Awarded to The Public Service Consultants (trading as The PSC)

Start date: Monday 7 October 2019
Value: £97,500
Company size: SME
Department for Education ("DfE")

International Recruitment Strategy

6 Incomplete applications

5 SME, 1 large

4 Completed applications

3 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Friday 16 August 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 23 August 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 30 August 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
DfE is seeking a supplier to deliver a discovery project and commence alpha design and delivery, to explore the barriers to international recruitment and a service to address. Ultimately, this work should increase the number of international teachers in England.
Latest start date
Tuesday 8 October 2019
Expected contract length
14 weeks with an option to extend up to a maximum of two years
East Midlands
Organisation the work is for
Department for Education ("DfE")
Budget range
£97,500 to include up to:
User researcher at £300 per day for a maximum of 95 days and 40 interviews
Business Analyst at £300 per day for a maximum of 95 days
Design and delivery at £300 per day for a maximum of 95 days

About the work

Why the work is being done
Schools are struggling to recruit teachers, particularly in shortage subjects, and are seeking alternative recruitment routes. DfE currently delivers programme funded services to support schools including Spain’s Visiting Teacher Programme and STEM International Teacher Recruitment.
However, evidence shows that schools find the process of international recruitment challenging for both schools and teachers. The DfE International Strategy will gain a deeper understanding of the barriers through discovery and design services to address and support schools and teachers.
Problem to be solved
Understand the barriers to international recruitment and design a service to address.
Who the users are and what they need to do
There are two sets of users to consider:
As a school we need to recruit international teachers to supplement domestic recruitment
As an international student/teacher we are seeking teacher training/teaching posts in England
You may choose to limit the users (teachers/trainees) to a fixed number of countries. We would work with you to determine which countries fall within the initial scope of the discovery.
Early market engagement
Early market engagement shows there is interest in the market though may be limited due to the specific requirements. Bidders will be required to gain an in-depth knowledge of international recruitment markets and DfE policies in order to make recommendations to address.
Any work that’s already been done
In February 2017 Sheffield Hallam University, commissioned by the DfE, published a research paper which outlined schools’ attitudes to international recruitment and made recommendations to the current programmes. The DfE International Unit built on this by gathering evidence and undertaking yearly programme evaluations to improve delivery. Additionally, an International Review Analytical Pack has been produced to pull together all of the information DfE currently know about international teachers in order to support the international recruitment of teachers from abroad to England.
Existing team
The supplier will work closely with the International Recruitment Unit within the Teachers Services Division.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Agora Building, Cumberland Place, Nottingham
Working arrangements
Working principally from DfE's Nottingham office, maximising opportunity for engagement with the International Teacher Recruitment team and stakeholders. Some travel to other DfE sites, and to meet users is expected. Expenses must be included in the contract sum, there is no separate budget for this. Operate a standard agile scrum methodology: daily stand-ups, sprint planning, sprints, retrospectives, show and tells. Supplier will lead by being a role model in agile working. They will need to collaborate with our team and invest time in knowledge sharing and coaching to increase DfE staff capability.
Security clearance
Standard DfE Security Clearance checks required

Additional information

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.

Essential skills and experience
  • Recent and demonstrable experience in delivering evidence-based research to inform a user-centred design, focused on user needs, end-to-end user journeys, motivations and goals.
  • Recent and demonstrable experience of designing and developing services that meet identified user needs and business objectives.
  • Recent demonstrable experience of delivering discovery projects in accordance with Government Digital Standards (GDS), GDS Service Design Manual; Digital Service Standard Assessment; Technology Code of Practice; and wider industry standards
  • Recent and demonstrable evidence of managing and delivering Alpha projects, meeting all requirements and successfully delivering outcomes within specified timescales
  • Recent and demonstrable experience of working with in-house teams with limited Agile experience and sharing knowledge to develop in-house team capability
  • Recent and demonstrable experience of working with public sector organisations, such as central and local government
  • Demonstrable evidence of working successfully with users in the school/education and international landscape or in similar public services contexts.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrable experience of working with the Department for Education
  • Demonstrable experience working successfully with educational technology stakeholders
  • Demonstrable knowledge of the international recruitment and educational policy landscape
  • Demonstrable experience of digital learning services/solutions

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Clear approach with evidence that it will successfully identify user needs
  • Plan of activities with clear deliverables and dates that demonstrate completion of the project within the required timescales
  • Clear team structure and demonstration of how their skills and experience will deliver the requirement
  • Evidence that the supplier has an understanding of the policy landscape and that the proposal is relevant to that context
  • Identification of key assumptions, dependencies, risks and issues, with robust mitigation plans
  • Evidence of how the proposal represents value for money for DfE
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstration of a proactive approach, taking responsibility for work and resolving issues quickly, without an over reliance on the client team
  • Demonstration of working in a transparent and collaborative way with DfE
  • Demonstration of an understanding of DfE’s need to deliver the best value for money solution
  • Demonstration of ability to work at the boundary between modern digital ways of working and DfE/Government’s formal procedures and policies.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Do you see this opportunity as a consulting opportunity or a 'people placement'?
The discovery is an opportunity to shape DfE policy through evidence based research. This will require people to work directly with DfE teams and progress into a design and delivery phase which will be shaped by the discovery.
2. You specify fixed day rates for the three roles you have identified, are proposals bound by the three roles or those day rates (we understand we are bound by the total amount quoted)?
Your proposal must not exceed figure provided. If you wish to propose an alternative rate to that referenced you are free to do so. Included within your proposal you should outline the resource profile to include the role, grade, key skills, and seniority of resource being proposed as well as utilisation and their respective roles in the services being proposed for the duration of the proposed services.
3. We assume the output to be a strategic document with an implementation strategy attached, is that correct?
We expect findings throughout the discovery phase which can be tested as progress is made. The design and delivery phase will require some specific recommendations based on the outcome of testing.
4. Demonstrable experience working successfully with educational technology stakeholders" – does this refer to EdTech companies or DfE technology directorate?
This refers to any government project that is technology based.
5. Could you please share the International Review Analytical Pack?
The International Review Analytical Pack will be shared with the successful bidder only.
6. Could you please share the research paper which outlined schools’ attitudes to international recruitment and made recommendations to the current programmes ?
The paper is available at: -