Independent Schools’ Conference: Schools Managing Risk

Date: 25 January 2019

Venue: Wilsons Solicitors, Alexandra House, St Johns Street, Salisbury SP1 2SB

Time: 09:00 - 14:00

"Well worth visiting. Wish I'd brought my Bursar and Chair of Governors." 
"A very well balanced set of presentations. Thank you."
"A very informative morning."

Our annual conference for Independent Schools 2019 will focus on risk management.

We are delighted to present updates from colleagues across the firm and from external guest speakers on current challenges in the sector, including:

  • Safeguarding
  • Managing Risk through Empowerment
  • Managing Safer Recruitment
  • Reputation Management
  • Promoting good legal and financial governance
  • Handling Family Disputes
  • Inspection and Operational Risks

All of the following are welcome to attend: Governors, Bursars, Heads and Designated Safeguarding Leads.

The law and guidance has not stood still over the last 12 months and it is vital that you have the legal updates, training and support that you need to deliver your role effectively.

Join us for our half day conference to discuss the risk management issues that schools juggle on a daily basis.



Chairman's Introduction

Stephen Oxley, Partner at Wilsons

Safeguarding Spotlight

Vicky Wilson, Associate at Wilsons
With safeguarding in the spotlight, we will take a whistle-stop tour of recent developments, including an overview of updated statutory guidance and where we are with the IICSA child sex abuse public inquiry. We will look at any necessary changes to policy and practice as well as how to manage historic abuse allegations and other safeguarding risks.

Managing Risk through Empowerment

Kevin West, Schools Service Area Coordinator at NSPCC
An introduction to the specialist services, tools and materials within the NSPCC Schools Service designed to assist all schools to comply with their safeguarding duties. Kevin West works directly with schools in the region to raise awareness of safeguarding issues. This session is designed to help you keep children safe by developing a whole school approach to child protection and thereby empowering children, parents, staff and the wider community.

Managing Safer Recruitment

Sophia Zand, Associate at Wilsons
This session will summarise the key employment related features of the 2018 Keeping Children Safe guidance and provide practical advice on how to conduct the recruitment process safely. We will also consider how schools comply with their statutory duties and balance individual’s employment rights at the same time.

Reputation Management

Debbie Ashenhurst, Senior Associate at Wilsons
We will be looking at the legal and practical steps you can take to protect the reputations of your school and staff. We will cover damaging activity in the traditional media (whether in print, on air or online), on social media (including review sites and social networks) and by disgruntled individuals. Our aim is to raise your confidence in your ability to respond quickly and effectively to reputational challenges.


Principles of Good Governance – A financial perspective

Ann Mathias, Partner at Moore Stephens
Accountability and financial oversight are key features for any successful school. This session will highlight the key principles of what good governance and financial accountability looks like.

Principles of Good Governance – A legal perspective

Andrew Mackie, Senior Associate at Wilsons
This session will cover the key legal duties and potential liabilities of school governors. We will also consider conflicts of interest and discuss some of the ways that governors can ensure that they maintain regulatory compliance.

Handling Family Disputes

Sarah Wood-Heath, Senior Associate at Wilsons
Everything schools need to know about managing difficult family disputes, including: understanding Parental Responsibility; who has which rights and responsibilities; Family Court Orders; and the School’s obligations to each parent.

Inspection and Operational Risks

Bill Brown, Chairman at The Education Partnership
Strong compliance enables success on inspection outcomes. Bill Brown is Chairman of The Education Partnership and a specialist Education and Compliance Advisor. During this session, Bill will share his advice on the steps required to ensure that your school shines during an inspection.


Closing remarks

Stephen Oxley, Partner at Wilsons


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