Camden Learning: Super group formed to make borough’s schools ‘best in country’

A Camden super group has been formed to ensure that “no child gets left behind in Camden”.

Camden Learning, which was launched at the Francis Crick Institute last week, is an independent not-for-profit company that has been set up by Camden Council and all of the borough’s state schools

The company will deliver “expert support” by schools for schools, maximising the knowledge and skills of partners and their staff to collectively share best practice and improve learning and outcomes for all their pupils. This is in addition to offering “bespoke school improvement consultancy services”.

Former Ofsted head Christine Gilbert is chairing the organisation.

“As an independent, schools-led organisation we are able to draw on a pool of skills and experience within our members, for the benefit of all,” she said. “Our members have taken collective responsibility for all schools in Camden and have made a commitment to supporting each other’s development.

“We will also work with a range of partners, whether that be the council, universities, businesses, community organisations, or seeking out the best educational practice from around the world, in order to deliver the best possible education to Camden’s young people.”

The elected board will be managed by Jon Abbey – former director of children’s services in Haringey – and includes Cllr Angela Mason, cabinet member for ‘best start in life’, and Martin Pratt, the council’s executive director of ‘supporting people’.

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Cllr Mason added: “Camden Learning is perfectly positioned to deliver our collective aim of having the best schools in the country.

“There is also an important link between education and social outcomes and a collective focus on social issues that face our children can only further their development and ensure that no child is left behind in Camden.”

Also on the board are headteachers Katy Forsdyke (Christ Church Primary School), John Hayes (Gospel Oak Primary School) and Jacques Szemalikowski (Hampstead School), as well as Acland Burghley School chair of governors Julian Turner and Margaret Mulholland, who is director of development at Swiss Cottage School.