ECP Limited

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from ECP Limited is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Sue Manning, Director
Some of the training team from
Education Child Protection
Education Child Protection was established in 2002 and
provides specialist courses for anyone who works with
children. The company has secured many contracts
nationwide, including the delivery of training on behalf of
various local safeguarding children boards. Operating under a
system that stresses the importance of engagement, relevance
and accuracy, they provide a highly effective and compelling
service. Sue Manning left her role as an Advisory Teacher
for Child Protection to establish the company and has been
personally involved in the training programmes they offer since
their inception.
Over the last 18 years, I have worked as a child protection trainer. As I have
learned the intricacies and complexities of this role, I have developed three
priorities that I apply to every session. Whether it is for early years workers in a
small nursery in Blackpool or for 250 undergraduates at the Institute of Education
in London, they remain constant. This is my ERA system. This involves the crucial
consideration of three aspects: engagement, relevance to the role and accuracy
I made a conscious decision in 1999 not to follow the obvious career path into
becoming a headteacher. I was extremely passionate about my role as a pastoral
deputy with responsibility for child protection. I was always highly vocal with
my local authority about shortcomings in the training of teachers. I was amazed
»Director: Sue Manning
»Founded in 2002
»Based in Bassingbourn, south
»Services: Specialist training
courses for anyone working
with children
»No. of employees: 5
permanent employees and 12
associate trainers
ECP Limited
Highlighting best practice
when I was invited to apply as an
advisory teacher for child protection.
Themore I considered the potential
difference I could make in this role,
the more I realised that I could not
turn the opportunity down, despite a
substantial drop in salary. I have never
regretted thatdecision.
I subsequently took the risk of setting
up my own consultancy. This awarded
me the complete freedom to take my
training wherever there was interest
or need. I was extremely lucky that
a local authority in London brought
me in within weeks. For most of the
15 years I had been a designated
safeguarding lead in schools, I had
received very little instruction. It was
usually assumed that it would be
picked up on the job.
When I went to my first child
protection conference, I had no idea
what to do or say. Working in London
at the time, in an area of deprivation, I
was bombarded with many extremely
serious cases to manage within
schools and with external agencies. My
determination carried me through to
do the very best to keep young people
safe from harm.
Eventually, as a DSL, I attended training
by the amazing Yvonne Coppard in
Cambridge and was enthralled by the
oratory powers of this wonderful head
of service. She was down to earth,
essentially human and acknowledged
the complexities of management in
the crucial role of keeping children
safe. She was never patronising and
was also very funny, lightening the
subject in an appropriate manner and
making everyone relax. This was a
major contributing factor for me taking
Leaving frontline work, I missed
working with children, so I
volunteered for Childline as a
counsellor and went into schools
with the Childline Schools Service
for several years. I also trained as an
adult counsellor for NAPAC and spent
one day per week for a year with
this wonderful service. Essentially, I
wanted to get the broadest possible
understanding of the growing
diversity of child protection and to
feel as grounded as possible in my
Professionals who work with children
are child centred, so it is often
incredibly traumatic to be doused
in uncomfortable, challenging and
heartbreaking issues.
Rule one: engagement
I use PowerPoint but always
endeavour to make it visually
stimulating. It is a highly visual and
pacey experience, aiming to keep
even the most fidgety delegate
interested. I sincerely believe that the
time and effort it takes to produce
a memorable visual experience are
entirely worthwhile.
For variety, I use voice recordings from
my team and the children I work with.
I have opinion-sharing activities and
utilise quizzes where delegates walk
around the room to keep them active.
Sue Manning lecturing
undergraduate trainee
teachers at Middlesex
For most of the
15 years Ihad
been a
lead in schools,
I had received
very little
instruction. It
was usually
assumed that
it would be
picked up on
the job
I have run DSL training where they put
together a presentation on a topical
child protection issue. I allow them
to be as creative as they dare. I have
had songs, poems, raps, news reports,
role play and diary entries. Years later,
I have had school leaders reflect on
these experiences – a testament to
their impact.
Rule two: relevance
Attendees will disengage if they
do not believe that the course is
relevant to their role. Every course is
tailored to their sector. I have trained
schools, nurseries, churches, hospices,
swimming clubs, charity workers, GPs,
prison staff, social workers and refuse
collectors. Our work reaches out to all
sectors of society.
Rule three: accuracy
All courses must contain the most
recent and accurate information
from current statutory guidance and
legislation. There is no room for error
on this. We now operate with three
directors: me, Luke Brent-Savage and
Nicole Williamson.
Luke, heading up our exceptionally
busy online team, is well known in
his field. This includes broadcasts for
the BBC in which he gives advice on
child protection. Hearing the passion
from Home Secretary Sajid Javid about
his mission to make tech giants take
more responsibility for the safety of
children online is music to our ears.
As young people have more exposure
to changing advancements with
apps, games and social networks, it
is imperative that we stay aware of
these changes to ensure the safety
As well as performing inspirational
delivery of all courses in child
protection, Nicole is also our safer
recruitment specialist. She has recently
worked in conjunction with the Brook
Service on a special project looking
at the sexual exploitation of young
boys. We are incredibly proud of the
response to the innovative training
that resulted from this partnership.
As a company, we use around 12
highly experienced staff to deliver
We promote work that responds
acutely to the issues raised and the
needs of the local demographic.
modus operandi
is mindful of
promoting social cohesion for our
client base, whether it is a school,
nursery, football club or faith group.
We encourage designated staff
to act as champions within local
communities, and we see this as
best practice in working together to
safeguard children. This also shows
a willingness to understand how our
diverse nation operates.
During Margaret Thatcher’s
stewardship, the 1989 Children Act
was, and still is, fundamental to our
practice. The central mantra from
this act is
“the welfare of the child is
paramount.” This is as relevant today
as it was then.
We encourage
designated staff
to act as
within local
and we see this
as best practice
in working
together to
ECP Directors Sue Manning,
Luke Brent-Savage and
Nicole Williamson

This article was sponsored by ECP Limited. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.