Independent Schools’ Conference - Schools Managing Risk

Date: 24 January 2020

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

Time: 09:00 - 14:00

'Wilsons are without a doubt the leading legal representatives in the area; Wilsons are open-minded and informative, the staff and representatives at today's conference have given me much to ponder in the months ahead.' 

'My first experience at Wilsons, very impressed with all the speakers.' 

'Excellent breadth of speakers, very enjoyable.'

Our annual conference for Independent Schools 2020 will focus on the topic of managing risk from a number of different angles, including:

  • Managing allegations of peer-on-peer abuse
  • Mental health and well-being
  • Guardianship for overseas pupils in the UK
  • Handling data subject access requests with confidence
  • Managing employee departures
  • Investment management update for Independent Schools
  • Establishing and utilising trading subsidiary companies
  • How one school has implemented its new STEAM curriculum

Aimed at Independent schools, our conference can be attended by any and/or all of the following: Bursars, Heads, DSLs and Governors.

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 a wide variety of risk management issues that schools face on a daily basis.

The conference is free to attend, please register below.



Chairman’s Introduction

Stephen Oxley, Partner at Wilsons

Managing allegations of peer-on-peer abuse

Vicky Wilson, Associate at Wilsons
In this session we will deliver an overview of the new Local Safeguarding Arrangements and apply these in the context of managing allegations of peer-on-peer abuse at school. We include our top tips on the steps that the school must take and when, including how to work with the relevant authorities and regulators to ensure efficiency and effectiveness when working together.

Mental health and well-being

Carolyn Beale, Chief Executive at Wiltshire Mind
Wiltshire Mind is a local self-funding Mental Health Charity based in Melksham. The Charity is affiliated to Mind and provides County-wide support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. A number of services are provided across the County ranging from Peer Support groups to 1-1 Counselling. Counselling Support is provided for young people and they work with schools to signpost children and young people to the services available. This session will cover the work of this organisation, examples of their invaluable work with young people and the importance of mental health awareness and training for both pupils and staff.

Guardianship for overseas pupils in the UK

Yasemin Wigglesworth, Executive Officer at AEGIS
Do you know where your international students really are during exeats and holidays? There are currently no regulations in place around educational guardianship in the UK which is why AEGIS exists. AEGIS inspects and accredits guardianship organisations that provide guardianship services to international students. This session will provide an overview of their services and an update on developments and requirements for schools.

Handling data subject access requests with confidence

Debbie Ashenhurst, Partner at Wilsons
Responding to data subject access requests can be time-consuming and difficult, especially if it requires you to balance individuals' competing rights or to deal with unreasonable or aggrieved requesters. This session aims to help you respond to DSARs with confidence by focussing on some of the trickier aspects of DSARs including the rights of parents to pupil information, how to balance consent, confidentiality and reasonableness in your approach to disclosing third party information and some exceptions to the ordinary rules of DSARs relating to timing, fees and whether a response is required at all.


Managing employee departures

Sophia Zand, Associate at Wilsons
Starting with a reminder on the unfair dismissal rules, this session will go on to cover the difficulties that can arise when dismissing an employee for misconduct, including our top tips on suspension, the impact of Keeping Children Safe in Education and case study examples of where things can go wrong and why. The session will end with a reminder on how to manage employee departures by giving proper notice and the pitfalls and risks around the termination of employment.

Investment management

Jenny Renton, Investment Director at Ruffer LLP
A New World (Dis)order? The world is changing fast - might history reveal the future?
The peace and prosperity of the post-Cold War era has been kind to investors. The multi-trillion dollar question is: ‘what happens next?’. Big shifts in the global political economy suggest major change is afoot, and not necessarily to investors’ advantage. This presentation will be a high-level overview of the trends which have shaped the world as we know it, and the changes that we think could be significant.

Maximising school assets for commercial use

Andrew Mackie, Senior Associate at Wilsons
Like all charities, independent schools enjoy considerable advantages in the tax treatment they receive in respect of trading profits. However, this preferential treatment comes at a cost: restrictions apply where the purpose of a particular activity is to generate funds for the school, rather than to further its educational purpose, and a school may not trade at all if doing so would place its assets at significant risk. This session will serve as a reminder of the rules that will apply if your school generates additional income by, for example, hiring out its facilities to individuals or local groups. It will also provide you with an overview of the pros, cons and practicalities of running this type of activity through a trading subsidiary, thereby minimising risk.

STEAM curriculum and the future of education

Angharad Holloway, Head at Talbot Heath School
This session will reveal how one inspirational Head planned her visionary education strategy:
"I was tasked by the school’s board of trustees to develop a vision for education fit for 2030. They asked me to look into the future and anticipate how we should be educating our children for the future that awaits them, a future of nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and global solutions to global problems.
What experts agree on, however, is that 50 percent of the jobs that children will do after leaving school do not yet exist. Therefore, we are preparing them for the unknown."



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