Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Digital safeguarding conference

8 February @ 9:30 AM - 4:15 PM

Course outline:

Safeguarding in the online space continues to evolve along with technology and how individuals use technology for good or harm. Keeping up with the latest developments in technology, how they are being used (and abused) is a challenge for any safeguarding practitioner.  The safeguarding community must remain vigilant and ensure that policy, practice and horizon scanning remain high on the agenda for safety.

This year’s Sacpa digital safeguarding conference promises to bring you the latest developments from experts in the field with a particular focus on safeguarding in the context of web3 technologies.  You will explore a range of perspectives on practice, and access the latest resources from research to support your practice.

Unable to attend? A post conference recording will be available for purchase.

Training topics will include:

  • 2024: what’s new in online safety
  • Welcome to our virtual worlds: fun, relaxation, inclusive access, therapy – but only some of the time
  • Children’s rights, responsibilities and adult’s safeguarding and advocacy duties
  • How do web3 technologies impact my safeguarding practice
  • Filtering and monitoring: do you have all the bases covered?
  • Virtual reality risks against children (VIRRAC) project findings and toolkit.

Learning outcomes:

  • Improved knowledge and understanding of what is new in online safety enabling enhanced awareness within your organisation and informing up to date policy and practice
  • Develop a thorough understanding of the scope of virtual reality and its use in recreation, business, its therapeutic value and risks
  • Enhanced and more informed decision making in relation to the balance of child rights and safeguarding prevention and protection strategies in online safety
  • Consider a range of front-line safeguarding practice approaches in preparing for the widespread adoption of web3 technologies
  • Ensure that filtering and monitoring is suitable, sufficient and appropriate for wider safeguarding and welfare duties
  • Integrate the latest research intelligence on virtual reality risks to children into policy and practice.

Audience: All practitioners working with children, young people or vulnerable individuals, DSL/DSO, DDSL, Safeguarding Manager/Lead, Safeguarding Governors, Safeguarding Trustees.

Platform: Zoom (online) – conference


  • SACPA Member Rate: £215
  • SACPA Additional Full Member Fee: £110
  • Non-member Rate: £490*



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


09:30 – 10:15

Filtering and monitoring: do you have all the bases covered?

Session brief: We know that education settings have been working for some time to implement filtering and monitoring as well as cyber security compliance. To what extent should this duty apply to other settings and what can we learn from successful implementations. Our speakers review a broad range of the requirements.

  • Chair:
    • Clare Dan, Director, SACPA and Safeguarding Director, BSA Group
  • Speakers:
    • David Wright, CEO, SWGfL

Break  10:15 – 10:30

10:30 – 11:30

Welcome to our virtual worlds: fun, relaxation, inclusive access, therapy – but only some of the time

Session brief: This session explores the benefits of virtual worlds and how they are being employed in providing fun and aiding therapy for children and young people who have mental health challenges

  • Chair:
    • Dale Wilkins, Senior Director, BSA
  • Speaker:
    • Nina Jane Patel, Co-founder and President of Research, Kabuni

Break 11:30 – 11:45

11:45 – 12:30

Children’s rights, responsibilities and adult’s safeguarding and advocacy duties

Session brief: This session explores the importance of children’s participation and the voice of the child in tackling online harms. How do adults with welfare duties strike the right balance between promoting children’s rights in online spaces, advocating for children’s rights and ensuring their safety.

  • Chair:
    • Claire Dan, Director, SACPA and Safeguarding Director, BSA Group
  • Speaker: 
    • Will Gardner OBE, CEO, Childnet International

Lunch 12:30 – 13:15

13:15 – 14:15 

How do web3 and AI impact my safeguarding practice

Session brief: What are web3 and AI technologies and how does our safeguarding practice flex and evolve to meet the need.  Our panel will centre their discussion around a case study example, and debate the safeguarding responses and training needs of safeguarding professionals.

  • Chair:
    • Claire Dan, Director, SACPA and Safeguarding Director, BSA Group
  • Speaker:
    • Victoria Green, Marie Collins Foundation
    • Laura Knight, Director of Digital Learning at Berkhamsted

Break 14:15 – 14:30

14:30 – 15:15

The Metaverse: what do children want

Session brief: Our expert speakers review online risks with a particular focus on the metaverse.  Early findings of the VIRAAC project qualitative work with children, what they say their experiences are, and what they want from adults to support their online safety will be highlighted.

