This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Monday 11 July 2022
Department for Education

National Tutoring Programme (NTP) Y3 Managed Service

7 Incomplete applications

6 SME, 1 large

12 Completed applications

9 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Monday 27 June 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 4 July 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 11 July 2022 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Supply of resource: the off-payroll rules will apply to any workers engaged through a qualifying intermediary, such as their own limited company
Summary of the work
Further develop the current MVP product which offers
a self-serve listing service enabling schools to connect to Tutoring Partners to source tutoring services.
Latest start date
Monday 10 October 2022
Expected contract length
24 months
North West England
Organisation the work is for
Department for Education
Budget range
These services are to be delivered over a contract period of 2 years with an indicative contract value of £4m excluding VAT for the full 2-year contract.

Each SOW will outline the work required, associated budget and payment approach, CTM, T&M etc. Suppliers will need to provide clear costs to enable tracking.

DfE does not commit to any minimum or maximum spend at this point.

A pricing template will be provided to shortlisted suppliers at proposal stage.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Ministers have recognised small group tutoring as an effective intervention for supporting education recovery and catch-up. Evidence has shown that the most disadvantaged children in England have fallen behind because of school closures. Ministers have committed to creating a supply of high-quality tuition, for disadvantaged children, as a legacy of the programme for the future.

For NTP Y3 Service, schools will need to identify quality assessed Tutoring Partners, via the DfE listing service to be known as ‘Compare National Tutoring Options’.

The “listing” service enables schools to identify Tutoring Partners to meet their needs, drawing on data provided by the TPQA service. The initial part of the service was developed in-house, premised upon the following.

• The relative simplicity of this part of the service, which represents a simplification to the previous booking service.
• The ability of an in-house team to amend / expand the functionality of this part of the service over time, in response to feedback from schools.

There is Ministerial commitment to have this live service from 01 /09/22, initially as an MVP with continuous development and iteration for the next 2 years so that the services evolves into a ‘self-serve’ product. Development support is required.
Problem to be solved
For the NTP Y3 Service, schools will need to identify quality assessed Tutoring Partners, via the DfE listing service to be known as ‘Compare National Tutoring Options’.

The “listing” service enables schools to identify contract Tutoring Partners able to meet their needs, drawing on data provided by the TPQA service. The decision to now build this part of the service with managed service support is premised upon the following;

• To further design, develop the listing service following the alpha assessment and to move a live setting
• Ensuring needs of all users are met to support the iteration programme
• To work within the blended team to ensure that the service meets the quality as required by the department
• To ensure the service meets Government Digital Service Standards
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a school, I need to identify and understand which Tutoring Partner can meet my needs to deliver tutoring services to my pupils. The service should be easily accessible via a user friendly and intuitive service.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
MVP product has been built to meet the 1st of September requirement.
Existing team
From the start of this project, the team has operated in a blended multi-disciplinary, with a mixture of permanent and managed service provider resource.

The teams are involved in agile service development and delivery for providing a brand-new digital service, going through the standard GDS phases. Typical team size is up to 10 with a skill mix such as product/service managers, delivery managers, business analysts, user research and design professionals, developers, and testers. Solutions and Technical architects support delivery through setting strategic technology direction as well as supporting build team decision making.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Predominantly remote. Office attendance at the following address may be required on occasion.

Department for Education
Level 2
Piccadilly Gate
Store Street
M1 2WD
Working arrangements
Teams will be expected to work remotely but attendance at the designated office site occasionally as requested (Manchester).

Must be available for all working ceremonies including scrum and sprint arrangements.

Detailed working arrangements will be described in each Statement of Work, with some requirement for travel to DfE locations, in-line with IR35 designation.

Delivery will be governed by standard agile delivery methods, with appropriate ceremonies to be undertaken.

Scope and prioritisation of work is decided by the Product Manager with input from Policy Team and Senior Responsible Officer.

This requirement is for services that will sit inside IR35.
Security clearance
All proposed team members must have current relevant Baseline Personnel Security clearance e.g. BPSS, DBS. DfE may require Security Clearance (SC) for roles with privileged access to the digital services

Suppliers will complete a security assurance questionnaire and submit relevant supporting documents e.g. Cyber Essentials in line with DfE standards.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Standard Framework and Call Off Terms and Conditions. Expenses must be pre-agreed and comply with CCS Travel and Subsistence Policy. Any expenses shall be submitted in line with DfE standard T&S policy if appropriate. 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 complete cyber security questionnaire.

