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America Square Conference Centre
HR Update and People Strategy
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What to expect

Join HR leaders from education for a day of expert legal advice and updates.

Benefit from the latest legal updates and gain new approaches to your people strategy.

  • Avoid pitfalls and costly mistakes.
  • Mitigate risk in your decision-making.
  • Ensure robust policies and contracts.
  • Navigate absence effectively.
  • Recruit and retain high performers.
Key topics
  • Employment law update.
  • Agile working approaches.
  • Support recruitment and retention in a competitive market.
  • How complaints-handling is an HR strategy.
  • Manage sickness absence effectively.
  • Practical tools for performance management.
'A brilliant opportunity to have an in-person 'one stop' day of all things topical in the HR space.'
Head of HR
Millfield
,
Why attend
Employment law

Stay up to date with the latest changes to employment law.

Recruitment

Stand out from competitors and attract high performing staff.

People strategy

Sharpen your HR foundations and avoid costly mistakes.

Programme

Programme

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Registration, refreshments and networking
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Welcome and housekeeping
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Chair's introduction and welcome with facilitated roundtables on your current issues
Emma Hughes
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Let's talk about flex, baby: agile working approaches in schools
Michelle Gabriel
Support recruitment and retention in an increasingly competitive market with strategies to secure your most valued asset – people.
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Rants to results: How complaints-handling is a HR strategy
Laura McInerney
In a world where parents (and employees) are more likely to make complaints, especially on social media, what can leaders do to avoid this?
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Q&A
Emma Hughes
Michelle Gabriel
Laura McInerney
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Morning refreshments, networking and exhibition
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Workshop choices 1
1A Managing sickness absence
Heather Mitchell
Explore a long-term sickness case study and improve your quality of correspondence, compliance of the policy, timings of the steps, whilst looking out for missed opportunities.
1B Recruitment of non-teaching staff
Rachael Boaler
Matt McIver
Use appealing messaging to drive strong recruitment of non-teaching staff in your setting.
1C Enhancing performance management and capability in schools
Lirette Mill
Gain practical tools to support performance management, how to identify poor performance, the ability to differentiate between employee conduct versus capability, how to hold difficult conversations and how to navigate through informal and formal capability processes.
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Lunch, networking and exhibition
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Employment law update
Peter Woodhouse
Stay informed to ensure policies, procedures and contracts are robust and fit for the upcoming year.
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Wellbeing for HR professionals
Kat Thorne
Equip yourself with tools to ensure your own value and wellbeing is looked after as an HR professional with one small positive habit change.
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Workshop choices 2
2A Efficient disciplinaries
Tom Wallace
Dai Durbridge
Take part in a safeguarding disciplinary investigation to understand what a “good” investigation looks like as you: get ready for a hearing, see how social media impacts the case, save money with prompt action, and get to dismissal.
2B Pragmatic mediation
Dave Walker MBE
Freddie De Luca
Deliver proper, honest conversations that get to the most beneficial solution quickly to mitigate lost time and staff stress.
2C Strong HR foundations
Emma Hughes
Deepen your knowledge on being an HR professional, including the ethics of HR, and how you can sharpen your skills.
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Afternoon refreshments, networking and exhibition
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Workshop choices 3
3A Terms and conditions around recruitment and retention
Tom Wallace
Move away from the green and burgundy books and benefit staff in other ways.

Trust and Independent school relevant.
3B Workload reduction
Emma Hughes
Understand what is occurring nationally on workload reduction in the first part of this workshop, then join a collaborative discussion to share ideas or existing tried and tested solutions. Leave with realistic, implementable ideas on reducing workload.
3C Manage high risk termination
Peter Woodhouse
Katharine Robinson
How to deal with high-risk terminations, including what you can do to prepare for them and mitigating the risks when they do. This will be a high-level session covering financial, staff and reputational risks and will assume a good knowledge of a standard disciplinary process.
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Insights into the latest people priorities
Emma Hughes
Understand what the latest priorities and trends mean for the school sector, and take away your own priorities for 2024 and beyond.
Speakers

Conference speakers

Emma Hughes chairs this annual HR update from Optimus Education.
Chair
Browne Jacobson LLP
Partner, Head of HR Services
Rachel Boaler
Speaker
Holden Knight Education
Managing Director
Freddie De Luca
Speaker
Calm Mediation
Director of Development
Dai Durbridge is speaking at Optimus Education conferences.
Speaker
Browne Jacobson LLP
Partner
Michelle Gabriel
Speaker
Capita People Solutions
Head of HR
Laura McInerney speaking at Optimus Education's conferences.
Speaker
Founder of Teacher Tapp
Education Journalist
Matt McIver
Speaker
Cidari Multi Academy Trust
Chief Operating Officer
Lirette Mill is speaking at Optimus Education conferences.
Speaker
HR Connect
Head of HR Advisory
Heather Mitchell
Speaker
Browne Jacobson LLP
Employment Partner
Katharine Robinson
Speaker
Stone King LLP
Associate
Kat Thorne
Speaker
The Morning GameChanger
Director
Dave Walker
Speaker
Calm Mediation
Director of Mediation
Tom Wallace
Speaker
Browne Jacobson LLP
Senior HR Consultant
Peter Woodhouse
Speaker
Stone King LLP
Partner