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Annual safeguarding conference

22 November @ 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Course outline:

This year’s SACPA and BSA Annual Safeguarding Conference promises to bring a day packed with expert speakers from a range of disciplines and perspectives who aim to inform, challenge, and invigorate delegates on a range of key and contemporary safeguarding topics and learning.

Addressing key issues from our members, sessions will consider the current safeguarding landscape the conference closes with the awards ceremony for SACPA Annual Safeguarding Awards.

SACPA and BSA will facilitate questions directly from members to our experts throughout the day and encourage delegates to come prepared with questions for our panels.

Unable to attend? A post conference recording will be available for purchase. This does not include the student-led session.

Training topics will include: 

  • What children say: are we getting it right?
  • IRL: a new approach to sexting  
  • Safeguarding update: key developments 
  • Best practice for managing sexual harassment and sexual violence 
  • Safeguarding children with SEND additional needs, vulnerability and neurodiversity 
  • Presentation of SACPA Safeguarding Awards 2022-23. 

Learning outcomes:

  • Review the voice of children activity and consider access to participation methods and disproportionality.  
  • Increase knowledge and understanding of safeguarding in a digital world 
  • Consider key elements of safeguarding development for strategic planning and best practice development 
  • Increase awareness of initiatives and tools to support the safeguarding needs of people with SEN, disability, additional needs and neurodiversity 
  • Recognise and celebrate the achievements of fellow safeguarding practitioners and leaders in the innovation and delivery work. 

Audience: All those involved in safeguarding

Platform: Zoom (online) – conference


  • SACPA/BSA Member Rate: £215
  • SACPA/BSA Additional Full Member Fee: £110
  • BSA Affiliate Member Delegate Fee: £325
  • BSA Additional Affiliate Member Delegate Fee: £140
  • Non-member Rate: £430*


*If you would like to become a member and access discounted rates for Sacpa CPD and events, please click here.


09:30 – 10:15

What children say: are we getting it right? 

We start our conference by putting children at the centre of the day and hearing directly from them. What is their lived experience and perspectives on safety and wellbeing and how we, as practitioners, manage safeguarding processes. We ask the important question, are we getting it right?  

  • David Walker, Director, BSA 
  • Pre-recorded panels of young people  

10:15 – 11:15

Safeguarding update: key developments  

This session provides an essential safeguarding update on key developments and the latest information on the prevalent risks, known vulnerabilities.  Delegates can be sure of having the latest intelligence for their planning and implementation. 

  • Dale Wilkins, Senior Director, BSA Group 
  • Kay Joel, Senior Consultant for Education, NSPCC Professional Learning Services
  • Kevin Hartley, Senior Consultant for Education, NSPCC Professional Learning Services

11:15 – 11:45


11:45 – 12:45

IRL – A new approach to “sexting” 

Our expert speaker explores what we know about the sharing of nudes,  semi-nudes, aspects of youth produced sexual imagery as well as texts and messages.

  • David Walker, Director, BSA 
  • Jon Needham, Director of Safeguarding, Oasis UK  

11:45 – 13:30


13:30 – 14:30  

 Best practice for managing sexual harassment and sexual violence 

Sexual harassment and sexual violence continues to be a key safeguarding challenge across education, youth, community, charity, university, and sports sectors.  In this session our expert speaker highlights risk assessment, safety planning, multi-agency working and the rights and services offered to victims and survivors.  Delegates will  Increase their awareness of initiatives and tools to support this complex area of safeguarding practice 

  • Claire Dan, Director, SACPA and Safeguarding Director, BSA Group 
  • Maria Putz, Interim Head of Training (Sexual Violence and Safeguarding), LimeCulture CIC 

14:30 – 14:45


14:45 – 15:30

Safeguarding children with SEND additional needs, vulnerability and neurodiversity 

Children and adults with care and support needs remain three times more likely to be negatively impacted by online harm, abuse and neglect and are significantly more vulnerable to extra-familial risks. This session focusses on the safeguarding needs of people who have identified and undiagnosed or non-visible special needs or disability, and all people functioning in neuro-diverse ways. Speakers will share their experiences, initiatives, and best practice with delegates. 

  • Gaelle Sullivan, Director Research and Inclusion, BSA Group and Director, TIOB 
  • Charlotte Jones, Director of Pupil Progress, Downe House
  • Alison Hesley, Home Educator and Neurodivergence Awareness Raiser

15:30 – 16:00  

Conference close and presentation of Sacpa Safeguarding Awards 2022-23. 

Join SACPA to celebrate the success and achievement for children and adults.  We announce the organisations and safeguarding professionals who have been recognised for achieving excellence in safeguarding this year and are winners and runners up of the SACPA Annual Safeguarding Award. 

  • Claire Dan, Director, SACPA and Safeguarding Director, BSA Group 
  • David Walker, Director, BSA  


Claire Dan, Director of Safeguarding and Director, Sacpa

Claire is Director of Safeguarding and Director, Sacpa and leads on the provision of safeguarding advice and support to members and the development and delivery of CPD and safeguarding consultancy services. Claire is a safeguarding specialist and leader with a background in education welfare, youth justice, and early help contexts which have involved a strong focus on diverse and collaborative partnerships, professional development and supervision of front-line safeguarding colleagues, and leading multi-disciplinary teams and projects. Between 2006 and 2013 Claire was involved with Luton Safeguarding Children Board as a lead multi-agency safeguarding trainer, developing and delivering single and multi-agency safeguarding training, and since 2013 has delivered pieces of bespoke consultancy work, and providing a range of safeguarding consultancy on a freelance basis.

David Walker, BSA Director

David is the BSA Director and joined the BSA group in August 2023. He has over 20 years’ experience in boarding schools and has worked in a range of schools in the UK and Africa, alongside being a prep school governor and a trustee of a MAT. Before taking up his post at the BSA, David was Deputy Head Pastoral at a large co-ed independent school in the South-East.


