Saturday 2nd November 2019

Doubletree by Hilton, Pepys Street, London. EC3N 4AF

In 2019, Laura changed the focus of her annual conference to celebrate the
30th Anniversary of the United Nations Rights of the Child.


Keynote Speakers

Professor Gregoire Borst

Gregoire is Professor of Developmental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience of Education at Paris Descartes University, Junior Member of the Institut Universitaire de France and Deputy Director of the Laboratory.

He is also responsible for the Master’s degree in Psychology and DevMaster’s specialty. Grégoire obtained his Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from Paris Sud University in 2005. He was then postdoctoral fellow and researcher in the Stephen Kosslyn laboratory at Harvard University from 2006 to 2010 before being recruited in 2010 at the Paris Descartes University.

The purpose of Grégoire’s research is to determine (a) the role of inhibitory control in the neurocognitive development of children and adolescents in different areas and different learning outcomes; (b) the degree of generality and specificity of the inhibitory control at different ages; and (c) early and late brain strain on cognitive development and learning.

Lemn Sissay MBE

Lemn Sissay is a poet, playwright and broadcaster. He has had first hand experience of life in care from an early age. Lemn has read poetry everywhere from The Library of Congress in The United States to The University of Addis Ababa, from the Botanic Gardens of Singapore to the sonorous shores of Sri Lanka, from Wembley Football stadium to Maryland Football stadium, from the theatres of Bangalore to the theatres of Dubai, from a literature festival in Bali to a bar stage in Greenland AND Wigan library.

Lemn was awarded an MBE for services to literature by The Queen of England. He is chancellor of The University of Manchester and an honorary Doctor from The University of Huddersfield, The University of Manchester and The University of Kent.

Lemn was the first poet commissioned to write for the London Olympics. He was the official poet of the FA Cup 2015. In 2018 he was made Poet Laureate of Canterbury. His Landmark poems can be found on walls in public spaces around the world from The Royal Festival Hall in London to The British Council Offices in Addis Ababa. His poem “Gilt of Cain” was unveiled by Bishop Desmond Tutu in The City of London where it stands to this day.

Princess Tessy of Luxembourg

Co-founder of Professors Without Borders and Director of Logistics. Tessy is a Social Entrepreneur, Business Woman, Philanthropist, UNAids Ambassador, Public Speaker, Activist, and Mother.

Her commitments to education can also be seen in her Foundation, Professors Without Borders – that brings top-level educators and global experts to the doorsteps of students worldwide, in order to develop talent. Moreover, Tessy is an ambassador for UNAIDS (Global Advocate for Young Women and Adolescent Girls) and is the patron to UNA-UK.

In the past, she spent five years in the Luxembourg military, during which she was deployed in Kosovo as a peacekeeper and only woman of her draft. Tessy actively promotes a number of issues, including global health and women’s rights. She is passionate about pushing her different agendas to benefit the Sustainable Development Goals and has committed her time and energy to furthering the work of organisations in which she believes in. Moreover, she is actively committed to strengthening basic human rights for all and empowering young women and adolescent girls around the world. She received the Woman of the Decade award from the Women Economic Forum in January 2017, the Humanities medal for spreading humanistic ideas worldwide and the Global Empowerment Award for her work in Africa.

Tessy holds an MSc in International Studies and Diplomacy. Currently, Tessy lives in London with her two sons, but is often traveling for her various work projects.

Dr Jenny Gibson

Jenny’s research interests lie in the interplay between linguistic and social development from childhood through to adolescence. She studied at University of Manchester where she gained a BSc (Hons) in Speech and Language Therapy, before going on to win ESRC/MRC funding to complete a Master of Research in Psychology followed by a PhD.

After her PhD, Jenny went on to do post-doctoral research in child and adolescent mental health in the Department of Developmental Psychiatry, University of Cambridge.

Jenny held a lectureship in Developmental Language and Communication Disorders at the University of East Anglia for one year before coming to the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education as a University Lecturer in Psychology and Education in November 2014.

