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Case Study

Greenwood Academies Trust 

Designing and building 36 websites in just 3 months for one of the largest Multi Academy Trusts in the UK.

Background

Serving over 16,000 pupils across more than 30 academies the Greenwood Academies Trust is one of the largest in the UK, operating in eight local authorities. Following a robust procurement and tendering process the Trust chose e4education as the perfect partner to manage their website services moving forward. They felt we had the best record at delivering projects of this nature at incredible value for money.

Services Included

  • Market Research
  • Website Design & Development
  • Content Transfer
  • Dedicated App

The Challenge

Greenwood Academies Trust wanted a uniform solution that was modern, scalable and could be delivered quickly. They needed an effective platform to build its digital presence. During the initial stages of the project the following issues were identified…

  • Sustainability
    The Greenwood Academies Trust wanted a Content Management System (CMS) that was fully supported, included everything they needed to market and communicate effectively, and was continually being enhanced. With 7 different systems used, one of which was no longer being supported – a new approach was required.
  • Ownership
    Encouraging the 50+ website authors to take ownership of their websites with an easy-to-use Content Management System (CMS) and providing robust training to ensure they are fluent in updating the website moving forward.
  • Brand Equity
    Bringing the branding of the individual academies in line with the Trust so there is a consistent look and feel throughout.
  • Engagement
    Missing functionality means that the current websites lack the impact and engagement desired.
  • Evaluation
    Monitoring and collating Google Analytics data across each of the academies is time consuming for the marketing team at the Trust.
  • SEO
    Out of date information is being pulled through on Search Engines and there are missed opportunities to rank higher on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
  • Accessibility
    The majority of existing websites did not meet basic accessibility standards and none of the websites worked responsively on mobile and tablet devices. A big problem when over 52% of visitors to the main Trust website used a mobile or tablet.
  • Scalability
    The trust is looking to grow in the coming years and need a solution that can be scaled accordingly.
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Response & Reasoning

Our Unique Approach

Having looked at the project in detail we felt that simply creating individually bespoke websites for each academy in the trust would be too time consuming, and unnecessarily increase the cost to the trust. It would also potentially risk each academy taking a different direction with the design, which could impact the trust’s desire to keep brand consistency throughout.

We proposed a new approach – to build a bespoke template for Primary Schools, a bespoke template for Secondary Schools and a bespoke website for the trust. The templates would have several variations and options for each academy to add a level of personalisation, all the while keeping the visual branding consistent throughout.

This solution allowed us to offer huge savings on each additional website that needed creating and will also allow us to create additional websites for new academies that join the trust quickly.

Content Transfer

With 33 websites, using 7 different systems and several thousands of pages to migrate over, transferring the content from the legacy websites could have taken two content professionals around a month to complete. Using clever technology, we built a set of tools from scratch that could copy over the content and structure over to the new set of websites in a matter of minutes. Once complete, our content professionals then went through the content, tidying it up, and where necessary, putting it into inner-page content templates to make them more engaging. The result wasn’t just a significant saving in time, ensuring we were able to hit the trust’s deadline, but a significant cost saving too!

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Support & Relationship

One of the challenges the Trust faced was empowering individual academies to take ownership of their website and keep them up-to-date. Our intuitive and easy-to-use Content Management System was just the start. We ran training sessions in four different areas of the country for academies to attend, where they could learn more about the system and best practice. With interactive in-line help, access to our help website and training videos, and unlimited access to our Customer Support team, each academy has access to a wealth of information on how to keep their website updated.

We also believe in providing our customers with free guidance and advice, which is why the Trust was assigned a dedicated customer care executive and given access to the our e4education Academy – packed full of advice on everything from SEO to Google Analytics. The result – an inclusive support infrastructure positioned to give the Trust and its member academies the best chance of success.

Bespoke App

To help improve parental engagement the Trust opted for a bespoke version of our much-loved School News App. The App was themed to reflect the branding of Greenwood Academies Trust and the landing screen was redesigned to allow parents to subscribe to updates from any academy within the Trust.

61
Of minutes spent online is on mobile
75
Of Parents Use App Daily
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The Result

Ambitious in its scope and deadline, thanks to our meticulous process, innovative approach, and talented team, we were able to deliver this project on time and to brief. The result is a powerful set of websites that will strengthen the Greenwood Academy Trust brand and allow them to scale the solution as the Trust continues to grow in the years ahead. The systems, support and infrastructure ensure that each academy benefits from the best possible help and support. And all of this has been done at incredibly competitive value, thanks to clever solutions and economies of scale.

“This was an exciting, ambitious project that saw the launch over 30 websites in just 3 months, saving Greenwood Academies Trust tens of thousands of pounds.”

Greg Palmer, Managing Director

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