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

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
  • Provide evidence of successfully prioritising the understanding of needs, behaviour and user insight to underpin and drive design decisions when designing content, product and services.
  • Provide evidence of communicating service concepts and ideas using methods that allow others to see all the different parts of a service.
  • Provide evidence of designing and developing services through iteration, research and testing.
  • Demonstrate how you have delivered digital products/services to Government’s Service Standards. Or equivalent.
  • Be able to communicate effectively across organisational, technical and political boundaries, understanding the context of the working environment and structures.
  • Proven evidence of successfully translating complex and technical information and language making it simple and accessible for non-technical audiences.
  • Have experience of working in agile teams, working to Test Driven Development, CI/CD and DevOps practices.
  • Experience in user journey mapping, delivering evidenced based, prioritised user stories and designing assisted digital support.
  • Experience of successfully delivering software utilising the features of the Azure platform and GOV.UK PaaS.
  • Demonstrable ability to successfully develop software using recent language and framework features, specifically .net
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrable experience of effectively working in an agile way, including building and working from a backlog and reprioritising work.
  • Demonstrate and Evidence experience utilising the GOV.UK design system to build a digital product.
  • Experience of rapid on-boarding/handover capability for seamless continuation of the service provision.
  • Demonstrate capability in scaling up resources in response to demand and ability to source the appropriate capabilities.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of the requirement and evidence of how you are well placed to deliver this work.
  • Evidence of ability to make informed decisions based on user needs, available technology and value for money.
  • Describe your approach to providing appropriate skills to meet a project's specific needs ensuring the right capabilities are in place.
  • Evidence of understanding and examples of passing the Government’s Service Standards Assessment.
  • Evidence of dissecting and delivering complex and technical information in simple language making it accessible for non-technical audiences.
  • Experience of successfully identifying and delivering innovation to drive measurable improvements in digital programmes whilst also balancing risks.
  • Ability to successfully and promptly mobilise expertise to scale up teams and flex resource, when needed, and to respond to fluctuating requirements.
  • Demonstrate approach to knowledge and skills transfer for joining a new/existing programme and for exiting the programme to ensure successful handover.
  • Proven evidence of technical competence in a wide range of relevant technologies.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Describe how you will work collaboratively and transparently with the project teams and seek actionable feedback to resolve issues efficiently.
  • Describe your approach to working together as a team rather than individuals to help DfE achieve its digital outcomes for this service.
  • Evidence of working with users to understand their work, their operating context and constraints and identify and implement adaptations/improvements.
  • Demonstrate action to identify and tackle inequality in employment, skills and pay in the contract workforce.
  • Demonstrate Support for educational attainment relevant to the contract, including training schemes that address digital skills gaps and result in recognised qualifications.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Who is the current incumbent?
2. Who is the current incumbent delivering the MVP?
3. Please confirm the managed service providers currently or previously involved in this project?
4. In IR35 determination it’s stated: “the off-payroll rules will apply to any workers engaged through a qualifying intermediary, such as their own limited company”, does this mean they will work inside IR35?
IR35 determinations will be made for each Statement of Work. It is likely that the majority of requirements will fall inside of scope of IR35. IR35 determination will be assessed based on the outcomes and working practises required for each Statement of Work’
5. Should a new supplier be awarded this contract, would they be replacing Farsight, or would they be supplying services in addition to Farsight?
6. Existing MVP – As this would be an extension of the existing MVP, what are the high level changes expected in what has already been built? Are there any improvements expected?
User research has suggested a number of enhancements that could be made to the MVP, for example we might consider building in a mechanism to enable to enable the schools to select a short list of potential Tuition Partners and send them a standardised request.  Any improvements will be based on user feedback about the service.
7. NTP-3 Focus areas – Does NTP-3 focus on various pillars of tutoring? Like Academic mentors, tuition partners & school led tutoring?
NTP continues to include options to use the grant money on Tuition Partners, Academic Mentors and/or school-led tutoring. Guidance can be found here:

Further guidance will be published very soon (expected mid-July).
8. NTP-3 core processes – Could we get an understanding of what other processes would have to be built as part of the scope under NTP-3? For example: Onboarding, matching tuition partners etc.
In-house: Wraparound support; Comms & engagement; Digital service (online NTP content and ‘Find a Tuition Partner’)
Outsourced: Tuition Partner Quality Assurance; Recruitment and deployment of Academic Mentors; Training for potential tutors (school-led and Academic Mentors)
9. DFE listing service – Where it is stated “Compare National tutoring options’ – Is this a separate service/system that contains information of contract tuition partners? Can some details be shared around what this system/service is built on (Infrastructure/technical detail)?
Compare National Tutoring Options’ is a static content page (created by DfE) which will act as an entry page to explore each option further and ultimately link out to a transactional service.  The NTP digital team are developing the Tuition Partner option, which allows a user to search and filter potential Tuition Partners.  The Academic Mentor page will link out to the Recruitment and deployment of Academic Mentors.  The School-led page will link out to the Training provider.  There are currently no APIs build or planned, although that may change.
10. System Integrations – Apart from the existing system integrations, is there scope of new integrations to be developed? What are these integration touchpoints?
There is scope but no plans at the moment.  Once the new suppliers are under contract and as we gain user feedback, new integrations will be considered where they add value.
11. Have any GDS assessments been passed at Alpha or Beta so far?
Yes – we’ve completed peer review assessments for end of Discovery and end of Alpha so far. We’ve got an end of Private Beta assessment at the end of July.
12. For Question 6, Please can you clarify if we are being asked to evidence translating technical information about the technology decisions to internal stakeholders, or is it communicating to an external user information about the service?
It’s communicating to an external user information about the service (and related policy).  There will also be elements of translating technical information to internal stakeholders, for example to help officials understand the risks and mitigations surfaced by IT health checks.
13. Is there a plan to roll this out to the other student age groups in the National Tutoring Programme?
The programme will run in AY22/23 and AY 23/24.  There is no change to the student age groups.
14. Could you please advise what is meant with political boundaries in the question below?

“Be able to communicate effectively across organisational, technical and political boundaries, understanding the context of the working environment and structure”
This essentially means clear, unbiased communication to enable effective decision making and sharing of information to internal and external stakeholders
15. Could you please advise which stakeholders you refer to regarding ‘others’ in the below question?

“Provide evidence of communicating service concepts and ideas using methods that allow others to see all the different parts of a service”
Examples include ‘Show and Tell’ session to other digital teams within DfE, demonstrations to senior stakeholders, presenting information for service assessments – these would include communicating to both technical and non-technical audiences.
16. TPQA service – Can some details be shared around the TPQA service? And what data does it contain?
The TPQA service will, with DfE, develop the criteria potential Tuition Partners must meet in order to be listed on the NTP service. They will also manage the onboarding of Tuition Partners and monitor their performance. The TPQA will investigate any performance issues and routinely check the accuracy of information presented to schools. The data required from Tuition Partners is still in development but includes basic information such as location, key stage, subjects and prices, alongside a brief description of the Tuition Partner.