Awarded to Cadence Innova

Start date: Monday 23 November 2020
Value: £2,400,000
Company size: SME
Department for Education – Teacher Services Programme

Service Delivery B - Package 1 – (Delivery & Product Management, Agile Coaching - London)

16 Incomplete applications

14 SME, 2 large

43 Completed applications

31 SME, 12 large

Important dates

Monday 11 May 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 18 May 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 25 May 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The Teacher Services Programme, DfE requires Delivery, Product Management and Agile Coaching to deliver various digital services. The programme has several projects in flight at different development phases.
DFE Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy -

Teacher Service Programme, Project Overview –
Latest start date
Tuesday 1 September 2020
Expected contract length
24 months with option to extend for up to 6 months at the DfE’s sole discretion.
Organisation the work is for
Department for Education – Teacher Services Programme
Budget range
Up to £2.4million 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 the journey to becoming a teacher much easier and more user friendly. For example, the Find Teacher Training Service enables people to search for courses that are right for them. This service 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 within these programme areas may arise.
Problem to be solved
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 Find and Apply services are being developed in a way that integrates with other services in the journey to become a teacher, such as the Get into Teaching website.

Schools spend an estimated £75 million a year on teacher recruitment advertising. Teaching Vacancies can save schools money they can instead spend on classroom resources, estates, teacher salaries and CPD, so helping to address retention issues as well as recruitment.

Schools and international teachers find the process of international recruitment challenging. In particular, they can't access information on how to go through the recruitment process, what qualifications are needed, what the visa processes are, etc. 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 -

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

Apply is in Beta Build -

Teacher Vacancies is in Public Beta -

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, Technical Architect & DevOps. and design professionals.
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.

For the duration of restrictions on movement due to COVID-19, all teams are expected to work and collaborate remotely.
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
  • Demonstrate recent experience and knowledge of providing services, in line with the summary of work, to develop solutions that are compliant with GDS service standards or equivalent
  • Detail recent experience of delivering products and services successfully through discovery to public beta agile phases.
  • Detail recent experience of using a range of service delivery agile tools, methodology and techniques in accordance with standard Agile best-practice
  • Detail recent experience of providing services to manage and plan projects in a complex digital service programme environment to meet strategic objectives
  • Detail recent experience of providing services to identify risks and provide innovative solutions to unblock issues.
  • Detail recent experience of effective stakeholder engagement and facilitation to support decision making and ensure buy-in
  • Detail recent experience of providing services to contribute to effective project budget management and monitoring projected budgets against expenditure.
  • Detail recent experience of working with multidisciplinary, mixed civil servant and managed service teams of specialists working to common service outcomes.
  • Detail recent experience of providing Agile coaching services to help build internal service capability.
  • NOTE for advisory purposes: 1: Special characters, commas and punctuation marks must only be used in accordance with standard English.
  • Any bidder that uses any form of non-standard English or internet web links to circumnavigate word limits:
  • shall be non-compliant and shall be excluded from further consideration.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Detail recent experience of passing the GDS service assessment process or equivalent
  • Detail recent experience of implementing best practice in new product or service development to plan and put into operation service improvements
  • NOTE for advisory purposes: 1: Special characters, commas and punctuation marks must only be used in accordance with standard English.
  • 2: Any bidder that uses any form of non-standard English or internet web links to circumnavigate word limits:
  • a) shall be non-compliant and b) shall be excluded from further consideration.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Detail recent experience of providing services for a digital transformation programme at different agile project phases, you must include Discovery, Alpha, Beta Build, Public-Beta and Live (including GDS Assessment).
  • Evidence of providing services with extensive expertise of early project scoping, developing roadmaps, high-level themes, epics/user stories, maintaining the product backlog using appropriate tools, ensuring it is prioritised.
  • Demonstrate how you will provide services to coach and mentor across all management levels within an organisation with the objective of improving product/service delivery outcomes and performance.
  • Demonstrate how you will translate user stories and proposing design approaches or services to meet user needs, managing competing priorities.
  • Demonstrate your approach to deploying resources in multi-vendor teams at customer locations, specifically for London and, via remote working.
  • Provide an overview of your business structure, its operating model and how skilled resources will be provided in a timely way.
  • Demonstrate your ability to mobilise up to 20 of each service management capability with required security clearances, allowing scalability to accommodate new requirements and/or changes within the delivery pipeline.
  • Provide details of your on/off - board processes during different phases of an agile 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,
  • Describe how you will ensure consistent performance management and contract management in accordance with the Call-Off T&Cs.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Describe how you will reinforce a culture of service and continuous improvement in all teams.
  • Describe how you will work transparently and collaboratively with the project teams and seek actionable feedback to resolve any issues quickly and efficiently.
  • Describe your methodology for training, coaching and knowledge transfer throughout the term of the contract
  • Describe how you will help the DfE build our in-house capability to manage and support cloud services.
  • For information about the Teacher Services Culture, see -
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