  • Chair:
    • Claire Dan, Director, SACPA and Safeguarding Director, BSA Group
  • Speaker:
    • Dr Elena Martellozzo, Associate Professor in Criminology at centre for Child Abuse and Trauma Studies (CATS), Middlesex University
    • Paula Bradbury, Senior Researcher – Centre for Abuse & Trauma Studies, Middlesex University

15:15– 16:15  

2024: what’s new in online safety

Session brief: This session explores what is new in online safety in 2024 and what is on the horizon that we should be planning and risk assessing for

  • Chair:
    • Claire Dan, Director, SACPA and Safeguarding Director, BSA Group
  • Speaker:
    • Karl Hopwood, Independent E-safety Expert, E-safety Ltd


Conference close

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.

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.

David Wright, CEO, SWGfL

David is CEO at SWGfL and also Director UK Safer Internet Centre; the national awareness centre and part of the European Insafe network.  David has worked extensively in online safety for 20 years with children, schools and wider agencies. He advises a number of Governments, organisations and industry partners on online safety strategy and policy and has been appointed as an expert child online protection adviser to the UN ITU and nominated by UK Government as an expert to the Council of Europe Tech Facilitated Gender Based Violence committee

David has presented at conferences nationally and internationally.  He is a member of UK Council for Internet Safety and has recently been invited to be a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Coalition for Digital Safety.

David has led the creation of a number of Helplines that directly and indirectly support victims of online harm, perhaps most notably the Revenge Porn Helpline in 2015 that supports adults who are victims of non consensual intimate image (NCII) abuse.  Consequentially, David has overseen the development of StopNCII, the worlds first device side hashing technology that empowers adults who experience NCII to prevent their images being shared online

David has led pioneering work, such as the development of multi award winning resources, and with Plymouth University, he has published a number of ground-breaking research reports.

Nina Jane Patel, Co-founder and President of Research, Kabuni

Nina Jane Patel (she/her), the President of Research & Safety and Co-Founder at Kabuni, is celebrated as a thought leader in the sphere of emerging technologies like VR, AR, XR, AI, ML, and blockchain.  As a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRSA) and a registered movement psychotherapist, Nina is currently advancing her expertise by pursuing a PhD in psychology, with a focus on vision and haptics. Her unique and multidisciplinary perspective offers insightful views on the future’s opportunities and challenges. Nina is a recognized innovator and a sought-after consultant and advisor in her field. She collaborates with various organizations, including Interpol, the Zero Abuse Project, and the University of East London. Nina’s contributions are extensive, featuring multiple articles, webinars, and presentations at international conferences on emerging technology and online harms. She has been featured on prominent media platforms like BBC, CNN, and NBC, advocating for a safer, informed, and innovative digital future for all.

Will Gardner OBE, CEO, Childnet International

Will Gardner is the CEO of Childnet International, a children’s charity working with others to help make the internet a great and safe place for children.

Will has worked at Childnet since 2000 and has been the CEO since 2009 and has led numerous regional, national and international projects and programmes promoting child online safety, developing many award-winning resources.

He is also a Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre, in which Childnet, working with partners the IWF and SWGfL, organises Safer Internet Day in the UK every year, a campaign that reaches 50% of children and over a third of parents and carers. He is also an Executive Board member of the UK Council for Internet Safety and founded and chairs the Early Warning Working Group of helplines, hotlines and law enforcement. He is a member of Meta’s Safety Advisory Council, Internet Matters’ Expert Group and the Advisory Board of the Anti-bullying Alliance.

Laura Knight MEd PGCE BA(Hons) FCCT FRSA CMgr 

Laura Knight is Senior Consultant at Berkhamsted School, having previously been Director of Digital Learning since 2013. She has been working as a teacher for twenty years and is an expert in leading the strategic development of technology for teaching and learning, 1-1 devices, artificial intelligence, staff training in digital skills, and online safeguarding.

Laura is a disruptive thinker, international keynote speaker, coach, and consultant, and is passionate about creative problem-solving. She supports leaders in schools, universities, and commercial organisations with exploring the art of the possible, and leverages technology to transform outcomes, systems, and teams.

Laura works with the Independent Schools Council Digital Advisory Group and is a leading member of AI in Education a national cross-sector working group, and as a keynote speaker and panellist at events including BETT and EDUtech Europe. She has also recently worked as an expert advisor to international governments on educational policy and provides strategic inputs and training for associations such as the Independent Schools Association, the Society of Heads, and the Independent Schools’ Bursars’ Association.

Connect with Laura on LinkedIn: Laura Knight | LinkedIn

Consultancy at Berkhamsted | Berkhamsted School

Victoria Green, Chief Executive for the Marie Collins Foundation (MCF).

Victoria Green is a seasoned professional in the field of child protection with over 30 years of experience as a registered social worker.  She has held a wide range of roles at both operational and strategic level and has been a frontline worker, manager, principal social worker and Safeguarding Children Board development and strategic manager.  Victoria is passionate about advocating for children’s rights and protecting those harmed by technology-assisted child sexual abuse (TACSA), a mission that is at the core of everything MCF does.

