The very first Bracknell Forest Safeguarding our Schools Conference was held on Thursday, 14 November. It was attended by every school in the borough, independent schools and key agencies who support schools in their responsibilities, including local authority partners, Thames Valley Police and the voluntary sector.
The conference focused on four key themes of domestic abuse, fabricated illness, trauma responses and technology assisted abuse. The guest speakers included David Challen, son of Sally Challen who killed her husband, David’s father Richard in 2010 after 40 years of suffering controlling and abusive behaviour by him. Speakers also included Dr Danya Glaser, child and adolescent psychiatrist, and Catherine McAllister, from the BBC who introduced their new safeguarding app ‘Own It’.
The conference was also supported by Berkshire Women’s Aid, PACT, Victim Focus, Cornerstone and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Unit (CEOP).
The Safeguarding our Schools team provides support, guidance and challenge to schools to make sure children are kept safe and their welfare is promoted.
Debbie Smith, Safeguarding Our Schools team manager, said:
"We were delighted to welcome over 175 delegates to the conference, which included 46 schools. I am very proud of the team for pulling together this inspiring event which will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the safeguarding of children in our schools.”
Rachel Morgan, Assistant Director, Education and Learning, said:
“Keeping children and young people safe is a key priority in Bracknell Forest. Therefore, the Safeguarding Our Schools Team work with schools to ensure that safeguarding practice and knowledge is well informed and up to date. Understanding and keeping up to date with the evolving threats to children and young people is vital for a safe school culture.”
This conference was the first of our planned annual Safeguarding Our Schools conferences and aimed to provide school staff and governors the opportunity to hear from, question and share insights with renowned speakers within key areas of safeguarding.