Dai Durbridge, Partner, Browne Jacobson LLP
Dai is a Partner in the Education team at Browne Jacobson. Dai specialises in advising schools and academies on all pastoral education issues, including admissions, exclusions, parental complaints, use of force and searching pupils. A recognised safeguarding expert, he regularly supports schools on complex safeguarding issues including handling disclosures of abuse, managing allegations against staff and parental consent.
Louise Browning, Headteacher, Norbury School
Louise has been a successful, dynamic Headteacher in Harrow for six years. She has been, and still is, at the forefront for pastoral care, working hard to ensure that all pupils have a voice, that is listened to, which has impacted on their learning and emotional development. Norbury is a Knowledge Centre for Safeguarding due to the outstanding work the school does. Currently Norbury delivers specific FGM lessons across KS2 and promotes and engages with the NSPCC PANTS programme from Nursery to Year 6, using this as a springboard into the KS2 lessons.
Yvonne Spencer, Partner, Veale Wasbrough Vizards
Having worked for many years advising schools on child protection, inspection and regulation, SEN and equality, serious disciplinary incidents, complex complaints, reputation management and the media, Yvonne is well placed to assist schools when complex and often unforeseen incidents occur. Yvonne also leads on Veale Wasbrough Vizards work with academies and maintained schools and has overseen over 200 academy conversion projects.
James Down, Independent Online Safeguarding Consultant, South West Grid for Learning
James is an independent online safety consultant, representing the South West Grid for Learning (part of the UK Safer Internet Centre) at this year’s Child Protection in Education Conference. James has a wide range of operational experience, having previously assisted with the rehabilitation of offenders convicted of online sexual offences against children, as well as spending several years within the police service working extensively with schools.
Ann Marie Christian, Safeguarding Consultant, Author and Speaker
Ann Marie is an independent safeguarding consultant. A qualified social worker of 20 years she’s passionate about keeping children safe. She’s an author and writes regular articles for various educational journals. Her management and frontline practitioner experience provides a great insight into real practice. Ann Marie has various roles working with the local authorities including a LADO, LSCB trainer, social work manager, LSCB panel member, Safeguarding advisor and school improvement advisor. She currently works with local authorities, Inspectorate bodies, academy trusts, child protection charities, schools, faith groups, FE colleges and early years in strengthening safeguarding with training and consultancy.
Richard Hewitt, Senior Associate, Veale Wasbrough Vizards
Richard has worked exclusively with schools and education charities both locally and nationally for several years now and advises on a wide range of employment law issues. Richard assists organisations with safeguarding matters and inspection compliance and is acutely aware of the fundamental significance of dealing with such issues quickly, fairly and accurately.
Debbie Southall, Assistant Headteacher, Holly Lodge Science College
Debbie has worked in inner city schools for 25 years. Her particular focus has always been inclusion and welfare but over the past 10 years Debbie have developed her expertise in the area of Safeguarding. Recently, Debbie has been supporting several local schools with their safeguarding procedures and offers CPD across the Local Authority.
Mark Donkersley, Managing Director, eSafe Global
eSafe currently monitors around 700,000 students and staff in the UK - to provide schools and college leaders with the early warning of safeguarding risk.
The unique insight into the behaviour and ‘health’ of young people means that Mark is a regular speaker on the subject of safeguarding:
- He has provided evidence to HM Government Select Committees in the Commons and Lords on the identification of mental health in young people and the benefits of the digital environment as a source of safeguarding markers.
- He has delivered briefing sessions on monitoring behaviour in schools to Federal and State politicians, senior Police and the e-safety Commissioners Office in Australia.
Judith Staff, Teacher, Trainer, Safeguarding & Protective Behaviours
Judith Staff is a teacher, designated safeguarding lead and a trainer based in Northants. She works with partner agencies on a range of projects, and is currently working with Northamptonshire Rape Crisis on development of sexual violence prevention sessions for schools.
Dr Fiona Pienaar, Director of Clinical Services, Place2Be
Fiona has a background of over 30 years in teaching in primary and intermediate schools, special needs education, counselling in schools, counsellor education, educational and mental health resource development, private practice and mental health research – in the UK, New Zealand and her native South Africa. She has a PhD in Behavioural Science and a MEd in Counselling as well as teaching and special needs qualifications, and has taught postgraduate Counselling programmes at Cambridge University, the University of Auckland and the CONTED programme at Oxford University. Fiona's research has focused primarily on children's experiences of stress and coping, with a particular interest in self-harming behaviour and resilience in children and young people. Fiona joined Place2Be in 2013.