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Department for Education Case Study

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The Challenge

We generate a lot of information every year in the shape of, for example, policy documents, HR files and campaign communications. As a ministerial department we are ever mindful of adhering strictly to legislative requirements and statutory objectives whilst achieving value for money for the public purse. This can be a big ask when we have to review thousands of records each year for transfer to The National Archives for permanent preservation, or when HR files must be retained for 100 years from an individual’s date of birth.

Like many government departments we are aiming to be ‘digital by default’, eradicating paper by 2025. Of course this does not mean immediately destroying all our existing paper records but we need to have accurate data about what was contained in files and archive boxes in order to make accurate decisions about retention and disposal.

Our previous contract came to an end and provided the ideal opportunity to put our requirements out to tender to a range of CCS-approved suppliers, which included Restore Records Management. We were looking for a supplier that could meet a comprehensive spec that encompassed secure modern storage and systems, personalised customer service and account management, with a flexible business approach and willingness to innovate and improve throughout the lifetime of our working relationship.

Our Restore experience

In our specification we were open to opportunities on how our storage requirements could be met. Restore proposed a solution to uplift all our thousands of files and boxes from various storage and office locations to just one Restore storage facility in Coventry, free of charge and cutting total transfer time by up to four months. This offered a simple and effective solution for the Department.

We liked this flexible and thoughtful approach. I was further impressed by the account manager, Nicola Horsfield, who managed the whole transfer process, including when there was a slight hiccup in proceedings. This was when some of our older archive boxes were discovered to be the wrong size to fit into modern racking. Pragmatists, the Coventry depot team re-jigged the way the racking was arranged and we were back on track, losing just one day from the transfer process. Upon arrival, all our files were scanned and then cross-indexed to create a wholly accurate database of assets. Any half-filled boxes were accounted for, then filled, and empty archive boxes were destroyed, resulting in a significant reduction in our storage charge.

Our experience with Restore has been positive since day one. Our initial project was completed in eight months and, throughout that time and ever since, we have benefited from Nicola’s proactive approach and suggestions for budget management, and regular face to face meetings with her. And there’s more. We now have a full helpdesk facility and are grateful for the team behind Nicola, who have helped us with training and explaining processes such as RS web, cleaned our data so there are no longer any duplicate entries and enabled very specific data searches such as by National Insurance number.

Our Results

  • Our current and ongoing indexing work is especially helpful for keeping us compliant with legislation and helping us make decisions about how we manage our paper records.
  • The cataloguing and prep work carried out by the Restore team helps us keep on track with The National Archives’ 20-year rule – vital where we are currently working with documents from the late 1990s, a period of particularly high rates of policy-making.

Why I recommend Restore

"Restore has been patient and knowledgeable and, in our account manager, we have someone who’s always available, really personable and actively works with us to achieve our goals."
Claire Jurczuk, Head of Records Management,
Department for Education

Business Sector
Government


Organisation
Department for Education


About

The Department for Education (DfE) is a ministerial department supported by 18 public bodies and agencies. It is responsible for children’s services and education, including early years, schools, higher and further education policy, and apprenticeships and wider skills in England. Claire Jurczuk, the Department’s Head of Records Management, explains what they value in a service provider.

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Restore has been patient and knowledgeable and, in our account manager, we have someone who’s always available, really personable and actively works with us to achieve our goals.

Claire Jurczuk
Head of Records Management Department for Education