Jenny is a qualified Speech and Language Therapist and, although she has focused her career mainly on research, she has maintained her clinical registration specialising in assessment and treatment of complex language disorders and autism spectrum conditions.

Hibo Wardere

Hibo Wardere is a specialist and campaigner around FGM issues. She was born in Somalia, she moved to London, to flee the Somali Civil War. She currently works as a mediator and a regular FGM educator for Waltham Forest Borough. Her testimonials and campaigning work have appeared in publications including the Telegraph, the Guardian and on the BBC.

Hibo appeared as a Keynote Speaker at Laura’s 2017 ‘Early Years Safeguarding and Protecting Every Child’ Conference where she delivered her presentation ‘Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and the effect this has for Early Years’, this year she is returning to provide an update, ‘FGM – Where are we up to?’

Sarian Karim-Kamara

Sarian Karim-Kamara, from London, is a leading campaigner and activist who works to end the practice of female genital mutilation and breast ironing. Sarian underwent FGM and Breast Ironing as a child in Sierra Leone and she has spoken bravely and openly about her own traumatic experiences to educate professionals and communities.

In 2017, she founded ‘Keep the Drums, Lose the Knife’, to coordinate efforts to address FGM amongst the Sierra Leone community in the UK and abroad. She runs educational workshops for professionals and communities; and weekly support groups for survivors of FGM.

David Wright

David joined his wife, Anna, to run their family business which currently comprises of eight day nurseries, two preschools and one after-school club in 2002. In his Early Years career to date, David has worked as a practitioner, manager and an owner.

He is a passionate advocate for Men in Early Years and advises the UK Government on Early Years workforce diverse strategy as well as being a regular contributor to the print and broadcast media and social media, and international conference presenter. He is the founder of Southampton Area Men in Early Years (SAMEY), organiser of the first ever UK national conference for Men in Early Years and a UK representative on the leadership team of the World Forum Men in Early Childhood Education working group. He has recently written a book on Men in Early Years with Dr Simon Brownhill, published in November 2018

In 2015, David founded the charity Families First Southampton to support families in need in the area. The charity supports fathers, mothers, kinship carers and children with issues ranging from contact arrangements, improved relationships, benefits, debt, housing, health, family court. David is chair of trustees of New Life Home Trust UK CIO which raises funds and awareness of its partner organisation in Kenya whose purpose is the rescue, care and placement of abandoned babies. In their spare time, David and Anna run parenting courses as well as providing respite care for children for the charity Safe Families for Children.

Amanda Frolich

Amanda is a leading children’s fitness expert and founder of Amanda’s Action Club, offering a unique, stimulating mini-workout for pre-school children through classes, parties and family fun events.

She is extremely passionate about the health and well-being of children and recently developed a training course for Early Years Professionals to support them to deliver her routines, which are linked to the EYFS, within their provision on a regular basis, benefiting both the staff and children. Amanda’s Action Club runs weekly sessions in private nurseries and children’s centres across London and the South East, promoting the importance of exercise and fitness to the under 5’s and their families.

Lisa Smith

Lisa is a Romany Traveller from Worcestershire. Her early childhood was spent travelling around Wales but large concrete boulders started decorating entrances to stopping places and evictions became more regular.

Access to schooling became of paramount importance to her parents, who settled in Worcestershire. She has been working within a Traveller Education service for the last eight years, completed a Masters in Inclusive Education in January 2016 and is vice-chair for The Advisory Council for the Education of Romany and other Travellers.

Sadly, Lisa was taken ill on the day of the conference so was unable to attend, but did share her presentation to be screened. She later recorded a webinar with Laura, covering the points she had been planning to cover in her presentation. You can access this recording by clicking on the button below.

Juli Dosad

Juli is an Illustrator and Graphic Recorder, who has been creatively capturing content for over 10 years.

As an illustrator, graphic recorder and visual practitioner she uses her experience to help people and organisations communicate more creatively, engage more effectively and work more collaboratively to inspire each other.

Please see, below, Juli’s illustrations of the Conference

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