DfE – School finder for parents



What we did

Our challenge was to centralise over 15+ locally held databases and build a single indexed point of reference. Whilst this seems simple, each of the databases were held utilising different forms of storage and with no database schemas. Which really got our geeks excited.

The end objective was to ensure parents receive a clear understanding of their choices, with measurements to perform informed searches, through a simple and intuitive website.

Over 450,000 visits a month

To really understand the objectives of the project, get to grips with the audience and understand the difficulties in navigating around or with access to content we carried out user-focused workshops with end users using low fidelity wireframes, then a second session with the same users using high fidelity scamps based on received feedback.

These personas enabled us to understand where users were going on the website, what elements needed to be made easier to access, and what elements had become stagnant forming a variety of user journeys.


Through a series of scamps, lo-fi wireframes and design prototypes we started to create a working model of the website which engaged parents, and provided them with the tools to find the information required, to make the best informed decision on what school their child/children should attend.


What was achieved

An online database that allows parents to quickly and easily search for primary, secondary, special needs, state and private schools in their local area. The site allows them to refine their search by specifying their preferred age range, funding type, gender, facilities and specialisms.

Parents are shown an interactive map and drop down menus providing easy to digest information on each school, such as distance from the address provided, contact details, Ofsted rating and exam achievements with links to relevant reports

Technologies used

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