Department for Education

Flexible Working for Teachers and Leaders (Alpha and Beta)

Incomplete applications

16
Incomplete applications
13 SME, 3 large

Completed applications

0
Completed applications
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Wednesday 4 September 2019
Deadline for asking questions Wednesday 11 September 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Wednesday 18 September 2019 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work Validate discovery findings with additional users
Explore communication of flexible working to schools
Scope, develop and test prototype tools and interventions to introduce a flexible working culture in schools to teachers and leaders
Scope, develop and test solutions to facilitate sustained job sharing partnerships which include a digital element online
Latest start date Monday 4 November 2019
Expected contract length
Location London
Organisation the work is for Department for Education
Budget range Proposed budgets:
The Alpha budget is available upto £215,000 incl vat
Beta budget upto 400,000 incl vat

DFE require the supplier to provide a separate cost for Alpha and Beta
DFE reserves the right not to progress from Alpha to Beta.

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done The Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy want more teachers in the profession to ensure careers in teaching are attractive, rewarding and sustainable.

Many teachers would like flexible working patterns and career journeys, but these opportunities can be hard to access within teaching.

The Discovery, explored the barriers, behaviours and attitudes around job sharing in schools.

We would like to prototype, test and iteratively develop directly with schools and individual teachers/leaders a range of elements of a flexible working service so as to understand what would be most effective in helping them to adopt and support flexible working including job sharing.
Problem to be solved Teachers leave, or choose not to return to teaching because they cannot access part-time or other flexible working opportunities.
Who the users are and what they need to do As a teacher: -
I need to see successful examples of flexible working works in other schools, so I know it can be done; to discover whether job sharing or another form of flexible working is right for my circumstances; to form shared vision and understanding of my responsibilities and accountabilities with my team including potentially a job share partner.
As a school leader:-
I need to know how to handle practical HR issues to see how flexible working works elsewhere; to understand who is accountable for what; to know how best to support and timetable multiple teachers working flexibly
Early market engagement The key insights from the job share discovery are:

• Job sharing is desirable to parents returning to work or those taking on extra responsibility.
• Successful job shares require concerted effort at all levels of the system.
• There are cultural, logistical and attitudinal barriers to some schools embracing jobsharing and other forms of flexible working.
• Schools need to see the benefits of job sharing and flexible work more broadly and be ready to test new practices.
• Schools are already trialling their own local solutions to the challenges they face.
Any work that’s already been done A discovery carried out, focused on job sharing in secondary schools, and the report of findings produced. The discovery report led towards content-based solutions, which should be researched, prototyped and iterated in Alpha.

We will issue the discovery report to the shortlisted applicants in proceeding to the 2nd phase. Background information and research on flexible working for teachers can be accessed in the DfE teacher recruitment and retention strategy. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/teacher-recruitment-and-retention-strategy
Existing team Product manager and a small team of policy-focused civil servants.
We are interested to receive provider proposals for team structure expect that the alpha team should include the following skill sets:
Delivery Management; User Research; Design
Content Design (between the designer and content designer we expect to have the capability to build and test wireframes of content-based services)
Business Analyst
Beta requirements will be subject to outcomes of the alpha. At the beta stage we would expect that the beta team would also comprise:
Developer (front and back end); Tech Lead.
Current phase Alpha

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place Department for Education
20 Great Smith St
Westminster
London
SW1P 3BT

Also it is expected that some travel may be required within England
Working arrangements Co-located working full time principally from the DfE's London office, maximising opportunity for engagement with the policy unit and stakeholders. We expect Alpha to be completed within 12 weeks with travel to meet users likely.
Any expenses must be included in the contract sum as there is not a separate budget for expenses. Operate a standard agile methodology: daily stand-ups, sprint planning, sprints, retrospectives, show and tells. Supplier will lead by being a role model in agile working. Exact milestones will be determined post appointment and weekly updates detailing achievements and any issues that may impact timescales or cost.
Security clearance Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) as a minimum

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions Standard Framework and Call Off Terms and Conditions. Expenses must be pre-agreed and comply with the DfE standard T&S policy.
Primary work location stated in SoW will not attract expenses. Contract and Vendor Management will form a key part of governance and suppliers will be expected to co-operate in a manner that fosters healthy working relationships and quality delivery.

Suppliers must provide sufficient guarantees to meet the requirements of GDPR in line with Procurement Policy Note 03/17 Changes to Data Protection Legislation & General Data Protection Regulation.

