Department for Education (DfE)

Parents of children in maintained schools research (school complaints)

Incomplete applications

Incomplete applications
3 SME, 0 large

Completed applications

Completed applications
2 SME, 0 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Thursday 7 September 2017
Deadline for asking questions Thursday 14 September 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Thursday 21 September 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work User research testing the usability and clarity of our guidance for the school complaints process and user journeys through our contact form with parents of children at a maintained/state-funded school, to understand their expectations, likely behaviour and motivation when escalating a grievance about how the school has handled a complaint
Location North West England
Research dates Phone interviews 9-20 Oct; lab testing on 11 Oct (Manc) and 18 Oct (Sheff)
Organisation the work is for Department for Education (DfE)
Budget range Total budget is £2,000 (ex VAT) for recruiting 20 participants including an appropriate incentive (a gift voucher or such like, no VAT) per person
We will not reimburse participants travel and subsistence costs

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Early market engagement

About the research

About the research
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Description of your participants Must-haves:
Parents with a child at a maintained (state-funded) school (not a free school, academy, or private school)
Ideally the children of the participating parents will cover a range of ages across the maintained school system (primary/secondary)
5 parents must be able to get to Manchester M1 between 9-5pm on Wed 11 October (total time required is about an hour, the session itself will be around 45 minutes)
5 parents must be able to get to Sheffield S1 between 9-5pm on Wed 18 October
10 parents must sign up for an arranged 20 minute interview with our team on a week day between 9-20 Oct where they join an online screen-sharing web conference call or simply have the phone call whilst in front of a computer, in a location of their choosing (e.g. home, office)

Nice to have:
A range of online/IT ability and confidence
From a range of schools (primary/secondary) and affluence of area
Assisted digital and accessibility requirements For the Skype/web conference/telephone interview participants it would be good to have at least 2 people who use assistive digital technology e.g. use a screen-reader, magnifier or head wand (as they will be using their own office/home set up for the session) to ensure the content we're testing works for them
We do require that participants are able to speak to us on the phone or via a webcam/mic/web conference call during the session as we need to understand their thought process and real-time experiences as we progress through the session
Research plan The first half of the session with each participant will be interview style with questions about experiences, expectations and understanding of specific pieces of content

The second half will involve a hypothetical scenario where the parent wishes to complain about how their child's school has handled a complaint the participant has raised, and how they would behave, how they would feel, and for us to observe them completing a test version of our DfE contact form to escalate their grievance to DfE
Research location Manchester: Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, M1 2WD
Sheffield: 2 St Paul's Place, 125 Norfolk Street, S1 2FJ
Telephone/Skype: location of participant's choice
Access restrictions at location For the lab sessions:
No access restrictions for wheel chairs or people with limited mobility
Visitors are required to sign in at reception and await one of our team to escort them to the testing area

For telephone/Skype interviews:
The participant chooses the location for the call (e.g. home, office)
They will need access to a phone, and ideally a computer whilst on the call in case they want to view or find online content during the discussion
We may have/use web conferencing facilities too for these calls
Number of research rounds 1
Number of participants per round 20 participants needed in total:

5 to attend a 45-minute lab testing session in Manchester Wed 11 Oct 2017
5 to attend a 45-minute lab testing session in Sheffield Wed 18 Oct 2017
10 to book for a 20-minute telephone/Skype interview each, w/c 9 Oct and w/c 16 Oct in the location of their choice (home, office, their choice)
How often research will happen Lab dates are set for Wed 11 Oct (Manc) and 18 Oct (Sheff)
Telephone/Skype interviews will take place at times to suit the participants in the fortnight between Mon 9 Oct and Fri 20 Oct 2017
Evening or weekend research

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Be able to recruit the participants outlined in the requirement
  • Be able to recruit within the specified timeframe (to start testing from 9 Oct)
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 10
Proposal criteria
  • Approach to recruiting specialist participants
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • Breakdown of recruitment costs and incentives
  • How they have identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
Assessment methods Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence






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