The Education Authority (EA) helps with all aspects of a child’s journey through education in Northern Ireland – admission to pre-school, getting transport to school, changing schools, moving through primary and post-primary school.

The challenge

EA wants to support each child being placed in an appropriate school for their educational needs, through a first-class, user-focused digital admissions service.

To achieve this digital vision, EA must focus on:

  1. Excellent customer service
    Creating a “tell us once” facility that shortens application times, enables secure communications and provides digital assistance to parents/guardians using the service.
  2. Digitisation
    Moving post-primary school applications from paper to online; reducing paper volumes, integrating with key systems such as transport and free school meals and enabling continuous improvement of the digital service.
  3. Trusted, informative and secure data
    Providing a high-quality source of data that will improve MI and reporting, adhere to information assurance & data protection guidelines and comply with guidance and legislation.

The solution

EA and Neueda embarked on a partnership to deliver its digital vision. It kicked off with interactive ideation workshops to discuss problem areas within the post-primary school admissions process. From there EA and Neueda worked together to find out how these problems could be solved digitally.

The next step was for EA to carry out an eight-week discovery exercise, facilitated by Neueda, to explore potential solutions that would allow parents/guardians to apply online for post-primary school placements from 2020 onwards. This expanded to include consideration of pre-school and primary school admissions given that EA had launched online applications for these sectors in January 2019.

What we discovered

From there, a product development roadmap was outlined for:

  • A new post-primary digital admissions service and

  • Enhancements to the existing pre-school and primary school digital admissions services

A phased approach was established to ensure EA could break down a complex set of requirements into achievable chunks of work. This reduced project risk, allowed for regular updates and provided EA with a clear understanding of how and when they can achieve their vision.

“The project with Neueda helped us use a ‘discovery’ approach to understand how we can deliver a first-class suite of digital services suitable for the pre, primary and post-primary school journey.” Colm Daly, Head of Continuous Improvement at Education Authority

The Benefits

 Neueda’s discovery process ensured EA had a clear understanding of all stakeholder needs and the services, data and technology required to fulfil them.

Developing a phased roadmap means that EA can now clearly articulate what they want to achieve, how they want to achieve it and by when.

Neueda’s collaboration meant EA is now equipped to develop a well-defined, cost effective plan to delivering their digital solution – the path is paved towards the next phase in EA’s digital journey.