Learn Sheffield Update

Published: 28 April 2020
Our CEO has written to schools and academies to clarify our plans for the summer term in the light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

Our CEO has written to schools and academies to clarify our plans for the summer term in the light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation on Tuesday 28th April.


FAO - School Leaders, Governors & Trustees

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for everything that you are doing in these unprecedented times to support your school communities. As Andrew Jones has emphasised in the daily school bulletins on a number of occasions, the response of Sheffield schools and academies to the COVID-19 situation has been superb and our long history of partnership and collaboration has been a key element in this.

Naturally, Learn Sheffield has redirected its resources to supporting schools and academies during this crisis, but the purpose of this letter is to clarify our plans for the remainder of this school year. We recognise, given that this situation is far from over, that we will need to continue to balance the ongoing demands of COVID-19 with the need to make an offer to schools to fulfil our subscription commitments as well as we can.

The key information is summarised in the list below:

  • Where days of support have already been planned we are exploring whether these can go ahead in a modified form with the Learn Sheffield Improvement Partners (LSIPs). The LSIPs are contacting schools and settings at the moment to discuss this.
  • Programmes of support with other colleagues, including David Bartram and Marc Rowland, are being revised and will be part of the summer offer to schools. Schools who had activities planned with Marc and David will be prioritised.
  • The other programmes within the subscription package (including briefings, governance training, Research Led Sheffield, etc.) are suspended and will be replaced by a new summer term offer, which will be out by early next week. We think that it will be easier for schools to access a new programme rather than work through the existing programme online to identify the things that are going ahead, especially when some of the content is completely new and driven by the current situation.
  • We will continue to support partnership groups (including sector partnership groups and localities) to continue their work in whatever form they feel is appropriate.




Learn Sheffield will endeavour to support schools and academies to get the most from the subscription albeit in a modified version. In addition to this, Learn Sheffield will continue to provide support for schools during the COVID-19 crisis.  In order to ensure that next year’s offer is successfully delivered, schools will not be able to roll forward any entitlement days into the autumn term.

In terms of the 2020/21 subscription offer we intend to get a summary of this offer out as early as we can in May so that we can maintain the deadline for opting out of the subscription next year (which is the 31 May). We are designing the offer so that we can be as flexible as possible in the event that some of the current restrictions remain in place beyond September.

If you know you would like to continue to subscribe next year then please contact us to let us know.  This is helpful to us in our financial planning in these difficult circumstances, but also enables us to schedule meetings as soon as possible.

We are, of course, extremely grateful for your ongoing support. We hope that the current situation has re-enforced your belief and commitment to the collaborative approach to education that we have built together in Sheffield.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Betts                                     

(Learn Sheffield - Chief Executive)

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