21st September 2017

Meet the team

Better Bilingual is made up of a team of dedicated, proactive and client-focused consultants, with extensive experience of working across Bristol, BANES, South Glos and North Somerset.

In addition to our senior consultancy staff (see below), we work in collaboration with a range of other professionals and organisations – allowing us to draw upon their expertise when necessary.

Our Digital Marketing Manager, Evie Dickinson, is a key player in our team and we are delighted to welcome Lucille Charles and Paul Fordham as our first Non-Executive Directors.

Scroll down to read more about each of us…

 

Catherine Brennan : Director

Catherine Brennan

Director

Catherine is Director of Better Bilingual, an independent education consultancy based in Bristol, UK, which she co-founded in October 2016; September 2020 saw the creation of Better Bilingual CIC as a social enterprise. Catherine also works as an Associate for the EAL Academy and is an active member of NALDIC.

A passionate advocate for multilingualism and race equality, Catherine has collaborated with a variety of educational settings and professionals to secure the best possible outcomes for children and young people of BAME heritage - and those with English as an Additional Language (EAL) in particular. She has over 20 years’ experience of working with learners across the age range, 3-18.

Outside work, Catherine enjoys running, cooking, live music and studying the Arabic language.

LinkedIn Profile

catherine@betterbilingual.co.uk
Stephen Bray : Senior Associate

Stephen Bray

Senior Associate

Stephen is Senior Associate for Better Bilingual. He is also a member of NALDIC, an Associate for the EAL Academy and manages EAL provision in a federation of primary schools in Cheltenham.

Passionate about education, Stephen has enjoyed a career in the UK and overseas as a teacher, manager, EAL adviser, teacher trainer and school improvement consultant and has successfully supported early years settings, primary and secondary schools to raise their standards, develop inclusion and equality practice and in particular to raise the attainment of vulnerable learners including those from ethnic minority backgrounds and those for whom English is an Additional Language.

In his free time, Stephen enjoys the company of family and friends and dog-walking in the countryside and at the coast. He enjoys photography, visits to the cinema and has an eclectic taste in music.

Pre-parenthood, Stephen travelled through India, South East Asia, China and Australia in the late 80s and has recently started to write up his travel memoirs!

 

LinkedIn Profile

stephen@betterbilingual.co.uk
Hayley Hayes : Associate

Hayley Hayes

Associate

Hayley has excelled at all levels of primary education as an NPQH trained head teacher - spanning schools in London, Bristol & overseas. Hayley’s big picture view and breadth of experience partners her determination that all children deserve an inspiring education, whatever their ability, language or ethnic origin.

In addition to this, Hayley has a long association with mentoring and coaching in education. She is an associate lecturer in Initial Teacher Training at UWE, specialising in mentoring trainee teachers on school placement. For North Somerset, Hayley has supported excluded pupils across the 5-16 age range and she is also an experienced tutor.

Hayley is currently a class teacher at Southville Primary School in Bristol where she integrates EAL pupils into the school community so they are able to confidently access the curriculum and enjoy learning.

Beyond education, Hayley loves to walk/cycle in nature with her dog and family, immerse herself in cold water swimming, garden and explore the arts.

Anna Comfort : Associate

Anna Comfort

Associate

Anna is particularly passionate about working with young EAL learners and has over fifteen years’ teaching experience in culturally diverse schools across Bristol. She is currently the EAL and EYFS lead at Willow Park Primary school which is situated in the heart of Bristol and prior to that taught ESOL to refugees and asylum seekers.

Anna has always loved travel and has been interested in learning languages. She completed her teacher training placement in France and, several years later, spent time in India training primary school teachers in the use of phonics and in the development of English language learning in their schools. She has developed her own EAL music and drama project for schools and has been working in collaboration with the University of the West of England on how to develop this project as CPD for teachers and trainees.

She also enjoys walking, yoga, music and dancing.

Evie Dickinson : Digital Marketing Manager

Evie Dickinson

Digital Marketing Manager

Evie works primarily in the charity sector - she is the current UK Manager of Community Highlight CBO  and works for various other Bristol based organisations in both paid and voluntary roles.

As Digital Marketing Manager Evie is responsible for website building and maintenance, uploading online content and some communications, including the Better Bilingual monthly newsletter.

In her free time Evie likes listening to Leonard Cohen and stroking cats in the street.

LinkedIn Profile

evie@betterbilingual.co.uk
Lucille Charles : Non-Executive Director

Lucille Charles

Non-Executive Director

Lucille is a retired headteacher with over 40 years’ experience of primary education. This experience covers a variety of socio-economic communities and cultural backgrounds, in the cities of Bradford, Leicester and Bristol. She is now actively involved in supporting several charitable organisations.

Lucille believes passionately in the power of education to improve the life chances of disadvantaged children. During her time as a headteacher she has seen the positive impact on pupils and staff who have had access to additional language support and Diversity and Inclusion Training.

Paul Fordham : Non-Executive Director

Paul Fordham

Non-Executive Director

With 25 years’ experience of work in performing arts production, development, fundraising and management, Paul has a passion for diversity and democracy in the arts. He has worked with diverse communities across Britain, particularly Caribbean, Somali and South Asian, on music and dance. He has managed and programmed a range of festivals, agencies and venues including The Bristol Beacon, Sandwell Arts Festival, Chipping Norton Theatre and Punch, largely through his own arts company, Way Art West.

Paul believes that education is key to embedding diversity in the arts and this is one of the drivers behind his involvement with Better Bilingual.