Last weekend, the media speculated when schools might re open, albeit on a phased approach, which was then swiftly challenged and denied by government ministers. Gavin Williamson has also stated that he will ‘work with the sector’ to decide how schools should reopen, but only when the timing was right and when the Five Tests have been met (protect the NHS, decline in daily deaths, decreasing infection, PPE in place and confidence that there won’t be a second peak in infections).

We began exploring the area of school recovery and renewal at our Heads conference call this week, without making any presumptions about the date or timetable for the return. I have been speaking with unions over the last two weeks and working with them to try and picture what the phased return might look like, whilst understanding their position that schools cannot reopen without certain guarantees around the safety of children and staff. I have begun to draft a school renewal and transition plan, in readiness to share with colleagues next week, which is based on six possible strands (below) and a plan that could be divided into three segments-Strategic, management and practice:

1. Virtual timeframe

2. School organisation/ people

3. Teaching and learning

4. Gaps in learning

5. School supply lines

6. Camden Education Strategy

I have included a link below from the recent report from the Children’s Commissioner, titled Tackling the disadvantage gap during COVID, which is a useful read, not just from the perspective of re-imagining school for those at risk of falling behind, but the broad pillars for consideration as to what needs to happen in the medium term, as we plan for when schools do reopen.

Thank you to everyone for sharing your online home working provision, it is clear there is a lot in place for young people and families to access, whilst also monitoring participation and not losing sight of the most vulnerable. We will look at ways we can share the imaginative and effective practice that exists across our Camden schools.

Finally, there is a head teachers conference call on Tuesday 28th at 1pm, Skype invites have been sent to all colleagues.

Jon Abbey

Managing Director, Camden Learning

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