Join | Donate | Volunteer:


Become part of a 5,000+ community which believes that speaking and listening skills are central to personal fulfilment and cultural understanding

Become a member


One-off or regular donations are vital to our work, helping us ensure that young people everywhere have the oracy skills they need to thrive

Support our work


We’re hugely grateful to those who volunteer their time in helping to organise and run ESU programmes and competitions. Find out how you could help


‘We rely on the generous support of our members, donors and volunteers to ensure we can reach those children who need our help most’

Home > News and views > Labour’s oracy pledge

Labour’s oracy pledge

Welcome recognition of an essential life skill

Today, Labour leader, Keir Starmer announced that oracy was going to be central to Labour’s education policy in the coming years. As an education charity, the ESU welcomes the recognition of oracy as a crucial part of children’s education and an essential skill to thrive in adulthood.

Jane Easton, Director-General of the ESU says:

“I can vouch for the transformational power of teaching speaking and listening skills to enhance articulacy and confidence. These skills should not be the preserve of the few. We owe all young people the opportunity to be taught oracy to support their literacy and numeracy and to equip them for every aspect of their lives.”


Annabel Thomas MacGregor, Director of Education at the ESU, says:

“All the evidence shows how oracy skills are fundamental to academic and personal success. There is no doubt that oracy should be incorporated into the curriculum in the same way that maths or literacy are. Oracy is essentially the ability to communicate well, to articulate your thoughts, to be able to speak clearly to a range of audiences and in a range of contexts with confidence. It’s also about being able to agree to disagree, respecting other people’s opinions and using verbal skills to make your mark on the world.”

Oracy in Action

The ESU is passionate about social mobility and ensuring that all children have the chance to thrive and to reach their full potential through effective speaking and listening skills. From our work with young people across the country, we know first-hand how the development of children’s speaking and listening skills (known as oracy) and cross-cultural understanding are foundation skills for life.

Our programmes are designed to integrate into the curriculum and give schools the platform and tools they need to deliver effective oracy teaching for pupils of all ages. Following a successful pilot and building on our successful ‘Discover Your voice’ workshops for schools we recently launched ‘Oracy in Action’, a comprehensive programme of lesson plans and resources for primary schools.

Read the press release

Share Page