Becoming a data-driven entity

The Department for Education (DfE) is a ministerial department comprising three executive agencies - Education Funding Agency (EFA), Standards and Testing Agency (STA) and National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL).
The Project:

The Customer Exchange (CEx) is the most significant technology project in the history of the EFA and is a critical part of the the Government’s education strategy to expand the number of free school academies across England and Wales.

Via the CEx, £54 billion of funding is allocated to 152 authorities for maintained schools and over 4,000 voluntary aided schools in order to educate 9.6 million children. The project was predicted to take 18 months, but was delivered by Zaizi in six.


  • Financial performance submitted via spreadsheets, subject to error and submission to the wrong place
  • EFA drowning in data - unstandardised formats made budgets and funding allocation hard to understand leading to delays and threatening the very lifeblood of academies - their funding
  • Time intensive, resource heavy and inefficient for all parties thanks to manual processes


  • Built on open source and open standard technologies, all 152 authorities and 4,000+ academies can access all the information they need in one standardised online digital format and at a time that suits them
  • 35,000 users logging into the portal via customised gateway access in order to file reports, understand when their financial reporting is due, their funding and payment status via a document exchange portal, knowledge centre, calendar and digital forms
  • Increased governance as funding is accurately accounted for - without cumbersome reconciliation processes - and reported to the Treasury with a full audit trail
  • DfE has one foot in the cloud and has big plans to unleash the power of data in order to maximise workflows across the DfE that will transform education delivery

About EFA Information Exchange

Find out more about the Education Funding Agencies projects, their successes and the platforms they are using moving forward to deliver an effective and efficient services for schools and academies nationwide.