Advertisement

Online Free School Meals as a Cloud-Based Solution: Three Case Studies of Its Use in England

  • Alan Strickley
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 444)

Abstract

Online Free School Meals (OFSM) was a transformational programme supported by the Department for Education (DfE) in England. The full process is documented by Strickley[1]. Whilst the use of the system can be judged an overwhelming success, most Local Authorities (LAs) have stopped short of the full web-based system in which parents can apply directly via an online form as a result of the perception of negligible cost benefits created by a lack of technical expertise, scarce resources and server and development costs. The paper describes how these issues were overcome by developing a generic cloud-based solution. The paper looks at the general structure of the solution and examines the experiences of three types of user: an academy consortium, a single school and a large LA to illustrate adoption, implementation, usage and benefits. It concludes that a cloud-based system is cost effective by removing much administration and as a result of lowering the stigma of applying can result in an increase in applications. This has resulted in financial advantages for schools and LAs.

Keywords

Free school meals stigma eligibility checking service cloud online 

References

  1. 1.
    Strickley, A.: Data sharing between local and national governments for the benefit of the citizen: Online free school meals as a transformational project. In: Passey, D., Breiter, A., Visscher, A. (eds.) ITEM 2012. IFIP AICT, vol. 400, pp. 107–118. Springer, Heidelberg (2013)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Children’s Food Trust: Free school meals: why don’t all parents sign up? Findings from a survey of parents in England. Children’s Food Trust, Sheffield (2013)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Department for Education: Eligibility Criteria (2013), http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/pupilsupport/pastoralcare/a00202841/fsmcriteria/ (retrieved August 29, 2014)
  4. 4.
    Storey, P., Chamberlin, R.: Improving the take up of free school meals. DfEE Research Report 270 (2001), http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/4657/1/RR270.pdf (retrieved August 29, 2014)
  5. 5.
    Granville, S., Staniforth, J., Clapton, R.: Investigating Local Authority procedures for identifying and registering children eligible for free school meal entitlement. Scottish Executive (2006), http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/157044/0042264.pdf (retrieved August 29, 2014)
  6. 6.
    SDA: Home page (2013), http://www.sda-ltd.com/ (retrieved August 29, 2014)
  7. 7.
    SDA: OFSM home page (2013), https://www.cloudforedu.org.uk/ofsm/ (retrieved August 29, 2014)
  8. 8.
    Connect Digitally: Frequently asked questions for web services. Department for Education, Sheffield (2013)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    DfE: FSM system integration guide. Department for Education, Sheffield (2010) Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wyld, D.C.: Moving to the cloud: An introduction to cloud computing in government. IBM Centre for the Business of Government, Hammond, LA (2009)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Telecity: Home page (2013), http://www.telecitygroup.com/ (retrieved August 29, 2014)
  12. 12.
    DfE: Evaluation of the free school meals pilot: Impact Report. National Centre for Social Research, London (2013)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Strickley
    • 1
  1. 1.Cria TechnologiesUnited Kingdom

Personalised recommendations