Professional teacher training via a learning environment with automation

Harris Federation and the School-Led Network

Providing professional teacher training via an engaging learning environment with extensive automation

The Harris Federation is a not-for-profit academy trust running a network of over fifty secondary schools in the UK. It is also a member of the School-Led Network - a consortium of organisations that has been contracted by the UK government to deliver National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) to teachers.

The NPQ programme involves in-person learning, e-learning and certification on topics such as leadership. The Harris Federation and the School-Led Network were looking for an engaging, effective and efficient learning platform that could help deliver the programme to thousands of UK teachers every year.

Delivering engagement and automation in one complex solution

The Harris Federation approached Content Formula to design a solution that would provide access to learning in an intuitive and engaging way, but also automate processes around onboarding, course enrolment and reporting. Separate independent learning providers in the School-Led Network also needed to independently manage content publishing.

We carried out a discovery exercise which involved interviewing stakeholders and mapping the complex workflows involved in the project, simultaneously taking into account privacy and compliance requirements. We suggested a solution which combines the LMS365 learning platform, a SharePoint Online frontend and custom workflows delivered through Power Automate.

With the project greenlighted, we delivered the work using our tried and tested implementation framework and agile methodology.

Smooth and streamlined automated onboarding experience

We used Power Automate’s workflow engine to completely automate the user registration and verification processes for a streamlined onboarding experience, passing all the necessary approval steps and setting up the requisite Active Directory groups.

Teachers can register on a self-serve basis via a Gravity form, receive their log-in details and are automatically enrolled onto the right courses, dramatically reducing the administration overhead involved. A custom web-part helps individual learning providers process new user approvals.

A completely seamless learning experience

Teachers gain access to an attractive SharePoint Online environment that provides news and updates from the relevant learning provider, with seamless access to the LMS365 environment where users access learning over a number of months.

LMS365 provides the comprehensive learning features of a leading Learning Management System (LMS), including the course catalogue, learning pathways, course registration, access to e-learning and certification.

Making it super-easy for admins

LMS365’s highly intuitive interfaces make it super-easy for each learning provider administrator to add course details and content. Admins are also empowered to upload news, resources and other non-learning content via the core SharePoint Online CMS, as well as fully manage aspects of the registration process.

Full automation of milestone reporting

The UK government funding for the NPQ programme is based on reporting milestones regarding the number of enrolments and the progress made.

Using Power Automate, the necessary data is securely piped to the Department for Education’s declaration API, completely automating the reporting process.

Navigating complex challenges

We thought out of the box to navigate complex challenges caused by strict guidelines around data privacy, and have fifteen independent learning providers working with the platform. We created a custom SQL database to safeguard personal data and used Power Automate to duplicate content for each learning provider, all while strictly adhering to a publish once model.

Helping teachers gain professional qualifications

Today, the first two cohorts of over 1,600 teachers are using the platform to gain their NPQs, which will ultimately help children gain a strong education. Feedback from learning providers and individual teachers has been highly positive, and Content Formula is looking forward to continuing to enhance the platform.

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