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Better Communication CIC is able to support commissioners, providers and practitioners with implementing change to deliver better outcomes for children and young people.

About us

Marie Gascoigne

Marie has gained a reputation as a champion for children with speech, language and communication needs and an expert on policy in this area and its implementation. Her approach is to employ a whole system approach to supporting each individual child - by creating local systems with shared outcomes, individuals should be able to access the support they need flexibly.  Marie is a speech and language therapist who has both a clinical MSc and an MBA.  Marie has worked as a practitioner in mainstream schools as a specialist in DLD, an academic and researcher, a lead for AHPs in a London Trust and for the past 15 years as an advisor and consultant.  

The scope of Marie’s work includes advice at a national, regional and local level. Marie was an expert advisor for the Bercow Review, a member of the Expert Advisory Group for the Better Communication Action Plan and is one of the authors of the Commissioning Tools for SLCN published by the Commissioning Support Programme. Marie has supported over 40 Local Authorities and Provider organisations from both a commissioning and service delivery perspective.  Marie is the author and developer of the Balanced System®.

Victoria Riley

Victoria is a qualified speech and language therapist who has worked across the NHS, education and not-for-profit sectors. Victoria has worked with children and young people with speech, language and communication needs as well as their parents, carers and associated professionals. Victoria has been a lecturer for both undergraduate and postgraduate speech and language, and education students.

Victoria is passionate about supporting the learning and development of others within organisations and across sectors. Her MBA and postgraduate qualification in coaching and mentoring provide an evidence-based approach which builds upon her background in human communication supporting individual, team and organisational change and development.

Victoria leads the Balanced System® Schools and Settings programme.

Bibiana Wigley

Bibiana is a qualified speech and language therapist who has worked across NHS, local authority teams and independent practice.  Working in the East Midlands for 25 years, she has led teams to innovate and deliver accessible services in schools, nurseries and communities for children, families and the range of professionals that support them.  Bibiana has lectured on both undergraduate and postgraduate courses for early years educators and SENCOs.

Bibiana is passionate about the Early Years and promotes high quality professional development opportunities for the wider children’s workforce.  She has a particular interest in the use of coaching to support the transfer of learning and change and is currently working with The Sutton Trust and the University of Oxford investigating the role of speech and language therapists in this process.  Bibiana’s co-produced research on coaching has been presented at both national and international education conferences and published by The Chartered College of Teaching.

Bibiana is working with Better Communication CIC on a range of projects including needs assessment and service transformation across the whole system but with a focus on Early Years. 

Claire Welburn

Claire is a data analyst, working with both quantitative and qualitative data techniques and the latest mapping technologies to present data visually. Claire completed her BSc is in Mathematics and Management Sciences at UMIST, followed by her MA at City University.  Prior to specialising in data analysis, Claire worked in a number of senior management positions within museums and cultural venues. This experience enables her to understand the needs of managers within organisations and to translate data to deliver insightful and accessible information.

Caroline McCallum

Caroline has worked as a Speech and Language Therapist in London for almost fifteen years, her work has been with across the NHS, Local Authorities and Independent Practice. Experience has included working in mainstream and special primary and secondary schools with a clinical specialism in Autism.

Caroline is an NHS Clinical Entrepreneur currently working collaboratively with a health tech company to develop a Speech and Language platform to support schools in their access to communication support.
Caroline has worked in an NHS school service developing an extensive traded service offer across education settings. Her experience has led to a passion for raising awareness of universal, targeted and specialist support. This has involved the development of effective systems and relationships with schools to enable the best outcomes for children, young people and their families.

Caroline is currently working with Better Communication CIC on a service transformation project with a focus on school aged children and young people.


Emma Jordan

Emma Jordan is a specialist speech and language therapist.   She started her clinical practice working with both preschool and school-age children in a range of settings.   Emma has worked in Worcestershire for over fifteen years and leads the team in West Worcestershire as well as having overall responsibility for performance measurement.   Emma continues her clinical practice primarily supporting children and young people in mainstream schools.  Her specialist area is neuro-developmental difficulties.   

