Students’ app to aid local councils

NALC and young people from Cloudy Foundation Enterprise Academy develop new admin tool for Local Council Award Scheme. 

On 18 April, a group of school and college students completed an eight-week project to create an app that will enable the National Association of Local Councils to manage the Local Council Award Scheme (LCAS) more effectively and in the cloud. 

group of people using laptop computer

The long-running LCAS celebrates the successes of the best local councils while providing a framework to support all local councils develop and improve. Councils are given the opportunity to demonstrate that they meet standards set by the sector and they are assessed them by their peers. 

But the scheme took time and resources to administer.   

The project to streamline and digitise the system was run by the Cloudy Foundation Enterprise Academy, an online community hub for young people aged 14-24 and of all abilities. Here, they share skills and tech resources for self-guided learning, supported by alumni peers, educational advisors, and business mentors. 

Students worked collaboratively on the project twice a week, in the process learning valuable technical, personal and technical skills. 

Their brief was to use Microsoft applications to create booking and form efficiencies, while also ensuring that multiple staff could access information at the same time. 

Students create a Canvas Power App, using Microsoft Forms to collect and store data through Dataverse. They integrated their app with Microsoft Teams to enable alerts and messages, with Outlook to enable email messages, and with Microsoft Planner to enable task tracking, job assignment and alerts. 

The students also create a PowerBi dashboard to display key metrics. 

The new process is user friendly, eliminates the need for physical paperwork, and will save time and resources. 

As well as the careers advice from Microsoft and QA that is already part of the Cloudy Foundation Enterprise Academy programme, students on this project also had the option over half term to do two days’ work experience at the offices of CloudyIT. 

Over the Easter holidays, students also complete a video presentation to launch their new LCAS app. 

‘Our journey was not without its challenges,’ admit the students in their presentation. ‘But we persevered and overcame them.’ 

The students completed the project on 18 April. CloudyIT will now check and verify the app before it is rolled out for use by councils.

In related news, earlier this year the National Cyber Security Centre’s CyberFirst Girls Competition crowned its winners for 2023 after 8,700 schoolchildren took part

Photo by Annie Spratt


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