Data
  • Qualitative Data collected from questionnaires.
Adds Tina: “The individual reports are incredibly useful and we are in the process of producing an Annual National Report on ESB’s impact on closing the disadvantage gap, using the data and information gathered”.

You can read Speech and Language UK’s new report: 1.7 million young futures here.

If you believe your learners or young people would benefit from ESB’s speech and English language qualifications, we would love to hear from you. Please get in touch to find out whether your centre is eligible for financial support through our Christabel Burniston Fund by emailing