Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, is supporting Voice Box, an annual joke-telling competition designed by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) to build schoolchildren’s communication skills. This year’s competition is being run in partnership with the National Association of Head Teachers.
Layla, who is the Lib Dems’ Shadow Education and Culture Secretary, described the competition as “a brilliant opportunity”, and urged schools to take part.
Over 10% of children start school with some form of language disorder. Undetected speech, language and communication problems can lead to reduced levels of literacy, poor educational attainment, poorer mental health and wellbeing and, in turn, difficulties finding employment, and life chances.
Mainstream and specialist primary schools across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are invited to bring laughter into their classrooms this autumn by taking part in the competition. Schools should hold their joke-telling contests between October and November and then submit their pupil’s funniest joke to the RCSLT by 29 November for a chance to go through to a grand final in London, next year.
The pupil with the ultimate winning joke will receive an iPad mini, while two runners-up will each receive gift tokens.
The RCSLT has developed a toolkit with useful resources, ideas and a nomination form for schools to download via www.rcslt.org/giving-voice
Commenting, Layla said:
“The Voice Box competition offers a brilliant opportunity for us to remind people of the importance of supporting children in building their confidence and their communication skills, and helps to spread awareness of the fact that some children need additional specialist support to further their communicative proficiency."
“Strong communication skills are fundamental to social and emotional development, and this contest is an exciting way for the children across our community to further those skills.”