CVs may be requested from shortlisted suppliers

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
  • Detail your most recent or relevant experience of delivering evidence-based service design, focused on user-needs, end-to-end journeys, motivations and goals, indicating how you went about this.
  • Detail your most recent and relevant experience of prototyping, designing and developing digital and offline services through alpha and beta to meet identified user needs and business objectives?
  • Detail your most recent and relevant experience of meeting all requirements to deliver successful outcomes in specified timescales, in a complex working environment?
  • What will you do to ensure the project complies with the GDS design manual, service standard assessment, technical code of practice and wider industry standard?
  • Detail how you will enable a tech-agnostic approach to delivery in Alpha which includes prototype online and offline solutions to support flexible working in schools?
  • Detail the most recent or relevant experience you have of working in a front-line public service context?
  • What will you do to ensure the project complies with the GDS design manual, service standard assessment, technical code of practice and wider industry standard?
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate in detail your most recent experience of working successfully with users in the school/education landscape in England
  • Demonstrate in detail your most recent experience working in a complex policy landscape and of building good working relationships with policy teams.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 3
Proposal criteria
  • Demonstrate a plan of activities with clear deliverables, dates and the ability to complete the delivery of the alpha/beta within the required timescales (12wks alpha; 16wks beta). (15)
  • Demonstrate a successful approach and methodology for alpha, to validate discovery findings, test assumptions, prototype solutions and lead to clear recommendations for beta phase to meet user needs. (15)
  • Demonstrate how your teams skills and experience will deliver the required outcome including upskilling civil servants in agile/design based ways of working. (15) [Use DFE Template]
  • Demonstrate the key assumptions, dependencies, risk and issues, with robust approaches to mitigating, testing and resolving them in a project-based environment. (10)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate your approach to engaging with internal stakeholders undergoing cultural change and how this will support project success. (3)
  • Demonstrate how you will work transparently and collaboratively with the DfE project team, external stakeholders and collaborators, and seek actionable feedback to resolve any issues quickly and efficiently. (3)
  • Demonstrate approach to knowledge and skills transfer to permanent members of staff. Recent and demonstrable experience of up-skilling non-specialists and embedding agile ways of working in new teams. (7)
  • 4. Describe your approach to a flexible co-location of the team with DfE. (2)
Payment approach Time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

55%

Cultural fit

15%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Was the Discovery delivered In-House or by an External supplier? A DfE product manager worked with a small team of contractors procured via DOS to deliver the Discovery. The outcome of that procurement is publically available here: https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/digital-outcomes-and-specialists/opportunities/9058
2. ‘What will you do to ensure the project complies with the GDS design manual, service standard assessment, technical code of practice and wider industry standard?’ is featured twice, we assume in error – could the buyer please confirm how suppliers should go about submitting – should we enter (e.g.) ‘N/A’ in one response box? And will only eight of the nine questions be marked? Apologies for our error. Please enter N/A in the response box for the final question under "essential skills and experience". We will evaluate responses to the other questions in this section but not to the final question
3. Was the discovery phase done in-house or by an incumbent supplier? A DfE product manager worked with a small team of contractors procured via DOS to deliver the Discovery. The outcome of that procurement is publically available here: https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/digital-outcomes-and-specialists/opportunities/9058
4. 16 weeks (8 sprints) seems very tight for a beta, please can you describe your expected outcomes from Beta? The discovery report led towards content-based solutions which should be prototyped and tested in Alpha. Subject to Alpha findings, Beta is likely to focus on developing and testing online and offline solutions to the biggest blockers to flexible working.
5. Is there a preferred technology stack within the DfE estate and therefore for this Alpha and Beta? DfE is creating a consistent technology stack across our new services:
- microservices architecture, with internal HRRP and JSON REST based APIs for business logic and data access
- user facing websites built using Ruby on Rails by preference, or C#. NET Core, deployed to the DfE Azure PaaS.
Code hosted in the DfE Digital github repository, buids done via Travis-CI.
- Use one of the provided databases managed on DfE Azure eg. POstgres
- Implementation of the technology stack configured using code using Terraform.

