This week, on 8th June, we held the annual Bright World Company Conference. For the first time, the event took place online, with staff members joining from all across the UK and our Chinese colleagues attending from Mainland China.
Sessions were led by members of the Senior Management Team, which provided key updates to both the head office and Local Coordinator teams. Staff also received updated safeguarding training from Adam Lubbock, the founder of independent safeguarding organisation, Kings River Education.
Opening the conference, Managing Director Lana Foster, outlined the challenges that Bright World and the guardianship industry and international education sectors at large have faced over the last year and highlighted the hard work and dedication of staff in supporting students, parents and agents throughout the pandemic.
Moving away slightly from covid-19, Lana also talked about her predictions for the September 2021 academic year and some key staff changes and appointments.
Leading the second session, Charlotte Hamson, Director of Sales & Marketing, spoke about the challenges of promoting guardianship during the pandemic, when many students had been unable to travel to the UK, highlighting some of the marketing campaigns that helped to keep students engaged and increase confidence in the safety of UK Boarding during the pandemic. This was followed by a review of market insights for the the new academic year and a focus on the marketing work that our Local Coordinators do behind the scenes throughout the year.
Jenny Rumble, Director of Safeguarding and Operations, began by speaking about the 2021 re-accreditation inspection by AEGIS (the Association for the Education & Guardianship of International Students) which concluded this month and in which Bright World achieved 100% in all 196 criteria inspected. This was followed by safeguarding case studies and an update focussing on the role of our Local Coordinator team.
Later in the day, Jenny also conducted a safeguarding policy refresher and review for all staff.
Next to take to the virtual stage was Director of Guardianships, Su Warren. Su's presentation included a review of the year from the guardianship team and a review of the Bright World Covid-19 safe plans for host families and airport transfer arrangements.
Also included was an overview and training session on student quarantine and testing requirements; how this has affected operations and the steps taken to help and support students throughout.
Following Su, James Foster, Commercial Director, gave a presentation on internet security and the continued rise of fraudulent emails. This topic was particularly relevant this year, as many professionals in the UK, including Bright World staff continue to work remotely in line with government guidance.
As a key part of our commitment to safeguarding children and, in particular, the international students under our care, all staff receive annual safeguarding refresher training. For the second year running, this session was led by Adam Lubbock, Founder of King's River Education, an independent safeguarding consultancy, specialising in guardianship.
The session covered key changes to safeguarding legislation, which are included in the draft of the new Standards for Boarding Schools (SBS) which replaces the National Minimum Standards for Boarding (NMS).