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A message from Christine McInnes:

13 July 2021 weekly update

13 July 2021

This week, Christine shares a consultation on proposed changes to Initial Teacher Training and an update from Cantium on the recent Data Centre issues.

Dear Colleagues,

Well, the football is over for now and what a nail-biting end to the tournament - there was much shouting and then tears in the McInnes household, tears of joy and tears of despair. It was great sport and of course my team won (lol 😊) and the England team played an impressive game. Whatever they are paid, the England team are young men to be proud of, on the pitch and off, and their youth means that there will be future opportunities for glory. I thought this article worth a read - Euro 2020: England isn't an underdog anymore - it's time for new stories

For all the joy that England’s performance brought, the subsequent vicious racist attacks on members of the team were sobering and saddening. It’s a stark reminder that for any progress which has been made on equalities, significant challenges remain.

A number of consultations are taking place at the moment, but one which I wanted to draw your attention to is concerned with substantial proposed changes to Initial Teacher Training. The consultation document is rather misleadingly called a Market Review Report.

Following on from last weeks’ update, Cantium have confirmed that to date, there continues to be no evidence that staff, pupil, parent or guardian data has been taken or published as a result of the recent Data Centre issues.

The recovery activity continues for all affected schools and the Cantium team continue to work around the clock. Recovery of historic emails is progressing and is estimated to complete on 1 August. The recovery of shared drives is complete, with a few schools experiencing some minor issues. The recovery of Sharepoint sites remains on track for Monday 19 July - schools will have already been contacted to schedule a walkthrough of the access arrangements.

Cantium Senior Management team want to reassure you that the recovery activity remains their number one priority and that every effort is being expended to fully recover services as expediently and securely as possible.

Last week I visited Bower Grove SEMH school, Sittingbourne Secondary School, Westlands Secondary School and Regis Manor Primary School. Councillor Shellina Prendergast, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills and I made a joint visit to Westlands Primary school. Many thanks to the leadership teams of the schools for their invitation and their time.

We are coming to the end of a very challenging year, so well done for getting through it. I very much hope you are preparing for a well earned rest. As we near Monday 19 July the only thing that I am clear about is that that there is a real lack of clarity about what happens next and the part that individual discretion will play. Concerns have been raised by some secondary headteachers about covid testing and we are working with public health colleagues to support schools in meeting the requirements. Given these circumstances, we will write to you over the summer with advice as guidance is published by the DfE so you have that available to use when you see fit.

With best wishes

Christine McInnes
Director of Education