2. Who are the incumbent suppliers providing the Delivery & Product Management, Agile Coaching services?
These services are currently delivered via a number contracts with various suppliers.
3. Is there an imcumbent? If so who is it?
These services are currently delivered via a number contracts with various suppliers.
4. Who is on the panel?
The assesment panel consists of a mixture of civil servants and contractors with digital specialisms.
5. Is there an incumbent?
These services are currently delivered via a number contracts with various suppliers.
6. Hi, can you confirm whether this position is inside or outside IR35 please?
"In line with the DOS Buyers Guidance on ""Employment status of suppliers and specialists"" which can be found here:
specialists must be employed or contracted by the supplier - known as working ‘off-payroll’ or ‘outside IR35’.
DfE may check that suppliers and specialists are working outside IR35, by either:
- getting advice from our HR department
- use of HMRC’s online tool on a role by role basis to check a specialist is working ‘off-payroll’."
7. Is there a current or preferred incumbent for this programme?
These services are currently delivered via a number of contracts with various suppliers. The DfE has no preferred suppliers. All bids will be assesed on merit against the evaluation criteria.
8. Hi, there's a question about providing services to identify risks and providing innovative solutions to unblock issues. Is it correct that the question is focused on a service that identifies risks – not how project risks were managed? And if so, should the unblocking of issues be part of the service – not project delivery issues? In an ideal scenario you want to manage the risks so they never become issues. Or have I misunderstood. Grateful for any clarification – thank you!
DfE requires the provision of all risk identifcation and management activities, this will include both identifying and managing risk and management/unblocking of risks as required.
9. The last 3 bullet point questions in both the Essential and Desirable sections are guidance instructions, not questions. How should suppliers respond to these to avoid failing to answer mandatory questions?
Please insert N/A.
10. 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, Is this something you are willing to consider in principle?
Yes, subject to mutual agreement of a fair and reasonable limitation of liability proportionate to the risk involved for both parties.
11. Is there any incumbent supplier to DfE for Delivery Management, Product Management or Agile Coaching and of so, who are theIs y?
These services are currently delivered via a number contracts with various suppliers.
12. For this requirement: Detail recent experience of providing services to contribute to effective project budget management and monitoring projected budgets against expenditure. Are you looking for a case study of managing the budget for a single project or an example of managing the budgets across a portfolio/ programme of work?
It is for Suppliers to determine how best to demonstrate their expertise.
13. Which technology stack are you utilising to build your new digital systems?
We are using the Ruby on Rails framework along with PostgreSQL and other backing services. For front end development we use the usual HTML, CSS and JavaScript, along with the GOV.UK Design System. We host our services in Azure or GOV,UK PaaS depending on complexity of the application.
14. What areas of expertise do you currently have from your existing providers? What do you observe to be the key gaps?
These DOS strategic opportunities are to replace existing arrangements we have providing the capabilities.
15. As the submission date for this opportunity falls on a Bank Holiday, is it possible to extend the submission deadline to an alternative date that falls on a 'working' day?
"We are unable to move the deadline date for this opportunity.

16. What access will we have to source codes? What access will we have to stakeholders and approximately how many will we need to work with? What is the existing team structure? What access will we have to source codes?
What access will we have to stakeholders and approximately how many will we need to work with?
What is the existing team structure?
All of our source code is published on GitHub in open repositories in-line with the GDS service standard:

Link to the DfE Digital GitHub:

This means full access to source code is open and public.

Teacher Services is comprised of several multi-disciplinary delivery teams building and running services.

Access to stakeholders will be appropriate to the level required to meet deliverables. The number of stakeholders Suppliers will need to work with will again be determined by those deliverables.
17. Do you expect us to deliver as a managed service, or do you have maintenance agreements with existing technical suppliers that we will hand over to?
We don’t hand digital services over for maintenance to external parties once they go live. As our services are continuously improved, we invest in long-lived multi-disciplinary teams to build and run services, who operate and iterate services in-house.