Intervention details

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Talk Of The Town

No impact for Primary reading

Intervention description

Talk Of The Town is a whole school approach to supporting speech, language and communication for children with needs in these areas. The programme provides an integrated approach to support language development as a step towards improving literacy skills.

The programme grew out of a pilot in Wythenshawe, a deprived area of Manchester, funded by the Department for Education, and is now provided by the Communication Trust.

Professional development/training

It supports universal workforce development so teachers so are able to accurately identify pupils with SLCN, and provides targeted training for teaching staff through part-time speech and language therapists, to deliver evidence-based interventions for raising attainment. It also supports leadership to embed a sustainable, long-term strategy to support all children’s communication needs.

Evidence Summary

The Education Endowment Foundation recently ran a project investigating the effectiveness of Talk Of The Town, which did not show it to be effective. The evaluation found a negative effect on primary reading, the effect size was very small and may have occurred by chance, meaning it is not possible to say with confidence that the intervention had a negative impact on reading comprehension.

The study found a mean effect size of -0.03 for primary reading. The study also found a limited impact on primary speaking and listening with a mean effect size of 0.11.

No impact for Primary reading
No. of studies 1
No. of students 2,696
Average effect size -0.03

Key research

Key stages

  • Early Years
  • Key Stage 1
  • Key Stage 2
  • Key Stage 3
  • Key Stage 4
  • Post 16

Targeted groups

  • Speech, language and communication needs


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