Speakers Trust welcomes Labour’s commitment to Oracy

By : Russell Findlay | July 6, 2023

Speakers Trust are invigorated by Labour’s recent emphasis on oracy in education today. Sir Keir Starmer’s recognition of the importance of speaking skills mirrors the feedback we consistently receive from employers and teachers in the seven hundred state schools we have worked in over the last twenty years.

Sir Keir says

“The ability to speak well and express yourself should be something every child is entitled to and should master”

This alignment with our mission underscores the critical role of oracy in education.

Speakers Trust has worked with almost half a million young people, delivering speaking workshops.  In a typical year 10 class, only about half of students will say that they have the confidence to present in front of a group of peers. After our workshop, this number increases to about 9 in every ten students. Investing in oracy skills workshops is the most cost-effective way for young people to improve this essential skill.

Russell Findlay, chief executive of Speakers Trust reflects, ‘In our 17 years of commitment to young people, we’ve experienced first hand the transformative power of oracy. It’s not just about articulation; it’s about building confidence, sharpening influencing skills, and empowering each student to find and express their unique voice. These are essential skills for young people’s futures.

Seeing politicians prioritise oracy marks a significant step towards a future of more expressive, confident, and inclusive individuals. Working in some of England’s most deprived communities, we understand that developing oracy skills is not just crucial to individual growth, but also a key driver of social mobility.’

‘We’re immensely grateful to the dedicated teachers and leaders in over 600 schools who have worked alongside us. Their commitment to nurturing these skills and witnessing the growth in their students has been a testament to our shared success. With this renewed focus on oracy, we’re eager to continue empowering young individuals through the power of their voices, anticipating the ripple effects that this will create in society.’

To find out more about our work, please visit Our Programmes


What Teachers say about our workshops

This year we will help over thirty five thousand young people develop their confidence and skills in speaking.  Here is why their teachers value our work.