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A focus on safeguarding for our 2023 Leadership Conference

We held our annual Leadership Conference recently, which saw our leadership team from across the trust and our academies come together to focus on safeguarding, the theme of this year’s conference.

Sian Hampton, our Chief Executive, said: “Whilst schools are responsible for providing education, no child has ever been successful in sitting an exam when they have been hungry, cold, lonely or scared. At a time when mental illness for children is at an all-time high, the ‘why’ of Archway is essential.

“Our ‘why’ is about transformational education. Sitting at the heart of this is ensuring that we do everything in our power to provide a safe environment for children to not only learn but thrive.”

“As we learned through the pandemic, schools are critical to the well-being and safety of the children they serve, as well as the staff who work within them. We all need to feel safe, loved and valued and for many children, school is that place of safety in what sadly is often a turbulent and traumatic home life.”

The conference aimed to develop our understanding of the importance and responsibility of safeguarding governance and our responsibilities through our safeguarding strategy, and enable the well informed development of reporting to enable effective safeguarding governance at every layer.

We were delighted to welcome Jim Gamble QPM as our keynote speaker, who led us in our exploration of how we all play our part in safeguarding and how its governance is essential to its effectiveness, ensuring we take care of the whole child in keeping our schools the safe and wonderful places we want them to be.

Jim is widely recognised as a global authority on safeguarding children and has undertaken a number of safeguarding reviews. He is the CEO of the INEQE Safeguarding Group, an Independent Chair of several London Safeguarding Children’s Boards driving incredible improvements, the founding chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce; a former national policing lead for child protection and the architect and CEO of the UK Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre.

We also welcomed Colin Stitt as a guest to the event. Colin is the Head of Service Engagement and Safer Schools at the INEQE Safeguarding Group. He has over 18 years of experience working with young people, families and schools in a variety of contexts, and has pioneered, led and developed successful community and faith-based projects in education and youth work across Scotland and Northern Ireland. As a Non-Executive Director with over 12 years of experience in local charities, he currently sits on the board of a Northern Ireland Youth Charity and brings a key perspective of safeguarding from the frontline to governance.

We also heard from key safeguarding and governance leads from across the trust, and took part in workshops which saw colleagues working together.

Sian continued: “It was a truly inspirational day seeing our leadership team come together and live our vision – to transform the lives of all through the power of working together.”

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