The River Thames outside DLD College London

From The Principal #99

8th January 21

Happy New Year!

And what a start we have had to 2021! We were all hoping that 2021 would be very different to 2020 and it hasn’t failed to deliver in that respect! Who would have thought that we would have gone into another period of national lockdown including the closure of schools and colleges, let alone the storming of The Capitol in Washington DC – the heart and soul of US democracy.

2021 will undoubtedly have its own unique challenges but the DLD community, like the virus, has mutated into something more potent, and I have been impressed with how our staff and students have stepped up to meet the new challenges that face us all. We are in the business of ‘creating unique learning opportunities’, that is our vision, and we have continued to do just that. Our students who stayed with us in the boarding house over the Christmas holidays had a wonderful time, and my thanks go to all staff who made it such a unique learning experience for them.

Since returning, plenty has happened. We have boosted our remote learning provision in anticipation of this lockdown and have set up our COVID-19 testing facility. We have tested some 60 staff and students – all have come back negative – highlighting our robust safety measures and protocols at DLD are working. We have delivered staff INSET remotely and looked at aspects of best practice with online learning, new teaching initiatives, and the importance of neurodiversity. We have put in place supervision for our BTEC students sitting their exams this month and have forged ahead with these, allowing our students to demonstrate their learning, ability, and knowledge. We have put in place new catering and cleaning plans and have completed child protection update training. We also had our whole school assembly welcoming back our students and our new January starters to the DLD family. It’s been quite a week!

On top of all this, Sky News also came into College (all COVID-19 secure I hasten to add) to interview our students and gauge their opinion on the latest announcement made by the Secretary of State for Education about his decision to cancel exams this summer. The news item was due to be broadcast on national TV on Wednesday evening, but we were ‘trumped’ by other news; thankfully, that will never happen again in twelve days’ time.

Best wishes


Irfan Latif, Principal