Kids Company founder will challenge Welsh educators

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Teaching vulnerable young people will be the subject of a major lecture by one of Britain's best-known children's campaigners.

Teaching vulnerable young people will be the subject of a major lecture by one of Britain’s best-known children’s campaigners.

Camila Batmanghelidjh is to deliver the ninth Wales Education Lecture next month and she is expected to challenge educationalists to consider whether radical new approaches are needed to support vulnerable pupils.

Iranian-born Ms Batmanghelidjh, 49, runs two charities – the Place2Be and Kids Company – which have helped an estimated 70,000 youngsters face problems such as bereavement, family breakdown, domestic violence, trauma and bullying.

Kids Company currently delivers services to 11,925 children through  33 inner-city schools in London, and a new, post-14 educational institute, the Urban Academy in Southwark.

Known also for her flamboyant dress sense, Ms Batmanghelidjh is a frequent television commentator on children’s issues and is author of the acclaimed 2006 book Shattered Lives: Children Living with Courage and Dignity.

Her lecture, to be delivered at the National Museum for Wales on October 1, is entitled Neurosis, Numeracy and Neurons: The challenges of delivering education to vulnerable children and young people, and will focus on how school staff can be more effective in reaching out to vulnerable children in their care.

“Helping vulnerable pupils and young people who face traumas in their personal lives is a major issue facing teachers and other staff, so we’re very pleased that Camila has agreed to share her experiences with us through this important annual lecture,” said Gary Brace, chief executive of the General Teaching Council for Wales, which organises the event.

“We hope to see as wide a cross-section as possible of education professionals attending; including further education lecturers, teaching assistants and youth workers, as well as teachers.”

The high-profile lecture was instituted in 2004 as an annual opportunity for those who deliver or influence education in Wales to hear innovative ideas and discuss current issues affecting the sector.

Previous speakers include Professor Shirley Williams, former UK education secretary, Baroness Estelle Morris, film producer, Lord Puttnam, and Wales’s Children’s Commissioner Keith Towler. 

More than 200 educationalists are expected to attend this year. Admission is free and open to anyone with an interest in education.

Details are available from www.gtcw.org.uk

CAPTION: Children’s campaigner: Camila Batmanghelidjh is to deliver the ninth Wales Education Lecture next month



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