It’s that time of year already and this week our young people have either completed an intensive week of SATs or begun GCSE, A level and vocational exams. We wish them well over the exam period.

This week Ofsted published its inspection framework for September, following the consultation period. Amongst the headlines are that the on-site preparation has been scrapped, which was suggested by some as a no-notice inspection. There will now be a 90-minute phone conversation instead. Ofsted will go ahead with their plans not to use internal data. However the inspectorate has clarified in its inspection handbook and recognises how school leaders draw on “a variety of sources when considering pupil performance, including internal assessment information”. Inspectors will check that there is no bullying when they determine how to grade a school on the behaviour and attitudes of its pupils, a proposal that prompted concerns that it could encourage schools to hide or fail to report bullying. Ofsted has now amended its criteria to place the emphasis on “whether or not providers tolerate bullying, harassment, violence, derogatory language and discriminatory behaviour and, crucially, how swiftly and effectively they take action if these issues occur”.

The quality of education category was widely supported in the consultation and schools will have time to phase in their intent for the curriculum following their own review, clarifying the approach and how the curriculum is implemented. Over the last few weeks, we have been interviewing prospective hubs for the next academic year and a number of schools put forward plans and ideas for curriculum hubs. Christine Gilbert and myself decided that there was the opportunity to bring school leaders and governors together for a Camden curriculum conference in September, to consider our vision, approach and values. This could then potentially lead to Camden Learning commissioning groups of schools to lead on aspects of that work to develop our own local curriculum outline.

On 27th June we would like to invite heads, governors and senior leaders to our Hub event on the 11th floor at 5PS, to hear back from the hubs that have been running this year, using the Pecha Kucha storytelling method, and wander around the hub market place. The market place represents an opportunity where hubs for the next academic year will be on hand to talk through their plans and ideas with you, hoping that it whets you appetite and that you sign-up your school for the next academic cycle. See the item below (attachment) for the outline for the hub event session and I look forward to seeing you there.

Jon Abbey

Managing Director, Camden Learning

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