Once again, we see the start of term marred by uncertainty and extraordinary demands being made on school and educational setting leaders and staff. At incredibly short notice, you are being expected to return to remote learning for the majority of young people in your care, unless you are in nursery or special provision, in which case you are contending with the challenges of operating safely for all of your learners and staff. And even when they physically return to school, you will no doubt be expected to continue to adapt working practices to meet the changing demands for public health protection, as well as help pupils get back on track after another period of disrupted learning.
What a way to start 2021, when we would normally be wishing each other a very Happy New Year. There is, of course, some light at the end of the tunnel, as the vaccine rollout starts to gather pace; however we know that realistically it will be a long time before this materially impacts our work in schools and settings. In these uncertain times, I would simply like to reiterate that Herts for Learning (HfL) is here to support you. As you know, we are owned by Hertfordshire schools and by HCC, and we work with you and over 3,100 schools and settings nationally with one over-riding objective: to help you secure the best possible long-term outcomes for children.
We will continue to work in close partnership with Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) to help ensure joined-up support across all of our activities and to help you navigate the national guidance being provided. We will continue to offer our established programme of education and business support, whilst continuing to innovate and adapt what we do to meet your needs as they change. We have shown that we can deliver many of our services remotely, and we will continue to do this as our preferred method of delivery in line with government guidelines. However, please be assured that wherever on-site support is required, we will do all we can to ensure that support is delivered in person, whilst meeting guidelines for safe working practices.
Our spring training programme will be delivered entirely online aside from a small number of statutory first aid courses that will run as planned at Hertfordshire Development Centre in Stevenage. The success of our programmes over the past two terms has shown the many benefits of remote delivery, and we will continue to build on this whilst, of course, looking forward to reintroducing face-to-face events when feasible, and where this is clearly the best way to achieve the desired outcomes. We will continue to strengthen our services to help you with remote learning in the classroom. Virtually all Hertfordshire primary schools have now signed up for the FREE HCC-funded Digital Classroom that we launched at the end of last term. Now, more than ever, we believe that its content can help you deliver a great remote learning experience. If your school has not yet registered, please sign up today, so you can start to access the free advice and support of our education and Edtech professionals.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with examples of best practice that we can share more widely, or to let us know where you would benefit from more support. More information on our full range of products and services are available through our website hertsforlearning.co.uk and our teams will keep you updated on new initiatives and services as the year progresses.
On behalf of all my colleagues at Herts for Learning, I send you and your team our very best wishes for 2021 and for the term ahead and reiterate our support during these challenging times.
Andrew de Csilléry
Managing Director - Herts for Learning Ltd
6th January 2021