Smarter Document Management links between three WordPress sites sought

I’ve built and manage two primary/junior school sites in the UK. They’ve recently come together under a Multi Academy Trust (MAT) and consequently, they now share a fair amount of common policies and documentation.

Currently an admin at each school is provided the latest document version (via email) to upload and link to on their respective sites, so there is already some duplication of effort and potential for version control becoming out of sync.

I’m now developing a third site, for the MAT itself. Moving forward we’d like to host the shared and common policies only on the MAT site and have the two schools link through to the relevant documents on the MAT site. That way the MAT site is solely responsible for providing the latest version of a policy document.

However, to keep things up to date and in sync between the three sites, it still requires some notification down from the MAT to the two schools to let them know there is a new version of a document and to update the link accordingly.

This will be an improvement but is still a bit of a pain and I’m looking for a smarter solution, whereby each school site links to a permanent location (a directory?) at the MAT site and simply links to the file that is in that directory. In this way the 2 school sites would not need to update their policy links once they have been established. This is not possible using the WP Media Library ‘out of the box’ (especially when we are using permalinks with a structure ) as the month/year will change on the MAT site when they upload a revised policy version.

I’m sure this is not such a niche request and that others will have faced a similar issue. I’ve been looking at the MAT site utilising a 3rd party document management system, such as Zoho Docs, Google Docs, DropBox Pro or similar, and avoiding the WP Media Library altogether.

I’d be interested to hear other users experience and solutions for this type of scenario and if it can indeed be achieved with WordPress alone, or maybe a plugin solution?

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