On the 14th and 15th June 2016, Bright World welcomed experts and well-known speakers in the industry to share their wealth of knowledge at its annual company conference.
Bournemouth Collegiate School
Box Hill School
Burgess Hill School
Handcross Park School
Kent College, Canterbury
Kent College, Pembury
Oxford International Study Centre
Royal Hospital School
Royal School, Haslemere
St Andrew's Prep School
St Edmunds School
St Edward's, Oxford
The Stay Academy (Chartam)
We were also very pleased to welcome 10 agencies, along with important associates such as Yasemin Wigglesworth from AEGIS, Ashleigh Rees from Study Travel Magazine and ST Alphe Conferences and Alistair Veness and Simon Vickers from printing company Calico.
This was the perfect opportunity for Bright World to show off its 'engine room', the all-important Safeguarding Department which is rarely in the spotlight but always working behind the scenes to ensure things run safely and smoothly.
Lana Foster, Managing Director welcomed the group before lunch and spoke about the hard work that our safeguarding department does throughout the year to keep our students safe
“In an unregulated industry, as guardianship is, it is important that overseas parents understand that they should choose a good company who are doing things properly. With 27,000 overseas students in boarding schools whose parents do not live here, and only 5,000 with AEGIS accredited guardians, I ask the question - ‘who is looking after the other 22,000 at half term?”
After a networking drinks reception and lunch, we were joined by guest speakers Peter Dommet from Sussex Police Prevent, Jennie Bishop from Barnardo’s Children’s Charity and Faical Orakzai from DPMC.
Peter gave a fascinating insight into how and why children can be radicalized, what to look out for and how to report any concerns. Peter explained the statutory duty for schools and the opportunities they have for obtaining a Counter Terrorism Local Profile from their police force to assist with their work in this area. You can find out more about the Prevent strategy on the Sussex Police Website.
Jennie Bishop gave an engaging and enlightening talk about children who are victims of CSE (Child Sexual Exploitation). We learnt how to recognize the signs that this might be occurring, different models of CSE, push/pull factors, how it feels for children who are otherwise neglected in their life to be so ‘loved’ and therefore how they can be so easily drawn to the perpetrators.
Finally, Faical Orakzai talked about using social media for marketing purposes and how important it is for schools, agents and guardianship companies to use social media to engage with their client base. This includes providing interesting content that parents and students want to see when it comes to choosing the perfect boarding school.
After an insightful day, we waved goodbye to our guests and staff members were invited to attend a courtyard drinks reception and barbeque. Staff members were also encouraged to chance their luck with Bright World’s one-night-only casino, complete with Roulette and Black Jack. Congratulations to our Director of Admissions Sheena Trist who ended the night with the most chips and won our special prize.
The following morning, we aimed to strengthen the lines of communication between our head office team and Local Coordinators through one to one meetings and interactive presentations. We at Bright World appreciate the fantastic work that all of our Local Coordinators do and strive to make all members of staff happy and comfortable in their work. To show our appreciation, we awarded those members of staff who we felt went above and beyond our expectations of a Local Coordinator. Congratulations to the following award winners:
Alison Jelley – Best ‘Go To’ LC
Lorraine McGlone - Best ‘All-rounder’
Alexandra Williams - Best Flyer of our Flag
Martyn Pape - LC of the Year
We have had some wonderful feedback regarding the conference (which you can see below) and we are extremely pleased to learn that all of our guests found the event to be both enjoyable and informative. Please feel free to view our Networking Lunch Album on Facebook and our Instagram account to see some images of the event.
After a very successful and uplifting conference, we look forward to next year with great anticipation.
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the entertaining afternoon and convey my huge thanks to everyone for inviting me. The drinks reception canapés and lunch were delicious and the speakers were both very interesting and thought provoking. - Debbie Sainsbury, Director of Admissions, Kent College Pembury
Thank you again for your hospitality and inviting us to your event, we found it really informative and a useful insight into guardianship as well as a good opportunity to meet other schools and agents. - Susan Steele, Head of International Office, The Royal School, Haslemere
The event was very well organized, the talks were very informative, and the people at Bright World are very warm and welcoming. All these show how professional and loving Bright World is. We are delighted to be your agent, and hope we can be fruitful in our collaborations. - Sherry Zhang, Live Our Dreams International Ltd
I feel very proud to be a part of an amazing company and to be part of an organisation that puts safeguarding at the forefront of everything it does. First class guardianship. - Rebecca Warboys, Local Coordinator, Bright World
I thought that this year’s conference was the best ever. It was so well organised and was such a success inviting the schools and outside agencies, I had some really good meetings as a result. Well done to you and the team at Bright World HQ. - Martyn Pape, Local Coordinator, Bright World
The event was very well organised, Bright world should be commended for their commitment to Safeguarding, I am very pleased to have helped with some training whilst attending, I wish you all the very best of luck. - Fiona Lee, SAFE (Safeguarding Associates for Excellence)
Thank you so much for inviting me to your conference yesterday, I thought it was a fantastic event, so interesting and really well organised. It was good to meet colleagues from other schools and have a chance to chat. It was also great having a seating plan at lunch and lovely for me to be able to chat to Su and hear what she does as a Senior Guardianship Manager – also really nice to meet more of your staff. I thought you had three excellent speakers; they were all very interesting and extremely knowledgeable. I was completely engaged the whole afternoon. I felt very privileged to be part of your conference – it was a great event. - Jane Gallie, International Recruitment Manager, Bishopstrow College
"Bright World is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment."
Sherborne International, a Bright World Partner School, has been in touch today to let us know they still have places for September 2018 in all year groups, though very limited - read on to see how to apply and learn more about how Bright World can help you to find a great host family near Sherborne School.
Lisa Palmer, the Director of Admissions and Marketing at Taunton School has returned from a short vacation and has sent us A BIG hello from an unusually warm and sunny Taunton!