Schools Managing Risk Conference – 2020

3 February 2020

This year we were pleased to bring back our annual Independent Schools Conference. We welcomed over 40 Heads, Bursars, and other education professionals to discuss the steps they can take to manage risk in their schools.

We covered a range of topics affecting the education sector, with a range of guest speakers including Wiltshire Mind, AEGIS, Ruffer LLP, and Talbot Heath School.

Peer-on–peer abuse

Vicky Wilson, Senior Associate at Wilsons kicked off the presentations advising on how education professionals can manage allegations of peer-on-peer abuse in their organisation. Vicky went on to deliver an overview of the local safeguarding arrangements and how this can be applied in a school setting. She then went on to explain the key considerations for investigating an allegation of peer-on-peer abuse and how to proceed once the investigation is finished.

Mental health and well-being

Up next we welcomed our first guest speaker, Carolyn Beale from Wiltshire Mind. The charity works with a number of schools to raise awareness about the services they offer in the community and how children and young people can access the help they need. In this session, Carolyn explained the value and importance of mental health awareness in schools, and how both students and teachers can benefit from working with Wiltshire Mind.

Guardianship for overseas pupils in the UK

AEGIS raised the question of what happens to international students during the holidays and considered whether any students are in need of educational guardianship when not at school. AEGIS highlighted their power to inspect and accredit guardianship organisations that may be eligible to provide guardianship services to international students.

Handling data subject access requests with confidence

Dealing with data subject access request can be a difficult and complicated process. Partner, Debbie Ashenhurst covered how schools should respond to data subject access request by tackling the tricky issues schools may face such the rights of parent to pupil information and how to balance confidentiality and reasonableness when you have received a request.

Managing employee departures

After a long-deserved coffee break, Sophia Zand, Associate at Wilsons explained the difficulties that may arise when dismissing an employee for misconduct. Sophia highlighted the pitfalls employers need to be aware of and the risks around termination of employment. She also explored a case study specifically dealing with things can go wrong when dismissing an employee in the education sector and the wider impact this can have.

Investment management

Sophia than handed over to Ruffer LLP who explained how changes in investment rates can affect the education sector and how investment rates have changed the world as we know it. They went on to explain how knowledge of the past can affect the future when looking at investments.

Maximising schools assets for commercial use

Andrew Mackie, Senior Associate in the charities team, explained the rules that apply should a school look at generating additional income e.g. hiring out its facilities to local groups. Andrew went on to explain the pros and cons of raising additional funds through a trading subsidiary.

STEAM Curriculum and the future of education

Our final presentation came from Angharad Holloway, Head at Talbot School explaining her vision for the future of education and how she has developed and implemented her vision for the future of her school.

The event finished with a finger buffet which gave the attendees the perfect opportunity to network with other education professionals and exchange ideas for the future.

The conference was well received with a range of good feedback coming from delegates:

'Always a joy to visit Wilsons in Salisbury."

"Fantastic, lots of food for thought."

"Excellent insight and MOT for school leaders."

"Wilsons is without doubt the leading legal representatives in this area, open-minded and informative, the staff and representatives have given me much to ponder in the months ahead."

"My first experience at Wilsons. Very impressed with all the speakers"

If you would like any information about the topics covered in our latest Independent Schools Conference please fill out the enquiry form below.

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