The Bright World Company Conference 2018 was a resounding success. So many of our close partner schools and agents took the time to join us. We all came away feeling very positive about the Guardianship industry and the work that schools and Bright World do together to keep children safe.
It's 'Pimms O'Clock' and time for networking
After initial safeguarding update sessions with Safeguarding Leads at Bright World, the Bright World staff team joined over 45 school representatives, Associates and Agents for a relaxing and enjoyable networking session.
'We want people to relax and take the time to meet each other and have a chat over a Pimms and canapes. This year the networking room was alive and buzzing with chat and we were delighted that so many guests took the time to come' Charlotte Hamson, Conference Director
Lunch is served
Charlotte Hamson welcomed our guests and commented that some had travelled as far as from Nigeria and Scotland to be with us before we all tucked into Salmon, and profiteroles for pudding.
I am thinking of opening a Dog Kennels - or is that too complicated?
Lana Foster's Presentation, which was designed to shock, was entitled 'I'm going to open a dog kennels, or is that too complicated?'
Lana aimed to really hit home important facts and revealed how heavily legislated and regulated, by the authorities, the Dog Kennel industry is. In stark contrast, the Guardianship industry is not regulated at all by any authorities. Literally anyone can and probably does open their home to an international student without being screened. During her talk Lana boldly asked the question
'Do the authorities care more about dogs than international students in this country?'
Lana's ended with hope and good news because AEGIS (The Association for The Education & Guardianship for International Students) exists and good guardianship companies choose to subscribe and therefore be regulated by this professional organisation. Lana went onto make an important announcement about the recent partnership between AEGIS and BSA Boarding Schools Association.
It's the Schools who Make the Rules
As it's the Schools who Make the Rules we look to schools to endorse AEGIS and insist that parents should only use AEGIS-accredited guardianships thus fulfilling, to the best of their ability, their ongoing duty of care which continues even during holiday times and when children are with their host families.
GDPR Made Simple
We saw many attendees visibly relax as they heard Gwen Christie's presentation on GDPR. She succeeded in dispelling the myths around the subject and showing how straightforward being compliant actually is.
Freedom From Abuse
Our Key Note Speaker was Hilary Foster from this important charity. The room listened on fascinated as she talked about behaviours and tactics used by perpertrators in positions of trust. Key messages for all were to LISTEN to your children and TRUST YOUR GUT INSTINCT and ACT on it if you dont feel right about a situation or a particular person.
To end what had been such a successful day, we invited some of our guests to sit on the panel which comprised;-
We asked questions about guardianship and wanted a school's perspective on the services we provide. The discussion was lively and interesting and we will be posting more details of this in further news items.
Day 1 of the conference ended with us waving goodbye to our guests and our Bright World team getting back to work and discussing our Student Visits and the Care Plans that they submit after our visits.
We all relaxed in the evening with a barbecue and casino night and off to bed so we could get up early the next day for Day 2. More to follow......
"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!