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DfE signs Fujitsu to digitise management of academies and free schools


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Department for Education (DfE) has awarded a two-year, £2.2 million contract to Fujitsu for digital services to support the management of academies and free schools.

It will involve delivering the beta to live phase of the Academies and Free Schools Integration Programme, using Fujitsu’s Microsoft Productivity Practice to develop the services on the Dynamics 365 platform.

The company said it will work with the DfE through a multi-disciplinary product team and using an agile approach in line with Government Digital Service standards.

The programme is aimed at increasing the integration and sharing of data across 13 DfE systems and 1,500 internal users by consolidating existing services, decommissioning some legacy systems and increasing the digitisation and automation of relevant processes.

The contract was awarded by the DfE and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) through the Digital Outcomes and Specialists procurement framework.

The DfE’s procurement notice for the contract emphasised the need for its staff to obtain ‘one version of the truth’ data, and to obtain real time information to manage projects in their regions.

Critical step

ESFA’s deputy director (south central and east), Judy Anckorn, said: “Fujitsu’s appointment is a critical step to help us deliver new digital services that will enable the DfE to improve the way we administer academies and free schools.

“The services will ensure a better user experience for school administrators who are seeking to apply to become an academy, as well as reporting and analytical capability for department employees responsible for managing them.”

The announcement prompted a comment by Georgina O’Toole, chief analyst at IT analysis company TechMarketView, that Fujitsu will be able to draw on its data sharing undertaking for the Northern Ireland Causeway Programme. This reflects its approach to use existing intellectual property and expertise and draw on existing references.

Image by mattbuck, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons


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