Department for Education

Explore Education Statistics (Business as Usual support) and public beta enhancement

Incomplete applications

Incomplete applications
3 SME, 1 large

Completed applications

Completed applications
4 SME, 1 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Monday 19 August 2019
Deadline for asking questions Monday 26 August 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Monday 2 September 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work After completing discovery, alpha and private-beta for this service, which is aimed at making education statistics easier to find, access, navigate and understand - we are now creating a business as usual team to maintain the new service and enhance it beyond the minimum viable product that has been built.
Latest start date Tuesday 1 October 2019
Expected contract length From around September 2019 to the end of 2021/22 (maximum).
Location Yorkshire and the Humber
Organisation the work is for Department for Education
Budget range The total budget available is around £650,000 inc VAT. This will cover both the BAU support and public beta enhancement, flexing as appropriate. We expect a small budget to be allocated to BAU support and maintenance continuously (averaging around 1.0 FTE) until the end of the contract.

The major post-mvp enhancement work will be carried out throughout 2020/21 where we will scale up the team to design and develop any post-MVP features that have been identified as necessary, either by users or the business.

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done DfE produces over 50 statistics series every year, with data being used by a variety of people from the general public to government policy makers. Our Discovery research showed frustration with our current approach.

Key findings included:

-Users struggle to find the right data
-Inconsistency within and between publications
-Users are required to download and manipulate large amounts of data
-Producers spend a large amount of time responding to additional adhoc requests

Having now developed a minimum viable service which we believe better meets user’s needs, we are looking to maintain, optimise and improve this through public beta.
Problem to be solved Our goal was ‘to provide a new service that allows better access to and consumption of statistics, meeting the many varying user needs identified during Discovery with due regard to accessibility.’

Having created our new service to MVP standard, we’re now looking to maintain and iterate upon it throughout public beta and need to recruit a team to do so.

Call-off resource is required to support a small DfE BAU team, responsible for any bug fixes and urgent development of functionality to keep the service running.
Who the users are and what they need to do A subset of the global needs (for all users) are as follows:

- I need DfE data to be easy to navigate so I can find the statistics I’m looking for
- I need DfE data to be simple to use so I can analyse and customise without extensive knowledge or training
- I need data to be accessible so I can use the data with a disability
- I want to customise the data according to my requirements so that I can answer my questions by myself
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done We have carried out a discovery (, alpha and private beta in which we designed and developed a minimum viable service that would better meet users’ needs.

To see existing code, our GitHub repository is available here –

Access to our private beta platform can be given on request, please email for details.
Existing team The supplier will be working with the DfE Statistics Modernisation team comprising two full time members of staff, one of which will be a product owner.
Current phase Beta

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place Sheffield & Darlington - with likely travel to various locations throughout the UK.
Working arrangements a) A call-off approach to enable DfE to request support for BAU as and when needed. Work will therefore not be required on a full time basis (expectation that it is equivalent to 0.5 dev, 0.5 QA FTE over the course of the contract)
b) For post-MVP development we expect the team to scale up to a full agile scrum team (including Delivery, Design, Development, Quality Assurance and User Research as needed).
c) Working to Agile principles - i.e. regular stand ups, Show & Tells, Retrospectives
d) Necessary expenses will be paid in line with DfE standard policies
Security clearance BPSS clearance

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions We will scale up the team during 2020/21 (as we operate public-beta) to iterate on the service design and functionality in line with user feedback and analytics.

A 'post-mvp backlog' will be used to keep stock of these features and will be the starting point for prioritisation of future enhancements.

Though we expect this may include:

- Service and infrastructure optimisation
- More sophisticated admin tools and flexibility within the ‘build a statistics release’ process
- Extended functionality to allow users to pull information from multiple statistics publications at once
- Enhanced charting and data visualisation functionality

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
  • Experience with Azure Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Function as a Service (FaaS) infrastructure and Azure DevOps build pipelines
  • Experience with React.js with preferably knowledge of Typescript and Next.js
  • Experience with C# and .Net core for the development of API's, preferably with knowledge of Azure SDKs and Entity Framework as a ORM.
  • (QA) Experience creating Automated UI tests and API tests, preferably with Robot framework and Postman.
  • Experience of iterating the design and functionality of a digital service inline with user feedback
  • Experience of working to GDS service assessment standards
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • An awareness of statistics in Government.
  • Experience in the dissemination of data on a large scale.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 3
Proposal criteria
  • Approach & methodology
  • Team structure and skills
  • Value for Money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
  • Challenge the status quo
  • Be comfortable standing up for their discipline
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Can you confirm that the project is about the “Dissemination Alpha” in the Hive report. And if that is the case is it really that disconnected from the other alpha? Yes, this project stems from the ‘Dissemination Alpha’ recommendation from our end of discovery report. It is closely related to the other alpha (‘Process Alpha’) which is ongoing and looks to make the processes used to create the data files that power the new platform as efficient and accurate as possible.
2. We have tried to implement the docker on 2 different OS (Fedora/Centos and MacOS) and have found some problems. Given the timetable for questions it becomes quite urgent to get access to the Beta site (emailed). No answer yet. You should have received the link to the beta platform now, if not please could you email again in case your email has gotten lost.
There has been a bug effecting how data loaded within the public facing beta mvp platform but this has been addressed now.
3. Has the private Beta/MVP been delivered using agile best practice including test automation, continuous integration etc? Is the MVP code throw-away or will it form the basis of the public Beta/Live service? Has the service undergone GDS service standard assessments? Yes the private beta MVP has been developed in line with agile best practice. We passed our alpha service assessment and are currently preparing for a private beta assessment. The MVP code is expected to form the basis of the public beta service.
4. Did DfE partner with a third party supplier to deliver the Alpha/private Beta service? Was this the same supplier who delivered the Discovery? Yes, the alpha/private beta project is being delivered by a third party supplier, the same supplier also delivered our discovery project.
5. Is this a new potential team to be provided or is this covered by a current incumbent service provider? Call-off resource is required to support a small and existing DfE BAU team, comprising two full time members of staff.

For BAU support we expect Developer support to be available as and when needed to address any bug fixes and urgent development of functionality to keep the service running. For post-MVP enhancement we expect the supplier to scale up the team to include Delivery, Design, Development, Quality Assurance and User Research as needed to implement feature changes.
6. Could you please confirm the date when you expect the presentations to take place for the tender? Expected dates are as follows:

Deadline for Shortlisting applications – 6th September 2019
Deadline for Written Proposals – 13th September 2019
Supplier Presentation – 17th September 2019 (Sheffield)