Department for Education - Teacher Services programme

Software Development Capability Package 5 - Get into teaching/Claims / Data, Tech Architect &

11 Incomplete applications

10 SME, 1 large

29 Completed applications

18 SME, 11 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 £1.2million 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 Technical Architect & DevOps.
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 to support planning, creating, managing and operating a cloud infrastructure, with particular reference to Azure.
  • Detail recent experience of providing services for the development, Technical Architecture and DevOps of agile projects using both open-source languages and tools, and the .Net stack
  • Detail recent experience of providing services in operational automation, including YAML, script development and maintenance using PowerShell, bash, or similar.
  • Detail recent experience of providing services to support a Continuous Delivery approach to software development, including examples of tooling for pipelines, build automation, and test execution and reporting.
  • Detail recent experience of providing services to support cloud infrastructure and networking, with particular reference to Azure.
  • Detail recent experience of providing services to build, support and manage containerised applications using Docker.
  • Detail recent experience of providing services in Technical Architecture, including high level system design, technical project management, and providing engineering-focused oversight.
  • Detail recent experience of providing services to perform maintenance releases of Microsoft OS, VMware and PowerShell.
  • Describe your approach to working with multidisciplinary, mixed civil servant and managed service teams of specialists working to common service outcomes.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Detail recent experience of shaping and managing the policies, processes and procedures for effective service management, including an understanding of service lifecycle.
  • Detail recent experience of logging and monitoring tools, including the ELK stack.
  • Detail recent experience of building and using open source software.

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 evidence of ability to communicate progress, timelines, and constraints effectively to engage a wide set of users across government, and external stakeholders including at a senior level.
  • Provide Evidence of designing, building and running modern application architectures, including Service-oriented, microservice, and event-driven.
  • Provide details of your approach and methodology to deploying to a chosen platform as a service, including integration to pre- production and production environments
  • Provide evidence of how you would ensure undisrupted and frictionless continuous integration and continuous deployment for the services.
  • Provide evidence of where you have introduced performance monitoring and log monitoring into a service.
  • Provide an overview of how you plan to transfer knowledge to permanent staff within DfE.
  • Provide evidence of how you have collaborated with multiple organisational stakeholders to achieve a single outcome.
  • Describe your after-sales and account management offerings, highlighting any key features, efficiencies, system support and implementation
  • 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 how you will 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.
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. Title of Package 5 words missing
Please note the correct title for package 5 is as follows;
Software Development Capability Package 5 - Get into teaching/Claims/Data, TechArch & DevOps
3. 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."
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. We note the unlimited indemnity (clause 34.2) in respect of losses incurred if the Supplier breaches Clause 14 and any Data Protection Legislation. However as market trends show that customers are not asking for unlimited liability and indeed the guidance from Cabinet Office to all public bodies is to cap data protection breaches to be commensurate with the value of the contract, can you confirm if you are willing to consider a separate liability cap in principle. Particulars can be discussed should we be down selected.
Under the DOS 4 call-off contract a buyer may agree to place a cap on supplier liabilities for those items that are not expressly stated as unlimited (as specified in clause 34.1). Any changes to the terms and conditions, including the limit on Supplier's liability, are to be agreed by the Buyer and Supplier once a preferred Supplier has been identified through this procurement process.