Weston College case study Educational platform

An extensible and flexible ‘Educational Visits’ platform built with Microsoft PowerApps and SharePoint.

Weston College logo

Industry Sector:  Educational (Secondary) 

Students: 30,000+

Client background:

Weston College is the lead college for the West of England Institute of Technology

Weston College is an award-winning college of further and higher education in Weston-super-Mare. It provides education and vocational training to nearly 30,000 learners across the country, with a rich 150 year history. The college offers a diverse range of qualifications: GCSEs, A Levels, Vocational, innovative T Levels, and over 50 diverse apprenticeships. Through University Centre Weston, they extend into higher education with degrees and degree apprenticeships, plus delivering education services to South West prisons. The college organises several trips throughout the year and need to track trip details including information on student and staff attendance.

Introduction

OfficeLabs works in partnership with Nexus Open Systems to help build and deliver technical automation and productivity solutions.

Weston College was introduced to OfficeLabs via Nexus Open Systems, who needed a new information and productivity solution to be built. Building upon the adoption of Microsoft 365, Weston College wanted to rebuild an original InfoPath ‘educational visits’ form for their staff and formalise their visit booking process, with enhanced security and compliance.

Nexus Open Systems logo

The Requirements:

The college organises several trips throughout the year and needs to track trip details, including information on student and staff attendance.

Weston College needed to record the following information:

  • Trip details
  • Costs
  • Health and Safety Documentation
  • First stage approval
  • Student Details
  • Details were brought in from an existing SQL database using a workflow
  • Staff details
  • Travel details
  • Final approval

Weston College’s requirement is not unique for schools in the education sector who are looking to fully digitalise their processes. However, finding an off-the-shelf solution which covers all requirements is very difficult with the solution most likely being expensive and not completely fit for purpose. The Power Platform offers a flexible, cost-effective solution to record and view data exactly to their requirements.

The Solution:

Working with Nexus Open Systems, OfficeLabs suggested an extensible and flexible ‘Educational Visits’ platform built with Microsoft PowerApps and SharePoint.

The list storage would allow a multi-platform, integrated solution while taking advantage of Microsoft 365 security and integration. Power Automate automated flows would be leveraged to provide the required workflow functionality to ensure that notifications are made to the relevant contact groups for timely action.

Weston College Educational Trip platform case study

OfficeLabs created a PowerApps application to:

Record the following information:

  • Trip details
  • Costs
  • Health and Safety Documentation
  • First stage approval
  • Student Details
  • Details were brought in from an existing SQL database using a workflow
  • Staff details
  • Travel details
  • Final approval.

The next step required a build for an approval process:

  • Consisted of a two-stage approval process which required 7 approvers in total.
  • A notification system where the user could send the trip for approval and the approvers would be notified.
  • The Approvers would receive a link to the specific item in need of approval and could approve/reject the item using approval functions which were conditionally visible to them.

Lastly, OfficeLabs built the reporting/querying:

  • Gives users a brief summary of the trip details
  • Users were able to search and filter for items using the gallery screen
  • Users can navigate to either the item details or straight to the student details screen to log attendance on the day of the trip.

Educational visits platform screenshots

Weston College feedback:

“Our staff and students are very happy with the solution that OfficeLabs have delivered to enable us to better manage our educational visits and we look forward to working with them on future information management and productivity projects”. Weston College.

“OfficeLabs have delivered a number of successful projects for our customers as a trusted partner, enabling them to maximise their investment in Microsoft solutions”. Nexus Open Systems.

Higher Education students

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