Dai Durbridge, Partner, Browne Jacobson LLP
Dai is an expert education lawyer at Browne Jacobson and heads up the North West team based in their Manchester office. Dai advises schools, academies and MATs on frontline education matters, including admissions and exclusions, parental complaints, GDPR and all safeguarding issues.
Dai supports schools with employment related safeguarding issues, including the single central record, overseas checks, positive DBS disclosures and complex investigations following allegations against staff. Dai also works closely with the expert HR advisors and specialist employment lawyers at Browne Jacobson on a range of issues for schools where safeguarding and/or GDPR is a complicating factor. Dai also carries our MAT safeguarding audits to support Trusts with improving safeguarding practices at each academy and developing consistent approaches and structures that support best practice trust-wide safeguarding.
Dai is also a recognised expert in GDPR and data protection for schools, supporting schools with all aspects of data protection and has devised and delivered DPO training to over 400 school DPOs to support them in their role.
Naseem Nabi, Partner, Veale Wasbrough Vizards LLP
With over 10 years’ experience of the education sector and having spent most of her career advising education sector clients, Naseem has a real understanding and passion for the sector. She has particular expertise in acquisitions & mergers and associated TUPE issues, restructuring and redundancy. Naseem is well versed in tackling sensitive staffing and incident management issues in a pragmatic and commercial way.
David Beeney, Breaking the Silence
David has committed the rest of his working life to reducing the stigma of mental health in the workplace. He enjoyed a successful career in newspapers and magazines for over 30 years, and was MD of a regional daily newspaper and Commercial Director for Auto Trader. He always knew that he wanted to do something different at the latter end of his career, he just didn't know what that would be! He now feels he has found true purpose in life and is helping many of the leading brands in the UK to create kinder, more compassionate cultures of trust. He was recognised in 2018 as one of the top 101 influencers globally on employee engagement. He is also a qualified Mental Health Counsellor affiliated to the BACP (British Association of Counsellors and Practitioners) and a trustee for Mind.
Nickii Messer, School Business Management and Leadership Development expert, All the geese
Nickii and her company, All the geese, specialise in training, developing and promoting school business management and leadership. A well-known national and international conference speaker, Nickii’s work often focusses on supporting school leaders to ensure improved wellbeing and resilience within their workforce. Nickii is a published author and a regular contributor to Optimus Education and is keen to help school leaders at all levels develop the skills and confidence to embrace the complex challenges facing schools today.
Tom Wallace, Senior HR Consultant, Browne Jacobson
Tom specialises in educational HR, with a particular focus on academies. Managed and led on a variety of change management projects including restructures, workforce reductions and pay reviews.
Richard Hewitt, Senior Associate, VWV
Richard works exclusively with schools, other education institutions and charities both locally and nationally on a wide range of employment law matters as well as specialising in safeguarding, safer recruitment and inspection compliance. Schools regularly turn to Richard to assist them with safeguarding matters and inspection compliance - often at very short notice. Richard helps schools to prepare for inspection by carrying out audits of the single central register and personnel files, advises during the inspection and provides support and advice on remedial action following an unsuccessful inspection. This allows Richard to work closely with senior management, HR teams, governors and trustees.