HR and Employment Law in Education - Speakers

Wednesday 16 Jun 2021 - Wednesday 23 Jun 2021
Digital delivery

Caitlin Anniss, HR Consultant, Narrow Quay HR

Caitlin is a CIPD qualified HR Professional and former employment lawyer. She has experience of working with clients from a range of different backgrounds, including extensive experience in the education sector. She has also been a school governor for an academy. Caitlin can provide support with day-to-day employee relations issues, onsite support with disciplinary or grievance hearings, and support with HR projects such as consultancy exercises and workplace investigations. Caitlin has experience of working closely with Governors, Trustees and Senior Management Teams within schools and helps them to manage both day-to-day issues and more complex strategic projects.

Helen Badger, Partner, Browne Jacobson LLP

Helen specialises in employment within health, social care and education. She advises on a wide range of HR and employment matters, including disciplinary and grievance issues in the workplace, TUPE, equal pay, workforce change, discrimination and variation of terms and conditions of employment. Helen has particular experience in advising on very complex employee relations issues. Helen has gained a wealth of experience in advising clients in the health sector on handling whistleblowing and ‘Fit & Proper Person’ concerns and investigations and is keen to share that experience with clients in the education sector.

Jean Boyle, Partner, Employment Team, Stone King LLP

Jean is an accomplished employment lawyer who specialises in acting for those in the not-for-profit and education sectors, and is fully versed in the employment law issues facing these organisations. Jean is Deputy Head of Education and provides practical, sector specific advice, working with clients to support their strategic plans and provide client-focused support.

Angie Browne, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant, Coach, Author and Researcher

Angie Browne is an education leader and founder of Nourished Collective - an online space for women that provides leadership coaching, personal development programmes, community and all-around support for women. Angela is passionate about bringing nourishment to the education system and returning educators to a more balanced state of wellbeing and autonomy. Her recent book Lighting the Way: The Case for Ethical Leadership in Schools brings this passion to life. Angie spent 18 years working in a diverse range of schools, first as a Head of English in the inner-city and, more recently, as Interim Deputy CEO of a semi-rural multi-academy trust. She has been a Headteacher in mainstream education, alternative provision and in an all-through school. Angie and Hannah co-facilitate a diversity, equity and inclusion leadership programme for Diverse Educators. Connect with Angie on Twitter @nourishedschool

Lesley Charlesworth-Hart, CPO, Astrea Academy Trust

Lesley has over 20 years’ experience working in a unique and varied blend of industries across both the private and public sector (including sales; FMCG; biotech; logistics; managed services; policing and education) as well as successfully establishing her own HR consultancy business. Lesley is currently CPO at Astrea Academy Trust.

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.

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.

Emma Hughes, Head of HR Services, Browne Jacobson

Emma is the Head of HR Services and manages the team responsible for providing HR consultancy services to a range of clients across multiple sectors.


Sarah Martin, HR Consultant, Narrow Quay HR

Sarah specialises in HR support and leads Narrow Quay HR Consultancy alongside Caitlin Anniss. She has experience working with a range of clients across different sectors. Examples of the HR support Sarah provides include day to day support with employee relations issues, on-site support at disciplinary or grievance hearings, conducting investigations and providing on-site support with projects work such as restructuring or changes to terms and conditions. Sarah’s background as an experienced employment lawyer ensures that she gets to grips with issues quickly and provides a well-reasoned and pragmatic solution.

Naseem Nabi, Partner, VWV

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. 

Hannah Slarks, Employment Barrister, 11KBW

Hannah Slarks is a leading employment barrister, practising at 11KBW. She has experience across employment, education and public law, and regularly takes cases that cut across these areas.  Hannah acts for schools, local authorities, universities and students.  She also conducts sensitive investigations on behalf of educational institutions into complaints brought by staff and/or against staff. Chambers and Partners describes her as “sharp, accessible with a ‘we’re in this together’ attitude.”

Polly O'Malley, Partner, Employment Team, Stone King LLP

Polly specialises in employment law and has niche expertise in advising the education sector on a wide variety of complex strategic, contentious and regulatory matters. She has a particular interest in equality issues, as well as a wealth of knowledge around staff issues in education including interpretation of national terms and conditions, industrial action, trade union liaison, TUPE, outsourcing, restructure, and safeguarding matters.

Tom Wallace, Senior HR Consultant, Browne Jacobson LLP

Tom specialises in educational HR, with a particular focus on academies. Tom has managed and led on a variety of change management projects including restructures, workforce reductions and pay reviews.


Simon Witham, Trust Lead, Accounting Officer, Venn Academy Trust

Simon is a founding partner of the Venn Academy Trust which formed in 2015.  In that time it has grown from four to eleven academies. His areas of expertise are school improvement, working with areas of high disadvantage and he specialises in the practices of low level disruptive behaviour in classrooms.  To date, Simon has worked in five local authorities and seventy plus schools supporting low level behaviour disruption.  As a National Leader of Education Simon supports a wide range of schools, particularly those that are in very disadvantaged areas.

Hannah Wilson, Leadership Development Consultant, Coach and Trainer

Hannah is an educational leader who specialises in leadership development and training. She is the Co-Founder of #WomenEd and the founder of #DiverseEd. She is a DfE coach for the Women Leading in Education initiative and an advocate for flexible working. Hannah is passionate about diversity, inclusion and equality; professional learning; mentoring and coaching. Her former roles in her 18-year career have included: Head of Secondary Teacher Training; Founding Executive Headteacher of Aureus School & Aureus Primary School; Strategic Lead for the GLF Teaching School Alliance; Sub-Regional Strategic Lead for the SE Women Leading in Education; Professional Learning Lead for the Harris Federation and DfE Diversity grant holder. Angie and Hannah co-facilitate a diversity, equity and inclusion leadership programme for Diverse Educators. Connect with Hannah on Twitter @Ethical_Leader or on her website.