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Australian Council for Educational Research – Digital Support

We worked with ACER, developing and managing the Scottish National Standardised Assessments (SNSA) service. 

Business challenge

The ACER development team, and data was stored in Melbourne, Australia.  After a successful agreement with SG (Scottish Government); processes, communications and development required alignment across stakeholders in the London, UK and Melbourne, Australia time zone.

Data can only be stored in the UK, and was currently stored in Melbourne, which also meant access restrictions for the development/dev ops team.

Service requests from SG, LA’s (Local Authorities), and Schools required a robust process, with a link to development/feature requests that need a 360 degree transparent overview on progress.

SOLUTION

A UK support desk was required that could handle and prioritise requests from SG, LAs or Schools.  An infrastructure that is a replica of the Australia environment needs to be deployed within the UK that can store data of assessments, with security processes and tight access controls.

Working the Agile way using SCRUM will allow the wider team to eliminate any risks or blockers, and enforce a transparent/collaborative approach to delivery.

Reports and analytics will need to be reviewed regularly, with a development and data support in the UK, that works closely with the examination team supporting SG and Schools.

Results

Both the Melbourne and London team worked using SCRUM methodologies, with daily stand ups, aligning both teams successfully delivering features collaboratively working as ONE TEAM with SG.

Business process mapping set a clear guide on responsibilities, actions required and definition of success for internal and external processes.

Data access, development, and infrastructure managed successfully in the UK (AWS/RDS), meeting SLA requirements.

The service now involves every child in Scotland (P1, P4, P7, and S3), undertaking national standard assessments covering reading, writing, and numeracy.

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