Camden Learning

Headteachers’ Bulletin - Issue 103

Jon Abbey's blog

Last week in the education news, it was claimed by two influential system leaders, that Ofsted’s new focus on schools having a broad curriculum would “damage outcomes for disadvantaged children”. The focus of the report was centred on schools that have shortened their Key Stage 3 to two years in order to make way for three year GCSEs; which has been challenged by Ofsted in the new framework. Many schools are now considering and reverting back to two year GCSEs, whilst they review their own curriculum. It has been reported that when looking at Progress 8 across nearly 50 schools, there was very little difference to the P8 scores, whether it was a two or three year KS4. Sean Harford, Ofsted’s national Director for Education, urged caution, and said Ofsted has no “fixed view” on Key Stage length. Ofsted’s stance is that, “Judgements are based on whether a school offers its pupils an ambitious curriculum across their whole time in secondary education: good schools provide a good education and achieve good outcomes.”

The reason I mention this is that the Schools Led Improvement Group (SLIG) spent a considerable time this week considering the topic of KS3/KS4 length, which then led the group to consider the wider discussion about P8, curriculum (subject) choice and EBACC entries and ultimately outcomes. The claims last week were suggesting that having too broad a curriculum, compounded by Key Stage length, would impact detrimentally on disadvantaged pupils’ outcomes. This took me back to the Bristol University research, which suggests that the P8 figure changes dramatically when the formula for P8 includes disadvantage. I suppose this then comes back to the curriculum question about what is actually offered (is it what we have always offered) and ultimately how it impacts on the open bucket. I believe in Camden that the inclusive nature of our schools has been to enter pupils where appropriate for the EBACC subjects and to make choices about the curriculum that favour the needs of the pupils, rather than the league tables. However, SLIG did conclude that ensuring our curriculum is match fit and adapts accordingly, is vitally important.

Reminder that the Camden Learning AGM will be on Tuesday 11th February 2020, 16.00pm-18.00pm at Regent High School. Also, the annual Camden Learning Headteachers Conference will be held in Brighton on 26/27 March 2020, please see flyer attached below for more details.

Jon Abbey

Managing Director, Camden Learning

1. An opportunity for primary schools (Jon Abbey,

The charity Future First (chaired by Christine Gilbert) is expanding its work into primary schools and has secured a grant to do this. It is therefore delighted to offer up to 5 Camden schools the opportunity to participate in a project to build a thriving community of former pupils which adds real value to their school. Further details attached.

2. KS2 SATS and EID Guidance (Kate Frood,

In 2021, the KS2 tests are timetabled from Monday 10 May 2021 to Thursday 13 May 2021. Eid is due to begin on the evening of Wednesday 12 May 2021. We understand that, given the significance of Eid, Muslim pupils may be absent from school to celebrate with their families. Further details attached.

3. The Property Prize - social mobility enterprise (Katie Linshits,

The Property Prize is a lucrative opportunity for Y12/13 students to win a one-week work placement in the property sector, paying £200. Further details attached.

4. Camden Schools Traded Services Survey (Kevin Collins

The LBC Schools Traded Services survey will be opening in less than 2 weeks’ time. The survey will open on Monday the 27th January 2020 and will close on Wednesday 12th February 2020. Further details attached.

5. Camden Youth Awards 2020 - nominate a local young hero (Philip McCorkell,

The Camden Youth Awards are an opportunity to celebrate the borough’s amazing young people as well as the schools, youth projects and organisations that work hard to support them. Further details attached.

6. Hampstead School plans for a brighter future by raising money to go solar (James Davies,

The local secondary school is teaming up with Camden Council and community energy organisation Power Up North London (PUNL) to install solar panels in a bid to cut down on harmful Co2 emissions and help tackle the climate crisis. Further details attached.

7. Real Talk debate for young people - 5 February (Sandra Soteriou,

The next Real Talk debate - ‘One Choice, Many Lives’, focusing on issues around youth safety - takes place on Wednesday 5th February 2020, 5 to 7pm in the Council Chamber, Crowndale Centre, NW1 1BD. Further details attached.

8. Sugar Awareness Week 20th-26th January 2020! (Rachel Isted,

Do you want to promote healthy eating to children and families? Want access to free resources, which support your PSHE, Science and Cooking curriculum? Take part in Sugar Awareness Week!

9. FREE Primary and Secondary Food Teacher Network Meeting at Waitrose Cookery School, Monday 27th January 2020 (Rachel Isted,

Find out about resources and share good practice, as well as be taught new skills by professional chefs at Waitrose Cookery School at this free food teacher network meeting! Further details attached.

10. School Leaders with Families (Swiss Cottage TSA,

With only a few spaces remaining, this fully funded programme develops the leadership skills for leaders on maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave and preparing for career progression. Further details attached.

11. Camden Resilient Families Practice Model Celebration (Becca Dove,

Come, have breakfast, and discover how the Resilient Families Practice Model has helped over 500 people develop their helping relationships. Further details attached.