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Round 2 research findings

Who we spoke to

  • 3 x public beta users
  • 2 x private beta users

Of which:

  • 1 x Executive principle
  • 1 x Business manager/Provider
  • 3 x Headteacher

Of which:

  • 3 x Multi Academy Trust
  • 2 x Local Authority Maintained

Goals of the research

  • Test users’ understanding of the service and how it works based on our content iterations for ‘make a claim’ and ‘add a mentor’ journeys
  • Continue to gain a better understanding of who the users of the new ITT grant funding claim service are
  • Continue to gain more context regarding our users, their behaviours and mental models
  • Explore users’ expectations of the following steps post-submission
  • Explore what users expect to happen if they are nominated for sampling – understand if they would be comfortable providing evidence via email to DfE
  • Begin exploring possible names for the service

What we tested

We tested:

  • the second iteration of ‘add a mentor’ and add a ‘claim journey’
  • the first iteration of a start page

Key insights

Persona insights

A key observation was that participants’ ability to understand the service and how it works was influenced by their prior knowledge of the new service. Some participants had already understood the new grant funding scheme, while others did not.

Trusts expect to be able to submit claims centrally on behalf of their schools.

They felt that making claims at an individual school level would burden schools too much.

Administration and data handling are done at a central level within trusts; therefore, submitting claims at a central level feels more appropriate.

Start page

The start page made participants feel much more informed about the service.

They understood what was required of them to complete a claim.

They reported that at this point in the journey, they would ensure they have the information they need before starting the service.

They require clarity on the information that they need to complete a claim.

This included:

  • Provider details – what details regarding their providers do they need to locate
  • Hours of training – more information is required around the requirements for hours of training

There was slight confusion around what training they were claiming for.

Some participants became confused when reading the service description and questioned whether they were claiming for the training that mentors undertook or the training they did with placements/trainees.

Guidance was ‘hidden’ within related content

Participants felt the guidance was not ‘prioritised’ enough on the page and, therefore, would miss it. They described ‘related content’ as something relevant but unimportant to the service. They said that they expected links within the page content where they could read further information on the areas they required more clarity on.

Add a mentor or make a claim

The order of the primary navigation confused the steps they had to take to complete a claim.

The order of the primary navigation confuses participants. They assume that it indicates the order of the steps they must take.

Once participants complete the ‘add a mentor’ journey, they refer to the primary navigation to try and understand what to do next, as we do not currently have a link directing them to the next step (‘add a claim’).


The hours’ descriptions made participants feel more informed about the service’s rules. However, they still require further clarification.

Participants understood that 20 hours is the maximum number of hours they can claim. However, they still struggled to understand what 6 hours meant.

Seeing ‘other amount’ alone on the page also led to confusion, and it was not until participants expanded this option that they understood that you could enter hours ‘up to’ 20 hours.


Participants expect to be asked to provide evidence, but being asked to do so via email is a concern for them as it feels ‘unsafe’. They expect to be able to upload evidence to a portal and feel that doing so will be more secure.

Funding amount

Participants reacted positively to the funding amount they would receive based on location. They said it’s not a lot, but it covers the training, which is positive.

They also felt positive that providing an opportunity to claim funding means that DfE acknowledges the impact of taking time out to train ITT placements on schools.

Emerging user needs

As a business manager, HR, finance person or an administrator
I need to know what the timelines for claiming funding are
So that I know when to submit a claim and when we will receive our payment

As a business manager, HR, finance person or an administrator
I need to know what will happen after my claim has been submitted
So that I feel informed of the process and know what to expect from the following steps

As a business manager, HR, finance person or an administrator
I need to know the status of my claim after it has been submitted
So that I can track the progress of our claim

As a business manager, HR, finance person or an administrator
I need an in-depth understanding of what the new service is
So that I can confidently and correctly submit a claim on behalf of our school

As a headteacher or finance person
I need to know the amount of funding received to cover the cost of training our mentors
So that I see how the funding benefits us

As a multi-academy trust
I need to be able to submit claims centrally on behalf of all of the schools within our Trust
So that we can reduce the burden on schools having to submit claims individually

As a multi-academy trust
I need to be able to submit claims centrally on behalf of all of the schools within our Trust
So that the claim can be handled by the correct person that handles all of the information required

As a school
I need reassurance that the DfE have the correct details for our organisation
So that I feel confident that our claim has been submitted correctly

As a school
I need to understand how to use the service and know what is required of me before I start a claim
So that I know what to expect and can prepare all of the information required information ready before I start our claim

As a school
I need to know what evidence is required of me should we be picked for sampling
So that I know exactly what information to gather regarding our mentors and who from

As a school
I need to know that the process for submitting evidence regarding our claim is safe and secure
So that I am confident that our information is protected from fraud and scams

Hypothesis to test in round 3

Hypothesis 1

Users are unsure what to do once they have added a mentor to make a claim
We think this is because we are not clearly directing users, and therefore are using the primary navigation as an indication of the following steps
So if we add content to emphasise the order of tasks
Then users will feel confident in choosing their next steps.

Hypothesis 2

We have seen users requiring reassurance that their claim has been successfully submitted
We think this is because they do not currently receive confirmation once a claim is submitted
So, if we provide a confirmation email
Then users will feel reassured that DfE has successfully received their claim.

Hypothesis 3

We have seen users not confidently understanding what the service is for when at the start
We think this is because this is a brand-new service, and they do not know how it works before using it
So, if we iterate the content to be more specific
Then users will have a better understanding of the service.