Awarded to Digi2al Limited

Start date: Thursday 1 October 2020
Value: £3,500,000
Company size: SME
Department for Education - Teacher Services programme

Software Development Capability - Package 1 (Get Into Teaching/Claim/Data Services)

9 Incomplete applications

7 SME, 2 large

34 Completed applications

25 SME, 9 large

Important dates

Monday 16 March 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 23 March 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 30 March 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The Teacher Services Programme, DfE requires Software Development capabilities to deliver various digital services. The programme has several projects in flight at different development phases. Further information on the projects is below:
DFE Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy -
Latest start date
Monday 3 August 2020
Expected contract length
24 months with option for an additional 6 months subject to internal governance and budget approval
North West England
Organisation the work is for
Department for Education - Teacher Services programme
Budget range
Up to £3.5million excl. of VAT

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy, published in January 2019, sets out the government's priorities for making sure a career in teaching continues to be attractive, sustainable and rewarding.

The growing number of pupils of secondary school age means that we need even more teachers in a competitive labour market, particularly in subjects such as maths, science and modern foreign languages. At the same time, we are losing more teachers from the profession than we can afford.

This requirement covers three major projects:

Claim Additional Payments for Teaching: aims to increase recruitment and retention of teachers by providing a way for teachers to claim financial incentives.

The Get into Teaching Service: aims to build a relationship with potential teachers based on their needs, their readiness to apply and the context of their lives, supporting them to explore what it means to be a teacher and helping them to make a successful application for teacher training.

Trainee Teacher Data Service: reviewing how we use our data that supports trainee funding of bursaries, awarding qualified teacher status for those who successfully meet the teacher standards and to publish national statistics.

Other projects may arise over the next 24 months.
Problem to be solved
The Claim Additional Payments for Teaching Service was introduced to enable the Department for Education (DfE) to pay retention payments to teachers directly (this part of the service has been delivered). The DfE also needs to have confidence that claimants meet the eligibility criteria and ensure payments are made to eligible teachers, minimising the burden placed on teachers and schools. Early Career Payments (ECPs) will be part of the service and will enable teachers to apply for retention payments. This needs to be available by September 2021.

The Get Into Teaching Service needs to inspire people to recognise their teaching potential; to deliver a well-supported, seamless journey to enable people to start their teaching journey; and to build a more positive perception of the teaching profession.

The Trainee Teacher Data Service is looking to simplify how we collect, collate and present trainee teacher data.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Each of our services include multiple identified users, each with their own set of journeys. These users include but are not limited to:

As a potential teacher, I need to make an informed decision about whether the career is for me and make a successful application for initial teacher training.
As a Teacher, I need to be able to apply for a retention payment so that I can receive a payment for which I am eligible.
As a DfE manager, I need data on user engagement and success so that I can make strategic decisions on teacher recruitment.
Early market engagement
We held a Pre-Market Engagement event on 6th February 2020 to provide all suppliers with background on the requirements and gain early feedback on our proposed route to market.

The information shared during the event and subsequent Questions and Answers are available here:

Pre-Market Engagement -

Questions and Answer -
Any work that’s already been done
Get Into Teaching is in Public Beta -

Claims Additional Payments -
Existing team
The Teacher Services programme consist of multidisciplinary agile delivery teams, which include contractors and permanent DfE staff. There are other Service Delivery Teams working on associated digital services as part of the wider programme with whom the successful supplier will need to work.

Typical team size (for a product team) is up to 10 with a skill mix such as product managers, delivery managers, business analysts, developers, policy designers, user research and design professionals. Product teams often work alongside each other as part of an overall service team, which would include developers.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The primary location is Manchester, although travel may be required to other DfE UK offices, particularly London.
Working arrangements
We operate a standard agile methodology: daily stand-ups, sprint planning, sprints, retrospectives, show and tells. The supplier will lead by being a role model in agile working. Exact milestones will be determined post appointment with weekly updates detailing achievements and any issues that may impact timescales or cost.

To improve DfE internal capability, build and support the applications/services, knowledge transfer and coaching will be a requirement for each Statement of Work (SoW).

