Along with the other nine Regional Broadband Consortia (RBCs) which form the NEN, YHGfL was originally set up in 2002 to meet the Government target of connecting all schools in its region to broadband. Having accomplished that task (within budget and timetable), YHGfL turned its attention to how it could add value to the region by becoming a strategic partner to the Government and to other relevant agencies to provide a range of eLearning and eSafeguarding services and resources for the partner local authorities.
YHGfL at that time was funded by a consortium of 11 local authorities in the region representing 221 secondary schools, 43 special schools, 44 nurseries and 1,380 primary schools and their partners in learning. It became a 'silent partner' for the local authorities, providing support and services which weren't always transparent to individual schools. One sign of its success was winning the ICT Excellence Award in 2010 for support to schools.
The changing landscape in education post-2010 meant that local authorities were fining it increasingly difficult to aggregate services for their schools. It was perceived that YHGfL's funding model would have to be re-thought if it was going to survive - and the local authorities made it clear that they wanted it to survive.
So, in 2013, YHGfL established ICT4Collaboration Ltd, a company that would take YHGfL's exisitng services and re-package them for individual and groups of schools as well as developing new services. YHGfL is the sole shareholder, ensuring that the public sector ethos is maintained and the link with YHGfL remains stroing.
At the end of 2015, YHGfL's Board sought support for a re-consideration of YHGfL's role and remit. This work will continue until summer 2016, when YHGfL's future should become clear.