Welcome back to the Summer Term, hoping that you have all managed to enjoy some rest and relaxation over the spring holiday period.

Over the Easter holidays as part of the Camden HAF programme, 17 local providers set up holiday hubs across 29 sites in the borough. All hubs accommodated local young people aged 5-16 eligible for free school meals; hubs offered at least 1 meal a day, access to physical or enriching activities and nutritional education; Local providers included play centres, youth centres, mobile skip garden, City farm, supplementary schools, and intergenerational hubs; early estimates of participants indicate that between 1,000 and 1,250 local children and young people benefited from the Easter programme-well done to all involved.

Therefore, this week I have been thinking ahead to the summer holiday period, not as I plan my staycation, but rather the summer programme of fun, food and fundamentals for children and young people in Camden! Along with the period when we, as a system consider what recovery might look like as additional resources and funding make their way from the DfE. The government’s recovery commissioner has said schools should be spending half their pupil premium cash to improve teaching. It comes after the Department for Education told school leaders that how they use the funding must be “informed by research evidence”. Guidance on what the cash should be spent on covers three areas: teaching quality, targeted academic support and addressing non-academic barriers such as attendance, behaviour and emotional support. Schools have been told to refer to the Education Endowment Foundation’s (EEF) pupil premium guide, which allocates a proportion of recommended spend to each of the three areas.

As we look to the summer university programme, plans are beginning to take shape with a comprehensive offer across education, youth services, Early Help, Community services and integrated commissioning amongst other areas. The government has announced, as part of its latest education recovery plans to help children catch up on lost learning that secondary schools are to be funded to run summer schools for pupils worst affected by the pandemic and target the Year 7 transition. Consequently this term’s planning and preparations will need to take place to get arrangements and provision agreed and in place for the summer recess. Good news too, that the government have confirmed, that there will be funding available to provide food vouchers to eligible families during the May half term break.

Jon Abbey

Managing Director of Camden Learning

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