A SoW will be completed to outline the working arrangements, outcomes and deliverables expected for each engagement.
Security clearance
DfE will require the representatives of the suppliers to have Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS). There may be a requirement for some of the work to have a higher level of security clearance. Where this is needed it will be detailed in the Statement of Work.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
The standard Framework and Call Off Terms and Conditions.

Variant bids are not permitted.

All expenses must be pre-agreed and comply with DfE standard Travel and Subsistence 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.

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
  • Detail recent experience of providing services for designing and developing digital services using an agile approach, including Continuous Delivery.
  • Detail recent experience of successfully meeting the GDS Service Standard.
  • Detail recent experience of providing services with outputs from Discovery to Alpha, Alpha to Beta Build and Public Beta to Live services to meet user needs and strategic objectives.
  • Detail recent experience of adhering to GOV.UK design patterns and standards.
  • Detail recent experience of providing services to design and build cloud based web solutions and maintain accessible web-pages based on user needs
  • Detail recent experience of providing Ruby and Ruby on Rails, PostgreSQL, Redis, Elasticsearch, JavaScript and Docker capabilities and associated framework.
  • Detail recent experience of providing services to lead a test driven development approach to software delivery.
  • Detail recent experience of building using Microsoft Azure and GOV.UK PaaS cloud platforms.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Detail recent experience of building using C#.
  • Detail providing service to lead, coach and upskill people in agile methods and techniques in order to build internal capability.
  • Detail your experience of analysis of existing research, analytics and insight to ensure good understanding of users and their needs.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Provide evidence of delivering comparable services to public sector bodies. Please include any lessons learnt that would benefit the DfE.
  • Provide recent experience with examples of using the styles, components and patterns in the GOV.UK design system.
  • Provide evidence of recent experience of building using Microsoft Azure and GOV.UK PaaS cloud platforms.
  • Provide details of your approach and methodology to develop webpages and applications based on user needs in collaboration with multiple organisational stakeholders.
  • Provide an overview of your business structure, its operating model and how skilled resources will be provided timely. In addition, describe your ability to flex resources both up and down.
  • Provide details of the process you will have in place to ensure Teacher Services receives the highest standard of capability services in an efficient manner.
  • Provide details of your on/off - board processes during different phases of a project and how you will quickly understand user needs to maintain continuity.
  • Describe how you will achieve and maintain value for money during the life of the contract. Provide details of value-added services that will be provided during this contract.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Describe your approach to working with multidisciplinary, mixed civil servant and managed service teams of specialists working to common service outcomes.
  • Describe your approach to working together across government department to help a user to their goal by using common design patterns and where possible shared supporting technologies and operating platforms
  • Describe your approach to providing appropriate skills to meet a project's specific needs.
  • Describe your methodology for training, coaching and knowledge transfer throughout the term of the contract.
  • Describe how you can help the DfE build our in-house capability to manage and support cloud services
  • Describe how you will work transparently and collaboratively with the project teams and seek actionable feedback to resolve any issues quickly and efficiently
  • For information about the Teacher Services Culture, see
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

2. is there a current incumbent providing these services?
"Please refer to the questions and responses from the Pre-Market Engagement event which can be found within the 'Early market engagement' section.

We operate multi-disciplinary teams across the programme. As a result, we have a range of incumbents providing specific outcome deliverables."
3. The work location is listed as Manchester. Given the current climate, is remote working an acceptable option?
We usually expect the appointed supplier to be co-located with the team at DfE locations. Given the current climate, we are open to a discussion with the appointed supplier regarding ways of working to be agreed with the Product Owners. It will be incumbent on the supplier to demonstrate how they will deliver keyways of working if staff are going to be absent from the office.
4. A reminder to all suppliers that questions relating to this requirement must be submitted via the marketplace not later than midnight tonight 23 March 2020
A reminder to all suppliers that questions relating to this requirement must be submitted via the marketplace not later than midnight tonight 23 March 2020
5. Could you please advise the procurement timelines?
The procurement timelines will be shared to the Shortlisted Suppliers within Phase 2 of this procurement. The latest start date for this Contract is 03 August 2020.
6. Are suppliers permitted to refer to multiple examples of work when answering a single question?
Where the DfE have asked the Supplier to provide an example, the Suppliers may use one or more examples in order to answer the question. For clarification, multiple satisfactory examples will not score a higher mark then one strong example.