Department for Education – Teacher Services Programme

Software Development Capability Package 4 - Trainee Teacher Recruitment, Technical Architect&DevOps

9 Incomplete applications

8 SME, 1 large

30 Completed applications

19 SME, 11 large

Important dates

Published
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

Overview

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 - https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/
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
Location
London
Organisation the work is for
Department for Education – Teacher Services Programme
Budget range
Up to £2.3million 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.

We are introducing new digital systems designed to make applications much easier and more user friendly For example, the Find Teacher Training Service enables people to search for courses that are right for them. These services was launched in October 2018 and is currently in public beta. The Apply for Teacher Training Service is planned to be launched nationally in October 2021. It is currently being piloted. We are also looking at our data infrastructure across the services following an initial discovery.

Other projects may arise over the next 24 months
Problem to be solved
Find and Apply for Teacher Training: Too many potentially great teachers are put off from pursuing a career in teaching before their training begins; in 2017/18 over 150,000 people registered on the Get Into Teaching website, but only 45,000 people applied for mainstream postgraduate teacher training. We know that people find the process of becoming a teacher complicated and burdensome so we are radically simplifying the system for becoming a teacher.

The services are being developed in a way that integrates with other service products for attracting people to apply to become a teacher.

Teacher Vacancies: Schools spend an estimated £75 million a year on teacher recruitment advertising. Teaching Vacancies, as a free service, can save schools money so they can instead spend on classroom resources, estates and teacher salaries, CPD and benefits. In this way, the service will also help to address retention issues, as well as recruitment.

International Recruitment: Schools find the process of international recruitment challenging. Our discovery research identified that a shift in the department’s focus to improving and marketing our global offer is likely to better stimulate international recruitment in England.
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 be able to showcase my qualifications, skills and experience to training providers so that I can become a teacher.
As a job seeker, I need to know that Teaching Vacancies exists and that I can trust it to find a role to suit me.
As a school or Trust I need to be able to list a vacancies quickly and easily on the service.
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 - https://drive.google.com/file/d/16ooPTjesoj_0o_S16sXHPO3ukEJVwqTz/view?usp=sharing

Questions and Answer - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SvjLSk-Y7wp0RWtl-r40RigCznLMloY5/view?usp=sharing
Any work that’s already been done
Find is in Public Beta - https://find-postgraduate-teacher-training.education.gov.uk/

Apply is in Beta Build - https://www.apply-for-teacher-training.education.gov.uk/

Teacher Vacancies is in Public Beta - https://teaching-vacancies.service.gov.uk/

International Teacher Recruitment is in Alpha.
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 London, travel may be required to other DfE UK offices, particularly Manchester.
Working arrangements
We 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 with weekly updates detailing achievements and any issues that may impact timescales or cost.

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

A SoW will be completed to outline the working arrangements, outcomes and deliverables expected for each engagement.
Security clearance
DfE requires all supplier staff to have baseline personnel security standard clearance (BPSS). There may be a requirement for some of the work to require 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.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/terms-and-conditions-of-digital-marketplace-frameworks

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/digital-outcomes-and-specialists-4-call-off-contract

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
3
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 - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AW3PIPOq3_KGz36L3tFFhLx9EHbj0TVo/view?usp=sharing
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

20%

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. 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 than one strong example.
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.
6. can you highlight how this requirement is different to package 5 as they both have the same set of questions? Are they for different services?
The requirements are for different projects under the Teacher Services programme. Package 5 is to deliver this capability to the projects which are predominantly Manchester based, whereas package 4 is to deliver this capability to the relevant projects which are predominanetly London based. Both procurements are to provide TechArch & DevOps capabilities, of which the skill sets required are very similar.
7. what are the monitoring and alerting tools currently in use?
The primary monitoring and alerting tool we use is the ELK stack, via logit.io
8. You mention 'presentations' as an assessment at Stage 2. Given the current situation, do you think you will still have this assessment or would it be done remote? what is your plan?
Given the current climate, the presentation is likely to be hosted remotely. Further details and instructions will be issued to the shortlisted Suppliers.