Have you noticed there is a real buzz in the air? As people start to enjoy increased freedoms socially, there is a renewed sense of positivity and hope for the future. Most of us working in the education sector have been back at work for several weeks now but at Furlong we are also excited about new development and opportunities that are opening up for us.

It seems an ideal time to look back over what has been achieved over the years and remind ourselves of exactly how much has been achieved with the support of valued partners and team members.

As many of our clients know, Furlong was born out of a real need in the education sector when the wife of our Founder was struggling with data collection at the prep school where she was a Deputy Head. Howard Langley Furlong created a DOS-based database back in 1989 to help her with her conundrum and that formed the very beginnings of what became the MIS that is now known and trusted by schools worldwide as SchoolBase!

We attracted our first International school back in 2007 and fourteen years later, we now work with over 250+ schools in 28 different countries! Just one year later, we acquired a fee-billing software company which gave us a seamless fee-billing capability that can now fully integrate with Sage systems and others and is known by many as FeeMaster.

Jump forward to 2017 and Furlong was acquired by Volaris, a Canadian software company that specialises in investing in and growing education software businesses. This move links us with over 400 other companies in the Volaris Group and gives us access to a highly valuable network of organisations sharing best practice and resources.

With the support and backing of a leading international player, we have gone from strength to strength and under the guidance of our new MD, David Ryan, in 2019 we launched Maestro Music Department Management Software, the first fully web-based music management software on the market.

Last year, despite the difficulties faced by every business, we managed to attract 35 new schools to the Furlong family which by anyone's standards is pretty impressive in the year we have all had. We believe that schools have recognised that embracing technology is the way forward to deal with the challenges that they are facing and certainly our ethos of creating meaningful partnerships with schools means that we don’t want to just be a supplier - we want to be a partner that schools turn to to support them through their journey through education technology.

As we move further into the final term of this most challenging academic year, we are thrilled to be moving the Furlong team into sparkly new offices! We have scaled down and improved our offices to better suit the needs of a hybrid workforce, many of whom choose to work remotely some of the time and need a collaborative space for joint working with colleagues too.

So as we all look to the future with hope, let's not forget to reflect on the past and celebrate the achievements that have brought us all to where we are today - a platform from where we can all move forward together in meaningful, supportive partnerships.