Inside design

Learn more about the work we do across design in the Department for Education, from our people, professions, and communities of practice.

Our work

Read about some of the work from our digital teams across the department.

Family hubs digital project

The Family hubs digital project is a cross-government project. It aims to improve outcomes for vulnerable and disadvantaged children, young people, and families.

Vulnerable Children and Families Team

Education health and care plan digital project

The Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) digital project is a cross-government project. It aims to support local authorities to improve outcomes for children and young people with EHC plans.

Vulnerable Children and Families Team

Our goals

The design goals and objectives and the initiatives we're working on to meet them.

1. Accessibility

Raise the standard of accessible and inclusive design across the department.

2. People

A consistent approach to recruitment and onboarding for design professionals with clear objectives for professions and community.

3. Standards

A Design Standard for implementing consistent content design, service patterns and components in digital products and services.

4. Maturity

Mature the design profession around a framework of guidance, principles, good practice, learning and development.

2023 results published

Design maturity

Understand how we are working to develop a mature design profession and how we measure this on an annual basis.

Read more and view maturity results


Understand more about the design professions in the Department for Education.

Content design

Find out about the content design profession, and how designers use plain language to help users get the outcomes they need.

Interaction design

Interaction designers design the way people use a product and remove risk from user interactions with our services.

Service design

Learn how service designers design the end-to-end journey of a service. This helps a user complete their goal and the department deliver a policy intent.

Head of Profession

The head of profession for design, enables and empowers designers across the department with the tools, support, standards, and guidance for delivering good design outcomes.

Communities of practice

Find out about communities of practice and profession time in the department.

Join the DfE design community of practice

Communities of practice help to drive the learning and development of the professions and their practice through sharing ideas, skills and experience.

The design community meets every Thursday between 1-2pm. This time is used to share cross-community information and learnings, for example, checking in with the cross-design working groups progress, or inviting cross-gov people to talk.

We crowd source the themes and topics on Slack and in meet-ups. People can suggest ideas, volunteer to help facilitate or run a session on our Trello board. We also join up with other professions, such as user research or product to run multidisciplinary meet-ups. We encourage designers to set up user-centred profession meet-ups with their portfolio or business area, too.

To join the design community send a request to #design in DfE Slack. You can also join us on Microsoft Teams.

Profession time in DfE

Every Thursday in DfE we have dedicated profession time. In practice, this means that between 2-4pm each profession can use some – or all – of this time for professional development.

This time can be used for:

  • cross-design group objectives, for example, style guide or patterns
  • content, service and interaction design specific meet-ups
  • crits, either in profession or profession families
  • personal learning and development time

Current working groups

There are currently groups led by volunteers from within the design community working on:

If you would like to get involved with one of the community groups, reach out on the DfE Slack channel #design.