Emma has a history of working in close collaboration with education colleagues.  She manages Language for Learning in partnership with Sue Hayden, specialist teacher.  Emma and Sue have co-written the Language for Learning training courses and materials with Language for Learning: a practical guide for supporting pupils with language and communication difficulties across the curriculum winning the NASEN and TES Book Award for Teaching and Learning in 2005.    Language for Learning in the Secondary School was published in 2011.   

From 2009 – 2011, Emma worked for Worcestershire County Council and NHS Worcestershire, project managing a commissioning review of all SLCN services.   This culminated in winning the Shine a Light Award for Commissioning as part of Hello, the national year of communication.  This was Emma's introduction to the Balanced System® which she used to support the review.

Emma works with Better Communication CIC for specific projects and is supporting the Prove It! project and the development of the Balanced System® Community of Practice.

Gemma Arnold

Gemma has worked as a speech and language therapist in London for almost twenty years, across different sectors, ranging from NHS teams to not-for profit organisations. She has over 11 years highly specialist experience supporting and developing services for 11-19 year olds with SLCN to help them reach their full potential in ways that are meaningful and functional to them. This work has led her to develop a passion for working with young people with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) difficulties, especially those involved in the criminal justice and care system. Gemma has lead on many service development projects including set up of services into two youth offending services and services for looked after children. Gemma has also been instrumental in supporting understanding of SEMH within her team and beyond, creating a tool to support decision making which has been shared nationally. 

One of the ways Gemma aims to create meaningful, impactful change to young people and their families is through service development work. This allows her to contribute to services to young people, ensuring their needs are met at a universal, targeted, and specialist level. Gemma strongly believes in involving young people every step of the way to gain the best outcomes for all.

Gemma works with Better Communication CIC with specific focus on the 11 - 25 age range.


Kathryn Smith and Mat Connolley at web development company Iteracy have worked with Marie Gascoigne for over 10 years to translate the Balanced System Framework to an online platform. 
They have developed customised Balanced System data capture screens and analysis and reporting tools, for user groups ranging from commissioners to service users, practitioners, schools and settings. 
Iteracy is currently working with Better Communication CIC to develop a new suite of online tools within the Balanced System Framework.

Marnie Crew

Marnie is a qualified speech and language therapist who began her career in Australia and has 20 years experience working in the NHS.

Marnie has worked with children and young people with speech, language and communication needs as well as their parents, carers and associated professionals in a variety of settings including preschool, primary and secondary schools, specialist educational provisions and in Youth Justice.  She has a clinical specialism in working with children and young people with Developmental Language Disorder.  She also works as a children's team lead for an NHS Speech and Language Therapy service.

Working with adolescents across education and justice sectors has ignited Marnie’s passion for creating functional and meaningful impacts, both for individuals and across the systems that all children and young people access.

Marnie is working with Better Communication CIC in the development of the Prove It! platform.

Michele Seidler

Michele joined Better Communication CIC as Operational Co-Ordinator bringing 35 years of commercial retail experience working for two of the most high-profile names on the high street – John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners.  Through working in a variety of roles across both divisions of the John Lewis Partnership Michele brings a wealth of organisational, commercial and cultural knowledge that have been key to her successful career, transferring those skills to a new sector supporting Marie Gascoigne and her team of Associates in their roles working to improve outcomes for children and young people.

Sarah Mezey

Sarah Mezey is a specialist speech and language therapist.  After qualifying in 1999, she started her career working with adults with neurological difficulties in acute hospital, rehabilitation and home settings, first in the NHS then for a large private healthcare company.  Over the last 12 years, she has delivered services to pre-school and school-age children, in mainstream and specialist settings. Sarah currently also works as a speech and language advisor for the children’s communication charity, I CAN.

Sarah has long standing experience in working collaboratively with school leaders and staff, other professionals and families to achieve outcomes.  She is passionate about service development, drawing on knowledge of improvement methodology, coaching and coproduction principles to support change.

Sarah is currently working with Better Communication CIC in supporting a number of projects for both needs assessment and transformation.