Editorial – innovation

The brief

To create a product for school leaders that would help them prepare for and implement changes taking place during the academic year.

The background

The 2010 White Paper, ‘The Importance of Teaching’, contained a commitment to reduce administrative burdens on schools and improve communications with them. This was in response to feedback from teachers, heads and governors, who said it was difficult for even the most conscientious staff to absorb what they needed to know. The ‘reducing bureaucracy’ team approached us to ask for help in communicating key information to heads, principals and school governors. They wanted to create something that would help school leaders prepare for and implement changes taking place during the academic year. While they had previously relied on a series of emails to schools, they wanted to move to a single product.

What we did

Having considered how best to convey a large volume of information to time-hungry heads, we created a boldly coloured timeline with a key and some succinct accompanying text. The timeline clearly sets out what’s happening when, what action is needed, what’s a legal requirement and who changes apply to. It also includes links to more detailed information available elsewhere on the department’s site.

How our approach was innovative

Formerly, the department favoured multiple, targeted, highly detailed, written communications; a single, short, at-a-glance guide was quite a departure. Our approach was innovative, in the respect that it relied on visual messaging, and used words sparingly.

How this benefited the client

The client fulfilled its aim of removing what wasn’t necessary and communicating key information in a clear but concise way that could be easily referred to on the Department for Education’s website. Feedback from the target audience confirmed this; heads said they found the timeline extremely helpful and refreshingly easy to digest.

Referee details are available on request

Got a question?

Call Nick Spence on 01486 608224