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Department for Education

  • Transformed manual process into an online digital format
  • Built on open source, open standard and cloud technologies
  • Project delivered in six months, a year ahead of schedule


The Department for Education (DfE) is a ministerial department comprising three executive agencies - Education Funding Agency, Standards and Testing Agency and National College for Teaching and Leadership.


The Customer Exchange (CEx) is the most significant technology project in the history of the EFA and is a critical part of the Government’s education strategy to expand the number of free school academies across England and Wales.


Via the CEx, £54 billion of funding is allocated to 152 authorities for maintained schools and over 4,000 voluntary aided schools in order to educate 9.6 million children. The project was predicted to take 18 months but was delivered by Zaizi in six.




  • Revamping a manual process that was time intensive, resource heavy and inefficient.
  • Unstandardised formats made budgets and funding allocation hard to understand leading to delays
  • Financial performance submitted via spreadsheets, subject to error and submission to the wrong place



  • Built on open source and open standard technologies, all 152 authorities and 4,000+ academies can access all the information they need in one standardised online digital format at a time that suits them
  • 35,000 users logging into the portal via customised gateway access in order to file reports, understand when their financial reporting is due, their funding and payment status via a document exchange portal, knowledge centre, calendar and digital forms.
  • It increased governance, accurate accounting and full audited treasury reporting; all without increasing staff headcount despite the increased workload.
  • DfE has one foot in the cloud and has big plans to unleash the power of data in order to maximise workflows across the DfE that will transform education delivery

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