Safeguarding & Mental Health Conference 2024

Hosted by Safeguarding Network in partnership with Anna Freud

Portland Street, Manchester 10th July 2024

Do you have the responsibility and passion for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of young people in education settings? Safeguarding Network, in partnership with Anna Freud, are hosting our first conference on the interplay between mental health concerns for young people and the duties on education settings to keep them safe.

  • Hear from inspirational professionals including Dame Rachel De Souza, Children’s Commissioner.
  • Attend 3 in-depth CPD accredited Keynote Presentations and choose 2 specialist Workshops run by Safeguarding Network, Anna Freud, UK Trauma Council and Spark UK.
  • Deepen your knowledge with the latest research and trends in safeguarding and mental health.


All participants have access to our in-depth keynote presentations with a choice of two workshops detailed below. A “energizer” breakfast, networking mezze lunch and refreshments during the day are also provided. Each participant will receive their personalised programme ahead of 10th July.

  • Join us for the “Energizer” Breakfast

  • Introduction & Welcome from Safeguarding Network and Anna Freud

  • Safeguarding: Practice and Resilience in Schools - Dr Lesley French

  • Break/refreshments

  • Workshop – 1st session

  • Lunch

  • How traumatic experiences affect children and young people and how schools can help them recover - David Trickey

  • Workshop - 2nd session

  • Break/refreshments

  • Mental health, families & education - Dame Rachel De Souza, Children’s Commissioner

  • Finish


Safeguarding Network members can save £50 per place. Find out more about joining Safeguarding Network from just £99+vat per term

This conference is suitable for

  • Head teachers
  • principals
  • designated safeguarding leads
  • mental health leads
  • senior mental health leads
  • pastoral leads
  • governors
and others with a passion for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of young people in education settings.


Through in-depth keynotes and a selection of specialist workshops we will explore the mental health landscape in England and ways in which our organisations can work together to safeguard children and young people.

  • Mental health, families and education

    Dame Rachel De Souza - Children’s Commissioner

    The Commissioner’s talk will cover key findings from her most recent survey, the Big Ambition, and other key concerns around safeguarding and children’s mental health.

    Dame Rachel De Souza is a nationally recognised educator and advocate for improving the life chances of disadvantaged children. Before her appointment as Children’s Commissioner, she led two schools from failing to outstanding, before founding and leading the Inspiration Trust, a family of fourteen schools in East Anglia. The Trust was twice ranked as the nation’s top group of comprehensive schools based on pupil progress at GCSE. She was made a Dame in 2014 for services to education.

    Dame Rachel was appointed Children’s Commissioner in 2021. In this role she has unique legislative powers, is an advocate for children across the country, and represents children’s needs across Government. In role, Dame Rachel has completed the largest-ever survey of children ‘The Big Ask’ with over half-a-million responses. This work led to a commission from Government to look at representing children’s voice in the Online Safety Bill, an ongoing piece of work into driving up Attendance in schools, and was asked to complete the Family Review by Government.

  • Safeguarding: Practice and Resilience in Schools

    Dr Lesley French - Head of Clinical Help in Schools and Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Anna Freud

    There has been a steep rise in mental health and safeguarding presentations since the pandemic, notably in self-harm and suicidal behaviours, with a huge impact on schools and their staff. The session will cover best practice and current thinking, alongside considering the challenges for school safeguarding leads. Support for staff and using reflective approaches will be considered to promote resilience in staff and the wider school community.

    Dr Lesley French is a consultant clinical psychologist and heads up the Clinical Help offer for the Schools Division at Anna Freud. Dr French trained at University College London, is an Honorary Lecturer and worked in the NHS for over 20 years in CAMHS and outpatient forensic services alongside her role as Programme Director for a Leadership Course for Anna Freud /UCL. She was Clinical Director and Head of Psychological Therapies before moving to Anna Freud fulltime in 2019. Dr French oversees three child & family community mental health teams, a national remote service providing direct intervention to young people in schools, staff and parents and leads on Safeguarding Training.

  • How traumatic experiences affect children and young people and how schools can help them recover

    David Trickey – Co-Director of UK Trauma Council and Consultant Clinical Psychologist

    Experiencing traumatic events such as assault, abuse, death, bullying and racism as a child or young person can increase risk to poor mental health and long-term outcomes. By understanding how these events impact them, designated safeguarding and mental health leads are better placed to respond effectively and use evidence informed approaches to create an environment that supports their recovery.

    David Trickey is a leading Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Co-Director of the UK Trauma Council. He has specialised in working with traumatised children, young people, and their families since 2000, particularly following domestic abuse and family homicide. He continues to focus on direct clinical work, as well as the training, supervision and support of others and is the clinical team lead for a specialist service for Children in Care. He presents at conferences and supervises research. He is chartered by the British Psychological Society and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. He was a member of the committee responsible for the 2018 revision of the NICE Guidelines for PTSD. In all of his roles he draws heavily on the research literature to which he has made a modest contribution.

Book your place today!


We have a wide range of workshops around our conference theme of mental health and safeguarding. Workshop bookings will open on 1st May and we will be contacting you to reserve your AM and PM spaces. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis so we encourage you to secure you places as soon as you can to avoid disappointment.

Understanding why children & young people self-harm & what you can do to support them through a whole school approach

Kayleigh Larne - Anna Freud

Suicide in children and young people: prevention, responding and safety planning

Hannah Woods - Anna Freud

Anxiousness, engagement and avoidance

Nic Petri - Anna Freud

‘Whole setting approach’ to safeguarding and mental health for your students

Sharon Hand - Safeguarding Network

The Power of Young People

Conor Warren - Spark UK

Safeguarding & SEND

Christine Freestone - Safeguarding Network

Book your place today!

The Venue

etc.venues Manchester is a dedicated training, meeting and conference venue in the heart of the city centre. Situated on the 8th Floor, the glass purpose built 1,858sqm space features 15 meeting rooms consisting of an exclusive use event wing alongside smaller rooms ideal for meetings and training events. The venue features stunning views over the city, vibrant design, state of the art technology and an onsite theatre kitchen with chefs serving fresh, innovative cuisine. We are delighted to have secured the whole venue for this conference.

11 Portland Street, Manchester M1 3HU
Email: or call 020 7138 3280
By Bus and Tram - Piccadilly Gardens. This is a main transport hub for Metrolink trams and buses and is a 2 minute walk from the venue. By Train - Manchester Piccadilly station is approx 5 minutes walk, Manchester Oxford Road Station is an 8 minute walk and Manchester Victoria Station is a 15 walk.
Pick Up and Drop Off
There is a pay and display NCP car park on Major Street (directly behind the venue). Follow for directions to NCP Major Street. Car parking for up to 9 hours is £12.00 or for 24 hours is £15.50. Address is Major Street, Manchester, M1 3ED.

Book your place today!

Members receive a £50 discount on the full ticket price.