The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Davide Pochi

Dear diary: my day at the Child Protection conference

From one-to-one legal advice and strategies on implementing safeguarding procedures to... a tinsel-green coloured Lamborghini? Here's what I took away from the Child Protection in Education conference.  

Green Lamborghini

It’s 5.30am on Thursday 15th of September when my alarm goes off. The day is finally here. It’s an early start for us in the Optimus team; we have 500 delegates attending the conference in London, and all eager to begin.

A nice morning breeze quickly wakes me up at the station. The journey is smooth and quiet, and by the time I arrive at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel & Conference Centre it’s 7.20am.

The first delegates show up at the registration point at 8am, in time for their booked 1 to 1 session with education law firm Browne Jacobson LLP. We had 10 spaces available for this pre-conference session and they were all booked by the day of the event. The 10 lucky delegates took this opportunity to get expert legal advice and ask questions specifically about their schools.

At 9.45am sharp Dai Durbridge, the chair for this event, takes the stage in the main room, the glamorous Orchard Suite. Dai's well known in the education industry and the audience keeps good attention as he talks about the changing role of safeguarding in schools, and how schools can maintain their confidence with so high expectations.

Child Protection in Education Conference 2016

Yvonne Spencer, partner at Veale Wasbrough Vizards law firm follows up, clarifying the impact of KCSiE and how to prepare for its statutory legal changes. Then it's time for a new cohesive and whole-school approach to safeguarding, from Martin Baker and Mike Glanville, directors at One Team Logic.

Questions spark from the audience but all 3 keynote speakers answer them exhaustively and promptly, and delegates leave the room with full notes on their doc pack (a booklet with all the presentations slides and conference content, with plenty of space for note-taking throughout the day).

It’s now time for the first streamed sessions, where delegates choose the talk they want to join in a range of 4 different topics:

  1. Prevent in action.
  2. Mental health.
  3. Culturally sensitive issues.
  4. Model safeguarding policy or governance masterclass.

Child Protection in Education conference 2016

There are many school leaders and middle leaders among our delegates and they all seem happy and pleased with the content of the sessions so far.

Lunch in the Sentosa Suite quickly becomes a lively networking opportunity for those who decide to miss the last of the sunshine (it’s a lovely day in London) and take the opportunity to meet with others school leaders.

Our Optimus Education stand is one of the busiest: lots of people rush over to grab a copy of the A to Z e-safety poster. It proved to be a very popular tool to take back to school.

The day passes smoothly, time seems to fly in the conference centre between keynote sessions and the different streamed sessions. There are so many interesting talks, from Ofsted’s latest impacts on safeguarding to the latest policies on safe recruitment, it seems that people don’t really know how to choose.

As an added benefit for delegates, we'll be sending out email reminders to let attendees know they can access all the additional resources online. The learning doesn't end after the conference. 

It’s about 5pm when the last session closes up; many delegates rush off, others wait for colleagues to share their journey home. Delegates leave the conference centre with confidence.

Oh, almost forgot. The Lamborghini... that shiny piece of Italian manufacturing was outside the main hotel entrance, like in a showroom. And for a just moment, my eyes started sparkling.

Below are just a couple of testimonials that came through our social media accounts on the day of the event:

Missed the London conference?

So, as our new friend Rachel says, if you are interested we are running the same event in Manchester on the 6th of October. Don’t miss the opportunity to get expert advice on how to support and protect students in your care. But hurry, there are less than 30 places left for this event.


Child Protection in Education conference 2016


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