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Dai Durbridge, Partner, Browne Jacobson LLP (Chair)
Dai is an expert education lawyer at Browne Jacobson and heads up the North West team. He 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 out 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.
Sue Bailey, Safeguarding Lead, Arthur Terry Learning Partnership
Sue Bailey has dedicated more than 40 years of service to education and is a respected and well-known figure in the community, supporting families and children from birth to 19. She has been awarded an MBE for her services. In addition to her role as assistant head teacher at Arthur Terry School and strategic lead of the Four Oaks Children’s Centres, Sue is the safeguarding lead across all ATLP schools. She works closely with schools, community groups, education authorities and other organisations, using her expertise across a range of areas including safeguarding, child protection, internet safety and the Prevent agenda, to ensure the care and protection of all young people in our schools.
Monica Bhogal, Director, The Schools Consent Project
Monica practised as a solicitor for 15 years, specialising in defamation and privacy claims. She is the Director of the Schools Consent Project, a charity which sends lawyers into schools to teach 11-18 year olds the legal definition of consent and key sexual offences, such as rape, sexual assault, and ‘sexting’, through interactive workshops. She is passionate about educating and empowering young people, by ensuring they have accurate and comprehensive knowledge to enable them to enjoy respectful, fulfilling relationships. By making the next generation confident of their legal rights, able to communicate their boundaries, and respectful of those boundaries in others, she believes we can support the wider cultural change that we are all looking to achieve, not just in our schools but in society as a whole.
Sonya Elliott, DSL and Director of Student Welfare and Safeguarding, Stoke Park School
Sonya believes in removing barriers to ensure safeguarding and promoting wellbeing is paramount and that all students have access to education. She dedicates time to staff training and ensures student voice is captured and actions are implemented to allow all students feel safe in school. Sonya has developed several strategies to promote wellbeing and seen the recent opening of the Family Support Centre, to allow parents to access support where the threshold isn't always met for external agency intervention.
Marcella Gillespie, Director of safeguarding, St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Multi-Academy Trust
Marcella works with 23 schools across the Trust; four secondary and 19 primary, in Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland. Before taking on this role, she had a number of senior leadership roles in a secondary school, including assistant head, deputy head and headteacher. Marcella has 15 years’ experience of leading on safeguarding, eleven of which as the school’s DSL. Her safeguarding director role encompasses advice and guidance for DSLs, developing and delivering a range of CPD, auditing safeguarding procedures and practices, and supervision for DSLs and frontline staff. She is passionate about developing exemplary practice in safeguarding through an engaging ongoing programme, which ensures the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.
Kay Hamilton, Partnerships Lead, Thrive
Dedicating her career to supporting vulnerable children and young people, Kay has been a Headteacher, Governor, SENCO and Designated Lead for Safeguarding and LAC in a variety of settings. Her commitment to improving the life chances of her pupils earned her a place on the National Register for Outstanding Leaders in Education and a passion of neuroscience, psychotherapy and child development led her to a role as a consultant SEMH and Thrive Trainer. Now in her role as Partnerships Lead at Thrive Approach, Kay continues to improve outcomes for young people, so that they become happy, confident and emotionally-resilient adults.
Helen King, Head of Safeguarding, Judicium
Helen has over 10 years’ experience in education leadership roles, most recently as a deputy headteacher and DSL. Helen has led the safeguarding and pastoral provision of a secondary school implementing policy, procedures, and best practice to ensure that staff, students, and parents have the required knowledge and skills. In her current role she leads a team that supports schools to evaluate and develop their own safeguarding practice through a support service which is underpinned by multi-agency experience and expert knowledge.
Jon Needham, National Director of Safeguarding and Wellbeing, Oasis Community Learning
Jon trained as a nurse, specialising in adolescent health before working as a service commissioner for mental health, sexual health and paediatric care. He worked as a specialist advisor on two World Health Organisation projects before becoming the lead for early help and multi-agency working in a large local authority. He became an education safeguarding advisor 13 years ago and for the last six years has worked for Oasis. In his spare time, he is a voluntary youth worker, and is studying for his PhD.
Luke Ramsden, Senior Deputy Headmaster and Senior Safeguarding Lead, St Benedict's Ealing
Luke is Senior Deputy Headmaster at St Benedict’s School in Ealing. Having studied History at University College, Oxford as an undergraduate and then postgraduate, he started his teaching career at Tonbridge School where he was Head of History and Assistant Housemaster. He went on from there to be a Housemaster at Ampleforth College, before moving to Ealing where he lives with his wife and their three daughters. Luke is the senior safeguarding lead at St Benedict’s and has wide experience of pastoral leadership in both day and boarding schools.
Ella Savell-Boss, Safeguarding Consultant and Trainer
Ella is an NSPCC accredited safeguarding and child protection trainer, providing training and consultancy for over 15 years to schools and organisations. She works locally, nationally and internationally, including Singapore, Luxembourg and The Netherlands. Ella prides herself on her approach to bespoke training content, working across the vast spectrum of safeguarding topics. As the former Director of Safeguarding for the Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust, Ella has managed safeguarding cases and teams in one of the most deprived areas in the UK. Her specialist safeguarding subjects include: being a Home Office approved anti-radicalisation and extremism trainer; forced marriage; child sexual exploitation; designated safeguarding lead trainer; and emotional health and wellbeing. Ella can also help organisations look at the support they provide to their staff for emotional health and wellbeing and work on team building, how to manage difficult conversations, and responding to disclosures. As a trained person-centred and Gestalt therapist, Ella is also able to provide supervision sessions for those holding a responsibility in safeguarding and needing advice and guidance as well as emotional support for themselves.
Jason Tait, DSL and Co-Founder, The Student Voice
Jason is the director of pastoral care and designated safeguarding lead at TASIS -The American International School in England. He is also co-founder of The Student Voice, a child-centred, preventative tool for addressing student concerns and promoting safe student communities in a simple and measurable way. Jason is passionate about creating brave spaces that empower young voices and inspire society to develop safer communities.