Transforming a manual process into a digital format — 12 months ahead of schedule

Zaizi built and supported a schools funding portal, a solution that used open source, open standard and cloud technologies.

The client 

Department for Education

Zaizi’s role

The brief

The Department for Education (DfE) is a ministerial department comprising three executive agencies – Education Funding Agency, Standards and Testing Agency and National College for Teaching and Leadership.

The Customer Exchange (CEx) was a critical part of the Government’s education strategy to expand the number of free school academies across England and Wales. Through it, around £54 billion of funding was allocated to 152 authorities and over 4,000 voluntary aided schools to educate 9.6 million children. 

We had to revamp a manual process that was time-intensive, resource-heavy and inefficient. For example, financial performance documents were submitted via spreadsheets, subject to error and submission to the wrong place

Unstandardised formats led to inefficiencies. It made budgets and funding allocation hard to understand and that led to delays

The delivery 

We built the solution on open source, open standard and cloud technologies. The 152 authorities and 4,000+ academies were able to access the information they needed in one standardised online digital format 

It allowed 35,000 users to log into the portal to:

The outcome

The project was predicted to take 18 months but we delivered it in six months. It increased governance, accurate accounting and full audited treasury reporting; all without increasing staff headcount.

DfE now has one foot in the cloud and has big plans to unleash the power of data in order to maximise workflows across the department. 

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