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ICT4CeSafeguarding blog

Welcome

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YHGfL is a non-profit-sharing company, owned by a consortium of local authorities and funded through the provision of services to local authorities, schools and teachers and learners in Yorkshire and Humber.

Our services supported collaborative working, including, for example, regional connectivity, ISP and web2.0 services, aggregating demand across the region and enabling the sharing of expertise and experience.

Our vision was to build and support communities of schools, using and promoting collaboration with and through ICT as a means of improving effective teaching and learning.

YHGfL update - July 2016

As an organisation, YHGfL has a number of significant capabilities: it has

  • A strong brand in education and local authorities
  • Robust governance arrangements
  • Legal entity status and can sign contracts in its own right
  • A significant procurement exemption: if any of the member local authorities want to procure services through YHGfL then they can transact directly. This is particularly beneficial if local authorities want to broker YHGfL services ‘en-masse’ on behalf of schools or other service users
  • Access to skills and resource in ICT, eLearning, esafeguarding and technical support through its subsidiary ICT4C

and is:

  • A ‘not for profit’ company and so can potentially provide lower cost services
  • Owned by, but independent of, its member local authorities and maintains the values of the public sector

There is growing interest in the region’s local authorities to do things jointly and collectively, widening access to regional assets, contributing to the promotion of the area within the UK via such initiatives as the 'Northern Powerhouse'. YHGfL is a ‘ready to go’ alternative service vehicle that can be pointed at such initiatives. There are other vehicles that can do this e.g. the Y&H Partnership Management Board, but these organisations typically are not legal entities in their own right. A particular advantage of YHGfL is its strong record of genuine collaborative partnership, providing a mechanism for local authorities to work together without any one being seen as 'taking over'.

The Board of YHGfL therefore appointed Grant Thornton to provide a report setting out options for YHGfL's development and they reported to the Board's July meeting. Following this report, the Board are considering their options and will make decisions on a paper due to be presented at its October meeting.

ICT4Collaboration

YHGfL set up a trading arm called ICT4Collaboration which provides schools around the region (and beyond!) with some really exciting opportunities. Although it is a commercial company, it is wholly owned by YHGfL which, as you're probably aware, is itself wholly owned by local authorities in the region and is non-profit-sharing.

As the name of the company suggests, the focus of ICT4C is to connect and support teachers and learners in a range of communities - be they federations, MATs, local authorities or academies. It will be providing a range of resources, tools and services all designed to support, foster and develop collaboration.