Next Tuesday is the 12th biennial Camden Music Festival, being held at the treasured and iconic Royal Albert Hall. This special event celebrates the musical achievements of over 2,000 children and young people from Camden primary, secondary and special schools. The festival itself is one that the children and young people recollect and treasure for a long time, coming together as a collective choir and orchestra for a really special occasion. I know a number of schools and parents have been in contact about how the event will be affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Although the situation is fast-changing, the event will go ahead, unless or until we are advised that public gatherings should be cancelled. The Royal Albert Hall told us that they have been advised by the Deputy Chief Medical Officer that events should continue there as normal. The Hall is checking this advice regularly and will let us know if anything changes. We look forward to enjoying the culmination of months of hard work by your students and teachers with you next Tuesday.

All schools should have all received a communication from Phil McCorkell yesterday providing a comprehensive Camden and government coronavirus update, including FAQs and an action plan with relevant links. I am the schools representative on the LA steering group, which will be meeting regularly over the next few weeks as the picture changes. Gill Morris is the Camden Learning point of contact during this time Can I remind all heads that you do need to revise your business continuity plans and risk assessments in light of the guidance provided.

During the week, you will have received an updated programme for the annual Head teachers conference on the 26th and 27th March in Brighton. I spoke to Becky Allen this week and her presentation on Thursday sounds fascinating, she will be talking about tackling the attainment gap and how to improve schools when nobody knows what works! The afternoon is a really important session, where we would like as many heads as possible to attend, where we have invited a number of heads from different school organisations to share best practice and help influence the education strategy. Finally, the sought after Christine Counsell will be joining us on the Friday morning; she has been a leading curriculum developer, who also sits on the Ofsted/s curriculum advisory panel. Please find the refreshed conference outline here.

I look forward to seeing many of you next Tuesday at the Royal Albert Hall.

Jon Abbey

Managing Director, Camden Learning

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