It has been a weird and very unsettling week for everyone, I think we can all agree that we have not known anything like it. The daily commute has been profoundly quiet, not just in the actual volume of commuters, but just in the mood too. I know it has certainly not been quiet for schools and settings, quite the opposite. You have all been marvellous in getting on with teaching and caring for your pupils, as well as guiding parents and carers in these uncertain times, so a massive thank you for your ongoing professionalism and efficiency.

I will continue to provide key updates and guidance, sometimes having to provide the clarity where there is ambiguity and interpret policy quickly, so that Head teachers and leaders can get on with converting this guidance into actual delivery, often having to turn this round very quickly. It is clear that schools are going to be taking a key and important role in providing an offer of ‘core provision’ for the children of key workers, and those with additional needs.

Schools are already drawing up an ‘extraordinary roll’ of pupils who they feel need a place in their core provision, based on your knowledge of families and pupils’ additional needs. Other parents and carers will also need their child to be in school as part of the core provision because of their essential job role. Thank you for all that you are doing, whilst also dealing and managing with your own capacity challenges.

Guidance has now been sent to schools following the rather late communication last night from the Cabinet Office, which outlines the very comprehensive list of key works and how to maintain educational provision, which is available here. Please find attached the most recent two letters to primary and secondary schools, for ease of reference.

Martin Pratt has scheduled a Skype meeting time where heads can dial in at 1pm-2pm on Monday 23rd March for a virtual meeting-not sure, how this will work, but we will give it a collective go! Camilla will be sending calendar invites to you.

As we go into next week, Camden Learning will need to collect data around the actual numbers of children in your schools as we plan for phase 2 of the plan (which is attached), looking ahead to the Easter holidays. A decision will be made with Heads about which schools will remain open or how we mobilise into location satellites. Also I am planning a couple of days a week to work from actual school sites whilst 5PS is vacated, this will be useful for me to keep in touch with the school community and also see first-hand how schools are coping.

The next few months are going to be a time of exploration for all of us, as we live our lives in very different ways than we are used to. It is a great opportunity for each of us to learn new skills and achieve things we never thought possible.

Jon Abbey

Managing Director, Camden Learning

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