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Suffolk County Council and IJYI Work Together to Help Children & Young People Across the Country Through Cloud Technology

About SCC

Suffolk County Council, located at the iconic Endeavour House building in Ipswich, is responsible for major services countywide including: Education, Environment, Leisure and Culture, Public Safety, Social Care, Trading Standards, Transport and Registrars. Their vast IT network has to cope with ever more information and changing requirements in order to provide the best services possible to residents and businesses across the county.

The Project

Following a successful Inception Workshop, IJYI were engaged in September 2020 to update Suffolk County Council’s Analysis of Additional Needs Screening Tool (AANT). The AANT was developed from 2012 at the request of the Youth Justice Service. The purpose of the tool is to provide a standardised method of early intervention for Educational and Child Psychologists. The AANT has been further developed by the Suffolk Psychology & Therapeutic Services (P&TS) department of Suffolk County Council who have conducted over 200 assessments and provided measurable benefits to many children as a result.

The software which was being used was based on old technology that was no longer fit for purpose and so required a complete update with a modern Software as a Service platform.

The second key requirement for this project was to create a revenue stream for the council which would allow them to sell the AANT software to other councils across the country.

The guiding principle behind this project was ultimately to improve outcomes for Children and Young People in Suffolk and beyond.

Process

We kicked off the project with an IJYI Inception Workshop. The workshop aimed to use interactive exercises to accelerate the gathering of the key information required to define and progress the software element of the AANT project. During the workshop process the following key business drivers were identified:

  • Ensure the AANT is easily accessible and be able quickly provision access
  • Help vulnerable children across the UK with effective AANT assessments supported by a modern solution
  • Resell for revenue from other councils, private schools and charities
  • Ensure secure storage and transfer of sensitive data
  • Provide psychology interventions as early as possible to reduce exclusions

Using Agile methodologies IJYI worked collaboratively with Suffolk County Council. Daily update calls and ongoing dialogue throughout enabled accurate progress tracking for the management team. IJYI took time to fully understand Suffolk County Council’s requirements and objectives for the project. Collaboration is key to the success of any project and IJYI clients are always invited to work closely with the team on customer projects.

“We’re so happy with the outcome of the project with IJYI.

Over 10 years of psychologically informed research and practice has informed the content of the AANT in order to ultimately improve the outcomes for children and young people across Suffolk and beyond.

We came to IJYI with a vision of what we wanted and needed their expertise in order to implement our next steps. The initial Inception Workshop helped us to shape the project and gave us a clear direction, working with us all the way through to implementation. The approach has been fast paced, collaborative and expertly delivered in order to meet our requirements.

IJYI have utilised technology to provide us with a solution which gives Educational Psychologists an effective way of gathering information and delivering effective virtual consultation”

Claire Darwin Psychology and Therapeutic Service Lead Suffolk County Council

Project Outcomes

AANT is the result of over 10 years of psychology put into rich questions providing Educational Psychologists with much more detailed information in one place. The tool is now more focused and streamlined, allowing for a smooth process where Educational Psychologists are able to ask the minimum amount of questions to get in-depth answers.

The project has delivered a system which is designed with security first and which adheres to National Cyber Security Centre Cloud standards and GDPR. The new system provides early intervention for children and young peoples education, inclusion and wellbeing. Staff are empowered with the relevant data they need to give an in-depth understanding of children they are working with. The speedy access to psychologist knowledge and skills has helped the Council staff to work together to plan inclusive ways forward. The updated system generates reports with comprehensive psychological detail.

AANT is the result of over 10 years of psychology put into rich questions providing Educational Psychologists with much more detailed information in one place. The tool is now more focused and streamlined, allowing for a smooth process where Educational Psychologists are able to ask the minimum amount of questions to get in-depth answers.

Suffolk County Council are now actively working with other councils across the country to enable them to successfully implement AANT.

Technologies
The platform will leverage market leading cloud technologies through the Microsoft Azure platform. The Cloud offers scalable resilient services with the ability to manage your costs through pay as you use pricing. The suggested architecture uses Azure SQL DB, Azure Functions, Azure AD, Application Insights, .NET Core and Azure Cache and Analysis Services.

Why IJYI
Suffolk County Council were embarking on a complex project with multiple stakeholders. They required a partner who would be able to successfully deliver a modern software as a service platform. The breadth of experience within the team and IJYI’s adaptable, Agile approach combined with Suffolk County Council’s commitment to Agile working practices has meant that the two organisations continue to work successfully together.

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