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BAISIS/SACPA Conference – Safeguarding international students

April 24 @ 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

  • Date: April 24, 2024
  • Time: 09:30 – 16:30
  • Cost: BSA/SACPA/BAISIS Full Member – £215, BSA/SACPA/BAISIS Additional Member Fee – £110, Non-member – £430
  • Audience: SMT/SLT, DSL/CPO, Pastoral staff, all practitioners supporting international students, Agents & Guardians
  • Platform: Zoom (online) – webinar

Course outline:

Safeguarding international students remains a complex and challenging area of work. It is important to recognise the vulnerabilities of international students studying, and indeed living, away from home. This conference brings together expert speakers with specialist knowledge and experience who work with international students. 

It aims to inform and support colleagues managing safeguarding in international contexts and focusses on emerging themes and concerns including mental health, online safety and navigating cultural norms. 

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

Training topics will include:

  • Key themes for 2024: safeguarding children and young people in international settings 
  • Delivering preventative safeguarding education: navigating cultural norms and picking up unmet trauma needs 
  • How does the online safety agenda influence international safeguarding practice? 
  • The crossover between safeguarding duties and Sponsor responsibility 
  • Safeguarding young adults: empowering international young people  
  • The practical application of safeguarding policy 
  • Panel discussion summary of the day with key learning points from the day. 

Learning outcomes:

  • Be confident that you have the most up to date information on key trends in safeguarding international students 
  • Increase knowledge and understanding of cultural norms and how to navigate barriers to delivering better outcomes 
  • Feel more informed about how the online safety agenda influences international safeguarding policy and practice 
  • Identify which learning points highlighted may be applicable to your own safeguarding practice and consider how these may be implemented. 

*If you are a BSA member, we are pleased to offer this booking at the members price*



09:30 – 10:15

Welcome and keynote – Exploring Safeguarding through a rights-based lens

Our keynote speaker will explore safeguarding through a child rights lens and discuss how underpinning safeguarding practice with the UNCRC can support practitioners to navigate the global and domestic complex, multi-layered safeguarding landscape. The session will include relevant statistics and specifics around supporting international students and how supporting students as agents of change can present opportunities to applying and adapting our safeguarding principles and practice.

  • Sarah Bellotti, Chair, BAISIS and Head, Mill Hill International
  • Sarah Lancaster, Director of Safeguarding: Children’s rights, safeguarding and participation, UNICEF

10:15 – 10:30


10:30 – 11:30

How does the online safety agenda influence international safeguarding practice? 

Many safeguarding concerns and issues around online safety, internet use and engagement are very similar for all young people. However, we know that for young people coming from different, in some cases more restrictive, backgrounds, be that parental, cultural or political, new freedoms and access can be exciting and bring their own challenges. This session will highlight areas for discussion around online safety that may require extra consideration for international students including the impact of different languages when filtering and monitoring, awareness of more popular apps and functions, VPN use and educating the students themselves.

  • Bethan Waddington, Director, BAISIS
  • Karl Hopwood, esafety expert and Chair, SACPA

11:30 – 11:45


11:45 – 12:30

Safeguarding considerations when working with cultural aspects of trauma

This session explores how practitioners can support international students exposed to trauma either through lived experience or through navigating cultural variations in studying away from home. 

  • Claire Dan, Director, SACPA
  • Tom Caston, Principal, MPW Cambridge 
  • Mark Heywood, Principal, The Royal School Wolverhampton

12:30 – 13:30


13:30 – 14:30  

Statutory risks: implementation of safeguarding and due diligence from the point of acceptance

This session will identify the areas where your duty of care and safeguarding responsibilities intersect with your statutory requirements as a Sponsor. Our speakers will highlight the importance of embedding a robust safeguarding thread through all processes relating to the recruitment and acceptance of international students addressing possible risk areas including pre-arrival, travel and forming a relationship with the family.

  • Bethan Waddington, Director, BAISIS
  • Kate Hollyer, Legal and Public Affairs Director, BSA Group

14:30 – 14:45


14:45 – 15:30

Safeguarding young adults: empowering individuals through school and further education

Do your international students know about your safeguarding policy and their right to a safe and happy time in your care? Is this information readily accessible and highlighted to them? This session will consider how we can equip students with the knowledge and understanding of safeguarding to empower them as they engage with their education, extra-curricular activities and life in the wider community.

  • Claire Dan, Director, SACPA
  • Bill Prior, Joint Principal, The International College, King’s School, Canterbury

15:30 – 15:45


15:45 – 16:30  

The practical application of safeguarding policy: case studies concerning international students and Conference close

In this session we will hear from a panel of current practitioners on their experiences of implementing safeguarding and related policy with international students and their families.

  • Dale Wilkins, Senior Director, BSA and BSA Group
  • Simon Hill, Deputy Head (Pastoral), Christ College Brecon
  • Carolyn Harrison, Deputy Head (Pastoral), Fettes College
  • Claire Dan, Director of Safeguarding and Director, Sacpa
  • Bethan Waddington, Director, BAISIS


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.

Kate Hollyer, Legal and Public Affairs Director

Kate is Legal and Public Affairs Director of BSA Group and Director of BSA Group Legal Services Ltd, BSA Group’s SRA-regulated law firm. As a qualified solicitor of England and Wales with more than 12 years’ experience advising clients on UK immigration and nationality law, Kate supports members with all UK immigration matters including UKVI sponsor licence compliance. Kate is a member of the Home Office Education Advisory Group and is the boarding sector representative for this group. Prior to joining BSA in 2022 Kate was Partner and Head of Department at a leading full-service UK law firm. Having resided in state, preparatory and senior school boarding houses since 2014 with her Housemaster husband, Kate has a unique perspective of boarding life.