Suppliers are expected to meet these standards or discuss and agree any exceptions with DfE
6. The budget for Beta seems tight, would there be an opportunity to revisit the beta budget as a result of the Alpha findings? At present the Beta budget is set. If Alpha exposes a need for increased funding, we would need to secure budget and approvals for additional spend.
7. Please clarify what your expectations are around prototyping "offline solutions to support flexible working in schools." It is possible that this service will require us to facilitate processes, procedures, or transactions that are not delivered through the internet. For example, we could prototype a face-to-face meetup for teachers to meet potential jobshare partners.
8. You ask in the Summary of Work for us to “validate discovery findings with additional users” which may increase the cost of work – how many users are you expecting and what level of validation? By the time the alpha is concluded we expect to understand whether the findings from discovery hold true in primary settings, and with teachers and leaders currently considering or working different patterns (not just jobsharing). This could be delivered through a few focused sprints of user research or through broader testing of prototypes with new user groups. We would expect that through a 12-week alpha we should be speaking to users from at least 16 different schools.
9. In the Summary of Work you mention “explore communication of flexible working to schools” – please could you explain this in more detail as it has the potential to be a big piece of work. One of the desired outcomes of the product is that it will enable us to communicate the benefits of flexible working to schools. The Alpha team will need to build an understanding of existing and potential new channels for the product.
10. For us to accurately price and therefore qualify this work, we would need to see the Discovery work completed as it will significantly affect the Alpha. Please could you share this with us? The discovery report led towards content-based solutions which should be prototyped and tested in Alpha. A copy of the discovery report will be shared on a confidential basis with bidders successful in proceeding to the second round
11. The Discovery phase of this work, and the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy focus specifically on a job share matching platform / service. Is the delivery expectation to deliver a digital platform to hire / match teachers with other teachers for a job share? And / or is the expectation to deliver a digital platform for leaders in educational institutions to schedule / manage flexible working? The expected outcomes of the alpha are to: Scope, develop and test prototype tools and interventions to introduce a flexible working culture in schools to teachers and leaders
Scope, develop and test solutions to facilitate sustained job sharing partnerships which include a digital element online.
At this stage we wish to test our key assumptions in building a service to support teachers and leaders manage flexible working including jobsharing
12. The information notice references delivery of online and offline solutions / services. What is the nature of the offline services / solutions that the DfE expect as part of this piece of work? It is possible that this service will require us to facilitate processes, procedures, or transactions that are not delivered through the internet. For example, we could prototype a face-to-face meetup for teachers to meet potential jobshare partners.
13. The information notice requests ‘prototype, test and iteratively develop directly with schools and individual teachers/leaders a range of elements of a flexible working service so as to understand what would be most effective in helping them to adopt and support flexible working including job sharing’ – what other elements of flexible working (other than job sharing) does the DfE envisage require development as part of the Alpha and Beta stages? Page 6 of the DfE flexible working guidance for schools sets out alternative forms of flexible working: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/593990/DFE_Flex_Working_Guidance_2017_FINAL.pdf
14. For questions 1-3, are you anticipating just 1 example per question or can we use multiple examples of relevant experience? We expect you to follow the DOS guidelines when responding. See DOS Guidance https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-sell-your-digital-outcomes-and-specialists-services
15. Are you expecting case studies included in responses to questions 4 and 5 or just a description of our approach? We expect you to follow the DOS guidelines when responding. See DOS guidance https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-sell-your-digital-outcomes-and-specialists-services
16. Thank you for detailing the key insights from discovery. Can you please describe the factors which were used to judge the discovery outcomes? How was the discovery exercise considered to be a success? We ask this so that potential suppliers for alpha can evaluate the risks. The discovery report was submitted to the department in July 2019. A copy will be shared with bidders successful in proceeding to the 2nd round on a confidential basis. The report has helped us to build a strong plan for alpha, including the requirement to further validate discovery findings with additional user groups. It has also enabled us to prioritise additional activity in the “bridging period” before alpha commences; outcomes of this work will be shared with the successful bidder.
17. Was the discovery phase delivered internally or by an external incumbent supplier? A DfE product manager worked with a small team of contractors procured via DOS to deliver the Discovery. The outcome of that procurement is publically available here: https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/digital-outcomes-and-specialists/opportunities/9058
18. Please can you confirm who the incumbent is and if they are still in place and therefore likely to apply for this opportunity? DfE product manager worked with a small team of contractors procured via DOS to deliver the Discovery. The outcome of that procurement is publically available here: https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/digital-outcomes-and-specialists/opportunities/9058. The discovery was completed in July at which point the contract with FutureGov ended.
The deadline for asking questions about this opportunity was Wednesday 11 September 2019.