DfE Claim additional payments for teaching alpha/beta

Over the past year we’ve been working with the Department for Education (DfE) to design and deliver a new service that enables teachers to check eligibility and claim additional payments for teaching.

This service is part of the Department’s strategy for recruiting and retaining school teachers in state-funded schools. It delivers 2 policies: one for people who teach maths or physics and another for teachers of science or languages who want to claim back their student loan reimbursements.

After working with the Department for Education continuously for the past 3 years across various services, we understand a lot about teachers. They’re exceptional and passionate people who work tirelessly to educate our children. Working on something, anything, that helps teachers feel more valued and motivated is something we feel privileged to do.

This project has been a proper multidisciplinary team effort. Paper led on service design, user research and content design, and we’ve been working with our partner and our friends at dxw who led the delivery and development of the service. We joined civil servants in policy, strategy and DfE Digital - 3 different organisations coming together to quickly work effectively, and often recognised, as one team. We’re proud of that.

‘Claim’ is a full end to end service. There’s a form that lives on GOV.UK that quickly allows a teacher to check their eligibility and submit a claim. There’s also a back-office support system, processes and a team who are confidently checking, approving and rejecting claims. The team designed and operationalised all of this with DfE. The service integrates with GOV.UK Verify to validate an applicant’s identity, and includes a payroll function that allows the monetary transaction into a teacher’s bank account including an assisted digital route for those who struggle to use the service, a first for the department.

In the first year of the service, over 2,600 claims were submitted and the DfE paid out over £3.4 million to eligible teachers. We also successfully met all the standards in 2 beta service assessments, alongside creating a set of reusable design patterns.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be writing more about workshops and training we’re designing and delivering to help the team at the DfE.

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