On Wednesday evening, I was delighted and very proud to attend the Building Equal Foundations One Year On event, it was incredibly inspiring to hear from so many contributors, officers and partners, who have all been doing amazing work over the past year to tackle inequalities in Camden. As Hanad Mohamed our Director of Equalities and Disproportionality summarised, ‘We should all be extremely proud of the work we have contributed to and the progress that has been made in the last year. We have collectively delivered ambitious projects, pushed the boundaries, and I can feel the shared momentum for change in Camden which is really exciting’. We recognise that there is still a lot of work to do in the next stage of Camden’s equalities work and it is reflected strongly in the draft Education Strategy and in our ambition for excellence and equity. The Building Equal Foundations One Year On report and summary is now on the Camden Council website: Building equal foundations – Camden Council

One aspect of our work in the Building Equal Foundations plan is the Anti-Racism Hub, organised by UCLA; last year 22 schools participated in the hub, which was a key vehicle for developing and sharing good practice in tackling issues around racism. Feedback from schools has been overwhelmingly positive. In addition, a number of schools have taken up governor training around diversity and equalities. We are pleased to announce that there will be a second year of our Anti-Racism hub in partnership with The Black Curriculum; we will be able to accommodate more schools this year, working together to agree five steps schools want to commit to, in order to embed an anti-racist culture within their school and use our hub sessions to monitor and evaluate how implementation is going. We are also delighted to announce that there will be four other hubs running for the next five half terms including Primary Maths, SEND, STEAM, and Early Years. Details and hubs outline will be circulated to all schools early next week with specifics as to how to sign up and who to contact.

Thanks to everyone who has responded in the Education Strategy consultation and to all colleagues, young people and stakeholders who have been at the various engagement events arranged. The Strategy board met yesterday and listened to and discussed the range of very helpful feedback that was coming back through from the sessions. In amongst these discussions and at the Camden Learning Board, I could not help be reminded that an education White Paper is anticipated in the spring, which has made me ponder about the strong Camden system of schools and what the future might hold. Recently, the Academies Minister was reported to have responded to a question about councils (and education partnerships in Camden Learning’s case) running their own trusts and whether this would feature in the White Paper. The response and some of the mutterings from the department have stated that the government want schools in ‘strong families’ but did not have hard and fast rules or ideas. So maybe it is for us in Camden to take the initiative and move in on the space-just saying.

Jon Abbey

Managing Director of Camden Learning

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