Bethan Waddington, Director, BAISIS

Bethan Waddington joined the BSA team as Training Manager in September 2017. Bethan has worked in two independent boarding schools in the UK and Switzerland, the latter as Housemistress to 36 pupils. Following her time in Switzerland, she was a Pastoral Manager for an inner-city state academy before working in the charity sector for Debrett’s running the ‘Debrett’s Foundation’ training programme.

In her role, Bethan plans and manages all Day Seminars, Conferences, INSET and Consultancy, as well as being Director of BAISIS. She believes boarding can be a positive force for young people and in order to fully support their needs staff can never learn too much. As such she is passionate about the CPD BSA delivers to our pastoral communities in the UK and worldwide.

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.

Sarah Bellotti, Chair BAISIS and Head Mill Hill International

Sarah was elected BAISIS Chair in January 2022, having served as Deputy Chair since November 2020.
Sarah started her career in education at an international school in Rome, Italy and then returned to the UK to take up a post at King’s Ely where she later became Director of King’s Ely International. Since 2014, Sarah has worked at Mill Hill International as the founding Headteacher.


Karl Hopwood, E-Safety Expert and Chair, SACPA

Karl Hopwood is an esafety expert. He is a member of UKCCIS (UK Council for Child Internet Safety) and sits on the advisory board for the new UK Safer Internet Centre. 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 and several Local Authorities within the UK. As an ex headteacher, he continues to work closely with children, young people, parents and teachers to develop safer online behaviours and the promotion of digital literacy. Karl works closely with the Boarding Schools’ Association and supports many of their schools. He is also an in-house consultant for INSAFE which is the coordinating node of the EU safer internet programme.

Simon Hill, Deputy Head (Pastoral), Christ College Brecon

Simon grew up in Eastbourne, East Sussex and was educated at Eastbourne College. He gained a BA (Hons) Geography at Kings College London University and a PGCE at the Institute of Education, London. He started his career as a teacher of geography at King Edward’s School, Surrey, before moving to Glenalmond College, Perth where he was Senior Housemaster. In 2010, Simon was appointed as Director of Boarding at Brisbane Grammar School, Queensland, before moving back to the UK to join Christ College as Deputy Head (Pastoral) in 2016.  His focus is on pupil wellbeing, the second curriculum and sport of all types.  He also runs the school’s annual pupil exchange programme to Japan.


Sarah Lancaster, Director of Safeguarding: Children’s rights, safeguarding and participation, UNICEF

Sarah Lancaster is the Director of Safeguarding at UNICEF UK and oversees a team of technical specialists that support UNICEF UK’s work around Youth Voice and Influence, Children’s Rights in Sport and Safeguarding. 

Sarah has over 16 years child protection and safeguarding experience, both within statutory and NGO organisations working with children and young people. In her spare time, she is also a Cub Scout Leader, supporting young people in their personal development, empowering them to make a positive contribution to society, and gain important skills for life that support their growth and development.   

Sarah is passionate and committed to upholding the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and uses a rights-based approach throughout all of her work, ensuring children are not discriminated against and that their voices are amplified and their views listened to.

Bill Prior, Joint Principal, The International College, King’s School, Canterbury

Bill is founding Joint Principal at King’s International College in Canterbury. He has worked in China, Scotland, England and Germany in school management, development, teaching and qualifications. He has a First in Chinese from the University of Oxford, trained as a teacher at Edinburgh University and later returned to Oxford to complete a Masters in Education. He is a Scot and speaks fluent Mandarin and German.


Tom Caston, Principal, MPW Cambridge 

Tom Caston is Principal at MPW Cambridge, as Fifth and Sixth Form College with 50% international students. Tom read Geography at the University of Exeter and subsequently gained an MSc in Managing School Improvement from the University of Reading. He worked in investment banking before starting his teaching career at Shiplake College in 1999. Prior to joining MPW he held senior posts in a number of independent schools, most recently a Deputy Headship at Framlingham College.


Mark Heywood, Principal, The Royal School Wolverhampton

Currently Principal/CEO of The Royal School, Wolverhampton an all-through, co-ed, non-selective day and state boarding school of some 1500 pupils in the West Midlands.  Has been in post since 2011, converting from independent school to State Free School/Academy in 2016.  Over past 40 years he has worked in state and independent schools, boarding and day settings in London, Cumbria, Tyneside and now West Midlands. 

The Royal School has developed experience in working with Looked After Children (LAC) and UASC for a number of years, the work of which featured in the Independent Review into Children’s Social Care report of 2022 and works closely with the RNSCF Springboard Trust on their Expert Advisory Group to the Government on the potential benefits of boarding in working with vulnerable children.

Mark has taught geography, geology, PE and Games and has a passion for outdoor education and international expeditions.

Carolyn Harrison, Deputy Head (Pastoral), Fettes College

Carolyn grew up in the Outer Hebrides on the Isle of Lewis. Having studied Modern Languages at Cambridge University, she joined Fettes College initially as a French teacher but was quickly drawn to the pastoral side of life at the school, as a Houseparent in both the Prep School and the Senior School for over twenty years. Now as Deputy Head (Pastoral), she feels privileged to lead the school’s pastoral team, supporting students,families and staff every day. Outside the school gates, her secret passions are spending time in the Harris hills and Formula 1.



April 24
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Event Category:


The Safeguarding and Child Protection Association (Sacpa)
British Association of Independent Schools with International Students (BAISIS)


Virtual – Zoom
United Kingdom + Google Map