Governance Services

SAfE Annual Governance Conference 2024

As a local education partnership, we are dedicated to fostering excellence in governance within Surrey. Our flagship governance event presents an exceptional opportunity for connecting with peers, exchanging valuable insights on school governance, and honouring the dedication of Surrey’s governors, trustees, and governance professionals through our Governance Recognition Awards.

Addressing challenging issues is fundamental to realising effective governance, and this year’s conference will centre on the theme of “Better Serving Underserved Learners.”  Our keynote speaker is Rachel Macfarlane – Lead Advisor for Underserved Learners at Herts for Learning Education.

Event Agenda – Wednesday 26th June 2024

  • 4:30pm – 5:30pm: Networking Buffet – Join us for a pre-conference buffet and networking opportunity

  • 5:30pm: Welcome by Maria Dawes, CEO SAfE

  • 6:00pm: Keynote Speaker Session by Rachel Macfarlane, Lead Advisor HFL Education

  • 7:30pm: Governance Recognition Awards by Julia Katherine, Director of Education and Clare Curran, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, Lifelong Learning – Surrey County Council

  • 7:50pm: Wrap Up by Maria Dawes

  • 8:00pm: Conference Ends

Why Attend?

  • Join over 100 participants in Surrey governance

  • Build professional relationships that will help create and expand your effective governance skill set

  • Get the knowledge and tools to implement change that will have a positive impact in your school/s

  • Understand the imperative to improve outcomes for underserved children and young people, who do less well in Surrey than statistically similar areas

Keynote Speaker – Rachel Macfarlane, Lead Advisor for Underserved Learners, HFL Education

Rachel Macfarlane

Rachel is the Lead Adviser for Underserved Learners. Previously Director of Education Services, Rachel was the strategic lead for all of Herts for Learning education services to schools across all phases.

Prior to joining HFL education in 2018, Rachel was the headteacher of three school over a 16 year period, most recently Isaac Newton Academy in Ilford. She opened this non-selective all-through academy for 4-18 year olds in 2012 and the school was rated Outstanding by Ofsted when inspected in 2014.

Rachel has been extensively involved in leading school improvement programmes and system leadership both in primary and secondary phases. She was a Director of the London Leadership Strategy.

Rachel is a Senior Lecturer at the London Centre of Leadership and Learning at the Institute of Education. She is an author of several books on education leadership, learning power and race equity.

Read Rachel’s latest blog; Five Ways in Which Governors Can Play a Role in Fostering a Sense of Belonging and Status at their School.

Venue Information – Find Us

By Car

Wotton House can be easily accessed by the M25, the M3 South, the A24 East, and the A3 from London. Parking is extensive and free for guests of the conference venue.

By Train

The closest train station, Dorking Station, is just 4 miles or a 15 minute drive from the hotel. Direct links and connections from London Waterloo, London Victoria, Reading, and Gatwick Airport are available.


Wotton House, Guildford Road, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6HS.  Use RH5 6QQ for Sat Nav