Welcome to my last blog of the current academic year, I do know that everyone needs a well-earned break over the summer period. Since March, schools have been open the whole period providing an exceptional community service and vital point of contact.

On Friday, I was on a conference call with Tulip Siddiq and Keir Starmer’s office along with our secondary heads. This provided a chance to summarise and report on the challenges of the COVID period, as well as the opportunities and learning we all will take forward. What is clear is that there has been a strong focus on Camden the place, our community and resilient collaboration, with schools responding to their community requirements and then providing the steer and response that has been required. I believe that out of this period, fresh, innovative and stronger ways to collaborate and address challenges have emerged.

Over the last few months our vocabulary and repertoire has been extended and who would have thought that back at the beginning of March we would then be engrossed in the varied formation of bubbles, proficient in Zoom (with an eye on backgrounds both virtual and real), appreciate the array and importance of PPE and social distancing requirements. National, local and school priorities changed and were influenced overnight with the acknowledged digital divide, where just too many young people are without any access to devices, in my view a universal entitlement, the onset of remote learning, setting up virtual learning environments and the rapid progress of distance pedagogy.

However, with the applied collective learning, I look to September with optimism and hope. This optimism was epitomised by the Camden Learning hubs celebration on Tuesday, where 8 hub leads produced a stunning virtual presentation, using the Pecha Kucha approach (20 slides, 20 seconds per slide) to capture the impact, coverage and learning. It was a wonderful on line session, which just goes to show how we have all adapted to the virtual world.

Finally a thank you, to you as heads, to all your staff, support staff and governors for all you have done to keep the show on the road. You have been at the front line of community delivery, the centres of emotional support to your communities, as well as providing food packages, book libraries, distributing your own school devices and day to day learning packs-you have all done a great job, and one you can all be proud of. Have a great summer and see you in September-I have feeling it could be busy!!!

Jon Abbey

Managing Director of Camden Learning


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