The Schools and Parents Support Foundation (SOSO) advises and guides parents/carers and schools on educational issues concerning a child with a disability, illness or disorder. The goal is to provide every child in the Netherlands with appropriate education. The foundation has a team of around fifty education consultants who make an effort for this.
SOSO supports educational consultants who fulfil an advisory and supervisory role for parents, pupils and schools involved in the context of the Student Lending Financing Act law. This often concerns issues related to placement, suspension, spending of backpack money or disagreement about action plans.
All this is done according to a defined process that was supported in the past by a application named '@Consul'. This application turned out to be technically outdated and no longer contains the security and availability requirements that are common today. For this reason, SOSO wanted to develop the application '@Consul'. West has been asked to realize this new web application, including data migration, and training for end users and administrators.
The new @Consul system has been built using an agile approach. At the start of each sprint, it was examined which functionality from the backlog that would be implemented during that sprint.
The development phase of the project was carried out in 5 sprints of two weeks each. Within this period an optimal solution has been achieved through quick iterations. By using an iterative approach, certainty came about a working and appropriate solution in which later insights into the desired functionality could be processed.
For this project West choose to build the system based on Django / Python. In that way a customized solution is realized that meets the specific requirements of SOSO. And at the same time the (cost) efficiency will not be forgotten. A lot of functionality is already included as standard with this framework and therefore there is no need to build new.
With an intensive Scrum process, West has developed a flexible and future-proof web application. The web application has three facets. Firstly, schools and parents can submit applications online. In addition, the educational consultants in the field can record their reports for the various cases through the system. And finally, the SOSO staff can handle the applications internally, whereby Conpas offers support through an adequate workflow.
Because the system contains privacy-sensitive information, special attention was paid to security. The data is therefore about encrypted connections and users must log in using tokens.