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Making the grade: Derbyshire multi-academy trust turns to smart cloud solutions to deliver best outcomes for pupils


Cavendish Learning Trust (@cavendish_trust) has invested in smart cloud technology from Civica (@CivicaUK) to reduce time and resource spent on finance and HR administration and free up staff to spend more quality time with pupils

The Trust currently runs four schools from nursery to secondary education, with approx. 1700 pupils and 265 staff. As part of the government’s continued academisation agenda, CLT plans to grow and incorporate new schools which have synergies with existing ones. The cloud solutions will provide one centralised system to make it easier for individual schools to run more efficiently and support the Trust with bringing new schools on board. 

Via the new three- year partnership, CLT will implement Civica’s Education FinancialsLIVE and PeopleLIVE software. FinancialsLIVE will strengthen the MAT’s centralised financial operations and help reduce costs through centralised procurement and planning. A single database will make monthly reporting quicker and easier, removing the need for complex spreadsheets. The punch-out system for purchasing means teachers can order supplies quickly and easily, directly from the finance system.

PeopleLIVE will provide valuable insight into issues such as absenteeism and will help managers check off HR processes more easily with improved notifications and workflow. The integration with payroll and budgeting will mean less duplication and potential for error. Staff can self-serve for actions such as expenses sign-off and changing address or bank details, freeing up more time to spend with pupils and planning.

Currently CLT’s services are run from an on-premise server which has meant access to systems and data out-of-hours has been limited, especially during COVID-19. The move to the cloud will give the MAT improved access to data and systems from any location and help the CLT be more agile and flexible in the future.

Laura Needham, Chief Finance Officer at Cavendish Learning Trust said:

“The new systems will integrate to give us a complete picture across our MAT, increasing efficiencies and saving us much-needed time. We need our staff to be spending time planning and teaching – not on admin tasks – and the new Civica software will help us achieve our goal of providing the best education possible for our pupils.”

Jon Tucker, Managing Director, Education Resource at Civica said:

“We understand the challenges faced by school and trust managers, needing to adapt to constant changes to deliver the best academic and wellbeing outcomes for students. Our smart digital technologies will significantly reduce the amount of time spent on finance and HR administration, allowing CLT’s school management to deliver more with limited resources and freeing up time for educators.”

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