Joining MCF in 2015, she directed the development of Click: Path to Protection, a unique training program for frontline workers addressing technology-assisted child sexual abuse (TACSA).

Appointed CEO in July 2021, Victoria has continued to amplify the voices of those with lived experience influence policy at a governmental level to ensure appropriate responses for TACSA.

Despite her leadership role, Victoria remains hands-on, directly supporting children and families, mentoring professionals, and contributing to research projects. She is dedicated to overcoming technological barriers and ensuring MCF’s response minimizes harm, emphasizing the unique selling point of protecting victims without causing further distress.

Dr Elena Martellozzo, Associate Professor in Criminology at centre for Child Abuse and Trauma Studies (CATS), Middlesex University

Dr Elena Martellozzo is an Associate Professor in Criminology and Associate Director at the Centre for Child Abuse and Trauma Studies (CATS) at Middlesex University. Elena has been working in the area of cyber violence for 15 years and is now recognised as a world leading expert in the area, focusing primarily on online harms, online safety and is involved in policy debates at the intersection of technology and human behaviour. One of Elena’s key focuses is to develop innovative research and sharing her findings in international fora. She continually attracts research funding in highly sensitive areas with government departments including the police, the Internet Watch Foundation, the NSPCC, the Children Commissioner for England, the Home Office. She has acted as an advisor on child online protection and online violence against women and girls to governments and practitioners in Italy (since 2004) and Bahrain (2016) to support the development of national child internet safety policy frameworks. Elena is a lead researcher in the area and has led a number of high impact project, nationally and internationally. As a published peer-reviewed author, and well-established national and international Criminologist, she is regularly invited as a speaker by the BBC, New York Post, Sunday Times, The Guardian, Channel 4, Radio 4, ITV, The Times Radio.

Paula Bradbury, Senior Researcher – Centre for Abuse & Trauma Studies, Middlesex University

Paula Bradbury is a lecturer in Criminology and Policing Practice at the University of Middlesex.  She is also the Senior Researcher at the Centre for Abuse & Trauma Studies engaging in multiple research projects and bid writing opportunities, the results have led to several successful grants awarded. She is a doctoral researcher studying for a PhD in Criminology, exploring the appropriateness of policy and policing practice in response to adolescents sharing nudes.

Paula is a published, peer reviewed author, specialising in the field of online harms, child sexual abuse and exploitation, stalking, sexual violence, offender pathways and adolescent digital behaviours. She has a keen interest in understanding sexual behaviours in cyberspace and how our safeguarding policies and policing practices need to evolve to meet the challenges of the Metaverse. She provides private online harms consultation to public, private, and civil service organisations, both in the UK and abroad.

Paula has also presented to the international Ministry of Justices’ on Online Harms and the risks of Violence Against Women and Girls in a digital age, conducted media panel discussions on the topic of risks through sexual image sharing platforms, and gives talks on sexual image sharing, legislation, policy and practice. Paula began her career working in Policing Intelligence as a Sexual Offences Analyst, and was the National Child Sexual Abuse Lead at Victim Support.

Karl Hopwood, Director E-safety 

Karl is an independent online safety expert. He is a member of UKCIS (UK Council for Internet Safety) and sits on the UKCIS evidence group, education working group and the early warning group as well as on the advisory board for the UK Safer Internet Centre. He also sits on the Roblox trust and safety board where he represents the Insafe network. He was recently part of an expert steering group with TikTok looking at harmful and dangerous online challenges.

Karl has worked for a number of key players in the UK and abroad including CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre), BECTA (British Educational and Communications Technology Agency), the European Commission, the UN and several Local Authorities within the UK and in Europe.

As an ex primary headteacher, he continues to work closely in schools across Europe with children, young people, parents, teachers and governors to develop safer online behaviours and the promotion of digital literacy. Karl has been employed for the last 16 years as an in-house consultant for INSAFE which is the coordinating node of the EU Better Internet for Kids programme where he is responsible for the coordination of safer internet helplines across Europe. Karl was the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Marie Collins Foundation for 7 years, a charity which supports young people who have been sexually abused and exploited online and is Chair of the board of trustees of Childnet international and Chair of the executive committee of SACPA (Safeguarding and Child Protection Association). Karl has recently worked with a team developing a national online safety strategy in Rwanda and chaired the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) working group to re-write their Child Online Protection Guidance.



8 February
9:30 AM - 4:15 PM
Event Category:


The Safeguarding and Child Protection Association
+44 (0)207 798 1585
View Organiser Website