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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.

Support for commissioners

Commissioning Guide for the Communication Trust funded by DfE

Commissioning Guide from Better Communication CIC supported by The Communication Trust on behalf of DfE

Gascoigne M.T. (2015) Commissioning for Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN): Using the evidence from the Better Communication Research Programme (PDF)

This commissioning guide for SLCN draws on the evidence from the Better Communication Research Programme together with the extensive experience of the author Marie Gascoigne in her work developing the Balanced System®.  

View the synthesis of the evidence or download the report as an interactive pdf with links to all the relevant source material.  

Summary A4 download here


Balanced System Commissioning and Improvement Cycle

Better Communication CIC can support any part of the commissioning process.  Better Communication CIC is able to use tools developed as part of the Balanced System® by Marie Gascoigne to facilitate needs assessment, whole service mapping and service specification development.


Needs assessment

A range of templates have been developed to facilitate focused data collection relevant to identifying the SLCN need within a given population.  A need calculator which links demographic data to predicted SLCN need across the range of universal, targeted and specialist levels is in pilot form and is available as part of a consultancy package.


Whole systems mapping

Templates which allow a 'map' to be created to show the total contribution to SLCN support from all services within a specified area have been developed.  These allow us to understand the strengths and gaps of current provision as well as identify areas of overlap or duplication.


Service specification development

The Balanced System® framework includes the key elements of an overarching specification for the speech and language therapy contribution to the overall support of SLCN within a given area.

The author, Marie Gascoigne, has developed an outcome based specification for meeting the needs of children and young people with SLCN from 0-25.  The Balanced System® Integrated Solution establishes core outcomes across the five stands of the Balanced System and includes outcome measures and sample KPIs for monitoring.  The Balanced System® Integrated Solution is also used by providers to support service redesign and improvement.  


Independent 'Lead Professional' advisory role

Increasingly, Marie and associates are being asked to maintain an ongoing role with commissioners to provide profession-specific advice that is independent of the provider who has been commissioned to deliver services locally.



Better Communication CIC and The Communication Trust, funded by DfE, have produced Commissioning for Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN): Using the evidence from the Better Communication Research Programme (BCRP). 

This digest provides all those with responsibility for commissioning support for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) a synthesis of the key findings of the Better Communication Research Programme (BCRP).  The aim is to provide easy access to key evidence within the BCRP thematic and technical reports that will support all aspects of the commissioning process.

Download interactive pdf

Presentations for download