Dale Wilkins, Senior Director, BSA and BSA Group

Dale joined the BSA during Summer 2017 with responsibility for safeguarding and standards, having previously been a course tutor since 1998. In July 2019 he also assumed responsibility for the BSA’s training programme, including both day seminars and accredited training courses. Dale leads on all safeguarding and inspection matters for the BSA, including managing the Commitment to Care Charter and has also developed a process of BSA Accreditation for our international members. He also liaises with ISI, Ofsted and DfE on matters relating to compliance and inspection standards, and compiles the BSA Self-Assessment toolkit, which he first produced in 2002, since which time he has been closely involved in inspection in state and independent boarding.

For 31 years Dale was a boarding practitioner. After boarding positions at Norwich School and Tettenhall College, Dale became a Housemaster at Old Swinford Hospital in 1992, and was promoted to Deputy Head in 2007, and subsequently also DSL. He has also been a multi-agency trainer for the Dudley Safeguarding Children’s Board.

Gaelle Sullivan, Director Research and Inclusion, Director TIOB

Gaelle is Head of Research Services and Inclusion and joined the BSA in January 2023. She is an experienced senior leader and has worked in a range of state and independent schools. She is a qualified SENCO and holds a Masters Degree in Inclusive Education. Prior to joining the BSA, Gaelle was Deputy Head Pastoral, DSL and Head of Boarding at an all-girls independent school in the South-East.


Maria Putz, Interim Head of Training (Sexual Violence and Safeguarding), LimeCulture CIC 

Maria joined LimeCulture in January 2019 as one of the Training Managers. Maria has been involved in the development and delivery of Preventing Sexual Misconduct Education (PSME) and the Sexual Misconduct Liaison Officer (SMLO) Model helping schools and colleges to create a whole school approach in their prevention and response to sexual misconduct.  Maria has also presented nationally and internationally with a focus on healthy relationships and safeguarding in sport. Maria is committed to improving services for those affected by Sexual Violence through building knowledge, confidence and skills in frontline workers.

Most recently Maria has become the interim Head of Training leading the training for LimeCulture in their Sexual Violence, Safeguarding, Education and University work.

Prior to joining the LimeCulture Team she was a specialist-safeguarding nurse for the largest children’s hospital in the UK. She has also worked as an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) and a Crisis Worker.

Jon Needham, Director of Safeguarding, Oasis UK

Jon originally trained as a registered nurse specialising in adolescent life limiting illness, before moving to an advisor to a strategic health authority and then as a young people’s health service commissioner with a specific portfolio for mental health, sexual health and paediatric care. He worked briefly as a specialist advisor on two World Health Organisation projects before becoming the lead for early help provision and multi-agency working in a large local authority overseeing the support offered to 1/3 million children and young people.

He became an education safeguarding advisor 15 years ago, and for the last five years has worked as the National Director of Safeguarding and Wellbeing for Oasis.

In his spare time, he is a voluntary youth worker and work mentor to six ‘men in industry’ and is just about to complete his Doctorate in Psychology. He is the safeguarding advisor to a large annual summer festival and when he ever relaxes he is a keen fan of Korean drama (though he’ll admit he has to use subtitles).

Charlotte Jones, Director of Pupil Progress, Downe House

Charlotte Jones is a special educational needs teacher with a wealth of experience, having worked in the private and state sector for the past 18 years. Originally a primary school teacher, over the years she has developed a passion for the complexity of common learning challenges and has a special interest in the interface between organic learning difficulties and mental health. She is a member of the British Psychological Society.

Charlotte develops a deep understanding of an individual’s executive functioning, sharing strategies, tips and tools to strengthen the performance of her young clients.

Alongside her work as the Director of Pupil Progress at Downe House School in Berkshire supporting the needs of their high-functioning neurodivergent students she is also a coach at a clinic in London supporting ADHD learners.

She brings huge energy and commitment to the work, drawing upon personal experience of learning challenges as a child – as well as her own mental health journey – to inform her compassionate coaching style and help students develop greater competence and self-confidence in education.

Kay Joel, Senior Consultant for Education, NSPCC Professional Learning Services

Kay Joel is a Senior Consultant with experience of over 25 years of teaching in primary and special education settings, managing learning and behaviour support services and school improvement services before joining NSPCC in 2011.

Since then she has worked with schools and other education providers and other organisations to audit and review safeguarding policies, procedures and practices. She has contributed to the development of teaching resources and e learning courses.

Kevin Hartley, Senior Consultant for Education, NSPCC Professional Learning Services

Kevin Hartley is a Senior Education Consultant for the NSPCC. Kevin has worked in secondary education for almost 30 years, initially as an English teacher, but later as a Pastoral Lead and then as a member of senior leadership. ​

For most of his career he has been involved in safeguarding and spent 12 years as a DSL in a busy, diverse 11-18 Academy. He has contributed to the development of policies and procedures at both school and Trust level. ​

Kevin now works in the NSPCC consultancy service which supports schools and other organisations in developing their safeguarding practices.

Alison Hesley, Home Educator and Neurodivergence Awareness Raiser

Alison Hesley held senior roles in schools, a local authority, a university and a Multi Academy Trust during her 30 year career in Education. Most recently she was the director of a large school-based teacher training provider and a National Teaching School Hub. Alison is now a full time carer and educator to her 12 year old autistic son who has been unable to attend school for almost a year due to burn out and school trauma. During her spare time she writes about their experiences on social media to raise awareness of the issues that neurodivergent young people and their families face in the education and SEND systems.


22 November
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Event Category:


Health in Education Association
(0)207 798 1588
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