Helping graduates into teacher training for the Department for Education

We delivered a new digital service that enables graduates to find and apply for teacher training courses.

The project

The Department for Education (DfE) wanted to increase teacher numbers and knew that graduates would be put off from applying for teacher training by the clunky and inefficient process involved. It wanted to get rid of the expensive legacy system it relied on, in order to make the process easier for graduates, universities and teacher training providers.

Photo of people with laptops around a table
Photo showing a teacher helping two children to use a laptop

Our approach

The system that had been used to manage graduate applications for teacher training had remained largely unchanged for years. Therefore, we needed to take functionality from this legacy system and implement it as a new digital service. Part of this process involved rewriting the C# code in Ruby, inline with the DfE’s strategy.

We were brought into an existing team, taking over some development from other suppliers and some from internal teams. Although part of the service had been launched before we joined, there was a need to add features and improve accessibility.

Part of our work involved integrating the new digital service with third party student record services. Also, our team undertook accessibility testing with users at the Digital Accessibility Centre in order to gather feedback and implement changes.

Apply for teacher training laptop

“We are removing the barriers that can deter some people who could be excellent teachers from applying and that includes making the application process simpler, more straightforward and intuitive. This new service does just that.”

Nick Gibb, School Standards Minister

The results

The new DfE-owned digital service allows individuals to find postgraduate teacher training courses and apply for teacher training education. They are fully integrated with one another, making the entire process easier for candidates and training providers. The South-West was the first region to benefit but the new service is scheduled to replace the existing system across England from October 2021.

  • Easier candidate applications
  • Simpler system for training providers
  • UK-wide service from 2021
  • C# code rewritten in Ruby
  • Connections to third-party data
  • Accessibility tested

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