Southwark School Business Managers' website by Pylon Design, London viewed on different device screen sizes

Southwark Schools Human Resources, part of the London Borough of Southwark’s Education Department, provide a full range of professional HR support expertise to schools in the borough with an agreement in place. This helps them plan effective strategies and policies for a wide variety of staffing issues in schools, ensuring they get the best from their workforce, saving them time and money with advice being provided by a dedicated team of HR Business Partners and Advisers.

The Challenge

Over recent years, Southwark’s School Business Managers seeking advice, answers to work-related issues and recommendations for suppliers would communicate with each other in unofficial online group chats. It was felt that an officially sanctioned and managed, private platform should be provided for such communications.

The Solution

Pylon Design were commissioned to develop and deliver a private membership website that facilitated these conversations. As part of an annual service level agreement, School Business Managers (SBMs) are able to register and gain access to otherwise restricted content. A forum, covering all relevant service areas relating to schools management forms the crux of the website. Forum topics are moderated and can be started and replied to by all members. As well as uploading files and media, topics can be subscribed to for email notifications of follow-up comments.

Each service area has a dedicated page listing the service areas’ lead contact details, useful documentation and resources. A news blog displays articles that can be posted and published by service leads. An intelligent contact form with routing allows SBMs to contact any of the service leads directly. The management of membership renewals is carried out annually following a series of reminder notification emails. The Southwark School Business Manager’s website was deployed by Pylon Design in late 2021.