Panel Discussion: Best practice in communicating effectively with parents and other stakeholders in the event of a child abuse allegation – legal, PR and Head’s advice
Chaired by Chris King - Leicester Grammar School
held in the Auditorium
Mary Breen - St. Mary's School Ascot
Andrew Hunter - Merchiston Castle School
BA (Hons), PGCE. Headmaster, Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh, since 1998; b. 28.9.58, Nairobi, Kenya; m., Barbara G.; 2 s.; 1 d. Educ: Kenton College, Nairobi; Aldenham School, Elstree; University of Manchester; St. Luke’s College, Exeter. Career: Westbrook Hay Preparatory School, 1978-79; Worksop College, 1983-91 (Housemaster, 1987-91); Bradfield College, 1991-98 (Housemaster, 1992-98); Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh (Headmaster 1998-). Former Chairman, Public Schools Hockey Festival, Oxford; Former Committee Member, Public Schools Lawn Tennis Association; Member, Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference 1998-; Governor: Ardvreck Prep School, Crieff 2008 -; Laidlaw Schools Trust (formerly Excelsior Academy), Newcastle-upon-Tyne 2009-; Springboard Bursary Foundation 2012-. Recreations: reading; attending theatre; former men’s county player, tennis, squash and hockey (spectator these days), international cuisine and culture.
Kate Miller - Bell Pottinger
Kate is a partner at the international reputation management firm Bell Pottinger. She has advised corporates, schools and institutions, heads of businesses and private clients on a broad range of critical communications issues since 2000. Her focus areas include reputation and crisis management, media relations, campaigns, cyber and corporate positioning.
Having started her career as a litigator at law firm Allen & Overy, Kate also specialises in litigation communications, working with clients and their legal teams on strategies to address contentious situations.
She is a member of Bell Pottinger’s Schools team which provides the support, analysis and insights that schools and institutions need to manage reputation and crises, engage stakeholders, and design and run impactful campaigns.
David Smellie - Farrer & Co
David leads Farrer & Co's Child Protection Unit and (until recently) Schools Group. He has been heavily involved in advising clients on child protection matters over the last 15 years and, as such, he has witnessed the positive impact of regulatory change over the period. David led the Farrer & Co team which acted as Solicitors to the Independent Review by Hugh Davies QC into the criminal conduct of William Vahey in 2014. David has also acted as child protection governor at three schools, and is recognised at the UK's top-ranked schools lawyer in Chambers UK.