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AEWM Conference 2015

The AEWM National Conference 2015

Welcome from the President Julie Weddell

I was delighted to welcome over 80 delegates at this year's conference.   The room was buzzing with committed attendance leaders from LAs and schools and consultants sharing their practices with each other  

The speakers of the day were all very informative, inspirational and relevant to the work of education welfare management. Of special interest was the presentation from the Assistant Director, Achievement and Disadvantage Team, DFE which included the Prime Minister's recent announcement on the proposal for unpaid fines to be taken from child benefits and the NCB and HMI concerns regarding CME procedures which will lead to a pupil registrations reform. The audience were given time to share their views and the Association looks forward to further discussions with DFE on these important subjects.

AEWM NEC have discussed reintroducing a two day annual conference to enable more networking, but understand this is not viable these days as it is so difficult to get time away from the workplace. However, we continue to encourage more regional meetings as the groups that do meet regularly find these invaluable to exchange information and support members to find the most efficient ways of working.

The venue and date for our next free training event was announced at conference - 25th May 2016 at the Ardent Hotel in Birmingham for members

We have summarised the presentations below for those who were unable to attend the conference and copies of the PowerPoint are available to members in the member forum:

Chris Kiernan previously a Director of Children's services and Currently Interim Manager kindly opened the conference.   Chris was appointed to the post of Director of Education for the London Borough of Waltham Forest in 2004 and became its first director of Children's Services in 2006. Since retiring in 2011 he has worked as an interim manager in various roles, including Director and head of School Improvement Posts

Michael Gooch, Strategic Lead for Attendance for the London Borough of Islington his presentation centred on strategic approaches to achieving good attendance at school which is the single most protective factor to ensure that young people have the maximum life chances - attendance is strongly linked to educational achievement. Promoting positive school attendance is everyone's responsibility.

Deborah Bell Magistrate – provided an interesting presentation “The Magistrates Tale” and covered areas such as Reparation, Deterrence, Reformation, Protection and Punishment around sentencing.

Sandra Rothwell Chair of the National Network Child Employment &Entertainment provided conference with an update on the issuing surrounding child employment and entertainment.

Stefano Pozzi, Assistant Director, Achievement and Disadvantaged Team (DfE) delivered a presentation about challenges for schools and local authorities on improving attendance and safety. He provided information on the government’s future approach to penalty fines and changes to the registration regulations, please see the member forum for access to the presentation.

David Etheridge OBE Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Service provided an informative presentation on the PREVENT agenda one of the four key components of the government’s Counter Extremism Strategy CONTEST. David was awarded the OBE for his services to the community in the new Years honours List 2015.

Benedict Ashmore-Short the Principal of the Hamford Primary Academy provided an uplifting presentation on how attendance is at the heart of school improvement, a journey from special measures. Benedict was the Pearson Primary Head Teacher of the Year for 2014, he is a regular contributor and public speaker in the education press, events and conferences. 

Jenny Dodd and David Harvey provided the final presentation for conference on Elective Home Education – excitement and opportunity. Jenny and David are the joint chairs National Association for Elective Home Education.

In Closing

If you are a member of AEWM and you attended the conference you will know that the content of the conference was again of a high standard but if you are not yet a member now is the time to think about joining us, next year’s conference will not be that far away.

Please do not redistribute without permission material provided at the conference 


NEWS - AEWM Conference October 2015

Wednesday 14 October 2015 at the Arden Hotel


10.00   Conference Opening: Local Authorities and Pupil Attendance

Chris Kiernan Previously Director of Children’s Services / Currently Interim Manager 

 10.30   Developing Schools Capacity to Improve Attendance

Michael Gooch (Strategic Lead for Attendance for LB of Islington) 

10.50   Views of a Magistrate        

Deborah Bell Service Manager Key Working Service  LB Hillingdon and Magistrate

 11.00    Refreshments and networking

 11.20   ‘An update from the national Network’

Sandra Rothwell (Chair of National Network Child Employment and Entertainment)

11.50   ‘Challenges for Schools and Local Authorities on Improving Attendance’

Stefano Pozzi, Assistant Director, Achievement and Disadvantage Team (DfE)

 12.45    Lunch and networking

 13.45   The Prevent Agenda

David Etheridge Oxfordshire  Fire and Rescue Service

 14.15   ‘How attendance is at the heart of school improvement’ – a journey from special measures

Benedick Ashmore-Short Principal Hamford Primary Academy

Pearson Primary Headteacher of the Year 2014

 14.55    Refreshments and networking

 15.15   Elective Home Education – Excitement and Opportunity

            Jenny Dodd and Dave Harvey

Joint Chairs National Association for Elective Home Education Professionals

 15.55    Plenary 16.00    End