Skip to main content

Makaton - Beginners workshop for parents


What is Makaton?

Makaton is a language programme based on a selected list of everyday words which uses gestures and actions alongside speech and symbols or pictures.

Makaton is used with children, young people and adults around the world to support the development of communication and language skills.

Many of us know Makaton from Mr Tumble.

Why use Makaton?

We all hope that our children will be able to talk to us, but for some children with communication needs this can be more difficult Makaton can help.

For many children, Makaton can help support the development of their ability to understand and express themselves.

Using Makaton to communicate with your child can reduce frustration and help you to understand your child's needs.

What will happen on the course?

On this course, you will learn over 200 signs and symbols and ways in which you can use these at home to help your child. You will also get the chance to meet and share ideas and experiences with other parents.

The Beginner course provides a practical introduction, with tips and discussions to help parents start using Makaton in everyday situations at home.

How long is the course?

The course consists of 4 sessions of 3 hours each. You need to be able to attend all four online sessions. You will receive manuals and a certificate from Makaton Charity, for this accredited Parent Workshop.

Who is the course for?

The course is for parents and carers of children or young people who will benefit from using Makaton to develop their communication. Your child may have additional needs or a communication difficulty and be known to services at the Hackney Ark or Portage.

Where can you learn Makaton? 

Beginners Workshops are run in the Autumn term and the Spring term.

Dates Fridays 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th May 2022

Time 9.30am-12.30pm

Venue Linden Children’s Centre, 86-92 Rectory Road, N16 7SH

Parent-carers Makaton training courses are run 3 times a year, for parents who have a child known to the Speech and Language Therapy service who would benefit.

Each Beginners course will cover the updated Makaton Level 1 and Level 2 training.

The courses are accredited by the Makaton Charity and parents who complete the course will receive course books and a certificate.

What do I need to do next?

You will need to contact the Speech and Language Therapy Admin team to tell
them you would like to come on this course. You may need to leave a message, but leave your name and number and someone will return your call. 

Please call them on 020 7683 4262


email to book your place.

Please book your place as soon as possible, as places are limited.

If you have any further questions, or have additional requirements please call us on

020 7683 4262 or discuss them with your link Speech and Language Therapist.


Unfortunately the course is not suitable for parents who need an advocate to access it. These parents are encouraged to get in touch with the Speech and Language Therapy service to discuss and arrange support introducing more Makaton to their family.

Record Last Updated on: 21/01/2022

Time / Date Details

Time of day

  • Morning

Other Details



Who is eligible?

The Makaton parent workshops are for: 

  • Parents-carers of children already known to the Speech and Language Therapy Service or who have identified needs showing they would benefit from using Makaton e.g. Downs Syndrome.
  • Family wishing to attend should be familiar with the idea of Makaton and have been introduced to at least a few signs already at home.
  • Children who have communication needs that are not temporary and who will need Speech and Language Therapy intervention over time or who have longer term needs.

Referral required?


Referral Details

Please book your place as soon as possible, as places are limited.

Please call: 020 7683 4262

or e-mail: 

If you have any further questions, or have additional requirements please call us on 020 7683 4262 or discuss with your link Speech and Language Therapist.

Note: Other family members or people spending significant amounts of time with a child who has communication needs may also be able to attend this course e.g. Grandparents or Childminders. Contact the Speech and Language Therapy Admin team to tell them you would like to come on this course. 

What to do if you have a complaint

Complaints can be made to a clinician or manager in the service or alternatively through the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).

The service can be contacted on 020 8510 7315 or

Your Feedback | The Likes & Dislikes from real parents

Sign in to add feedback

Disclaimer-important information about the Hackney Local Offer

Hackney's Local Offer website is a free and impartial service provided by the London Borough of Hackney in partnership with the NHS, local education, health and community services. The information contained within the website is available for the purposes of identifying services and provision that may be available to children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

This information does not represent a recommendation or an endorsement of a Service or Provider and neither does the London Borough of Hackney or its partners make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy of the information. Anyone seeking to use or access a service or provision is responsible for undertaking their own checks to determine the suitability and fitness for purpose of that service and provision. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including, without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damages whatsoever arising from use or loss of use of data or profits arising out of or in connection with the use of the Hackney Local Offer.

Some providers will be registered and inspected by external agencies, such as Ofsted or the Care Quality Commission. Anyone working with children and young people will be required to have appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service Check (the replacement for the Criminal Record Check), safeguarding policies and insurance in place, which they should make available to you on request.

Help & Advice

Back to top