Westminster Education Forum

We are continuing to organise full-scale virtual conferences which retain all the features of physical seminars, including full programmes, presentations with slides, panel discussions and live delegate questions and comments sessions, person-to-person and group networking, and a permanent record provided to all delegates afterwards. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time, so there are plenty of opportunities to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are.
For booking-related queries or information on speaking please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk, or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.

If you’re already booked on, joining instructions can be accessed from five working days before your conference via the booking dashboard. Need help? Contact us at delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

The future of the children’s social care system in England

Morning, Thursday, 30th September 2021

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will examine next steps for the care system in England, as well as priorities for its regulation, possible reform, and a potential change in approach to preventative support and early intervention.

The discussion is taking place alongside the ongoing Independent review of children’s social care, set up by the Department for Education, which aims to examine the whole system of support, care, and safeguarding, and provide recommendations for reform and strategies to raise standards. Its key areas of focus include:

  • balancing child protection and family life
  • the requirements for a safe and positive care experience
  • financial sustainability and the cost effectiveness of current delivery
  • accountability and oversight of local responsibilities

Alongside the Independent review, this conference will provide an opportunity to discuss its interim report, Case for Change, which highlights concerns around the level of bureaucracy and inconsistency in the system, advocates for a move to a preventative approach, and considers priorities for the children’s social care system in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are pleased to be able to include a keynote contribution from Matthew Brazier, Specialist Advisor for Looked After Children, Ofsted.


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from the Department for Education; the Department of Health and Social Care; the Ministry of Justice; and Ofsted. Also due to attend are representatives from Flourish Gloucestershire; Social Work England; University of West London and WillisPalmer.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government officials in this area of public policy, together with other education stakeholders including school leaders, child protection bodies, police, safeguarding consultants, victim support groups, counsellors and wellbeing officers, mental health specialists, youth mentoring groups, local government, researchers in academia and higher education, and reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Matthew Brazier

Specialist Advisor for Looked After Children, Ofsted


Baroness Uddin

Steve McCabe MP

Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood


John McGowan

General Secretary, Social Workers Union

Professor Rick Hood

Professor of Social Work, Centre for Health and Social Care Research, Kingston University

Dr Carol Homden

Chief Executive Officer, Coram

Lisa Hackett

Delivery Director, Frontline

Jon Brown

Director, Strategic Partnerships, Barnardos

Professor June Thoburn

Emeritus Professor of Social Care, Centre for Research on Children and Families, University of East Anglia

Darren Bishton

Practice Lead, National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum, Catch 22

Peter Sandiford

CEO, Independent Children’s Homes Association

Joe Lane

Head of Policy and Research, Action for Children

Councillor Cordelia Law

Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Torbay Council

Megan Davies

Head of Political Engagement, Drive Forward Foundation