Leeds Beckett University: Sonia’s story

My name is Sonia Rides and I am currently undertaking a degree apprenticeship in Digital and Technology Solutions in the School of Built Environment, Engineering and Computing.

I was recently nominated and awarded runner-up for the Innovation award at the Tech Industry Gold Degree Apprenticeship Awards for a project I undertook to digitise children’s social care performance reporting at North East Lincolnshire council (NELC).

The project moved strategic performance reporting for children’s social care from a monthly paper report to a web-based Oracle Apex data management solution. As part of my degree apprenticeship we have been learning how to develop Oracle Apex applications in the Data Management modules. This was therefore a great opportunity to put my new skills to the test and to practical use in our organisation.

Prior to the development of our Apex system, performance was being managed through monthly paper reports which were compiled using Excel and charts copied and pasted into a 40+ page performance report. The report was circulated to managers who completed their narrative and this was all copied and pasted back into a final report which was again circulated by e-mail.

Apex has automated most of this work with data being pulled directly from our case management system, so charts and graphs are updated automatically each month. Managers now have a single place to log into, view data and supply performance narrative, removing time-consuming email distribution and the production of various paper reports for meetings.

Through the automation of performance reporting, hundreds of manager hours a year have been saved and, other than staff time, the system does not cost anything.

The system continues to be developed, and has been extended across our safeguarding children partnership, with other agencies able to contribute to system-wide performance management, saving hundreds more hours of officer and manager time across police, health and voluntary services.