Awarded to The Dextrous Web (trading as dxw)

Start date: Monday 12 February 2018
Value: £984,000
Company size: SME
Department for Education

Delivery of a beta of a Teachers' Vacancy Service

9 Incomplete applications

7 SME, 2 large

10 Completed applications

5 SME, 5 large

Important dates

Friday 12 January 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 19 January 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 26 January 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
DfE require a highly skilled, collaborative supplier with experience in delivering digital services that meet users' needs and in line with the GDS Digital Service Standard to deliver the beta of a service for publishing, searching and applying for national teacher vacancies.
Latest start date
Wednesday 28 February 2018
Expected contract length
191 working days (approx. 9 months)
Organisation the work is for
Department for Education
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
DfE, delivering on a manifesto commitment, is developing a free to use Teacher Vacancy Service In England, to make it easier for teachers to find jobs and schools to recruit teachers, and to provide the Department with real-time data and insights about teacher recruitment. The Discovery and Alpha phases have been completed. We are looking for a multi-disciplinary team to deliver the beta of a job search and listings service, the MVS to be delivered in April 2018. The service is then to be iterated based on user feedback, including testing application tracking, and other features as needed by users.
Problem to be solved
To improve how permanent teachers' vacancies are advertised and filled, to reduce the​ costs to schools of​ ​advertising​ ​vacant​ ​teaching​ ​positions​, and to provide the DfE with improved data on teacher recruitment patterns to inform service design.
We anticipate this involving:
- Minimum viable service beta (public) by end April 2018
- launched to pilot schools, iterating the service beyond minimum viable and passing the GDS end of Beta assessment before October 2018
- Developing the user stories created in alpha
Who the users are and what they need to do
As hiring staff, I need to advertise a vacancy in my school to teachers, so that I can recruit a qualified teacher for the role.

As a job seeker, I need to access a canonical list of national vacancies, so that I can search and apply for a role which matches my skills and experience.

As a policy lead, I need to access data about the operation of the service, so that I have insights about teacher recruitment.

As a market provider, I need access to the service's vacancy data via API, so that I can display relevant vacancies.
Early market engagement
Transform, DXW and Equal Experts contacted and advised we will be posting a DOS procurement week of 8th January and to look out for that.
All suppliers shortlisted for evaluation will have full access to the data and materials available from the Discovery / Alpha phases of this project.
Any work that’s already been done
Discovery completed and alpha prototype built. The team passed a Digital Service Assessment at the end of the Alpha phase. A summary of key findings of research objectives will be made available during the Q&A phase. The prototype and the key outputs of the Alpha phase will be made available to short-listed suppliers.
Existing team
Senior Responsible Officer (Deputy Director), Digital lead (Deputy Director), Product Owner, Associate Delivery Manager, Business Analyst, Content Designer, part-time Service Designer, part-time Technical Architect
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Department for Education, Sanctuary Buildings, 22 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BT
Working arrangements
Co-located working principally from DfE's London office, maximising opportunity for engagement with policy units and stakeholders. Some travel to other DfE sites, and to meet users is expected. In relation to expenses, this must be included in the contract sum, there is not a separate budget for expenses. Operate a standard agile scrum methodology: daily stand-ups, sprint planning, sprints, retrospectives, show and tells. Supplier will lead by being a role model in agile working. They will need to collaborate with our team and invest time in knowledge sharing and coaching to increase DfE staff capability.
Security clearance
BPSS (Baseline security level) required

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
DfE shall have the right to terminate the Contract at any time, by giving 28 days written
notice to the Supplier, and DfE's liability thereto shall be limited to costs reasonably incurred by
the Supplier up until the termination date only. Suppliers must confirm acceptance of this term.

All IPRs (as defined) in the Project-Specific IPRs and the Deliverables shall vest in the Buyer
unconditionally and immediately upon their creation. The Supplier shall procure all necessary
permissions or licence from relevant third parties as necessary to allow the Buyer to receive the
Services and use the Deliverables.

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
  • examples of delivering digital services using an agile team (per the GDS Service Manual), meet the Digital Service Standard/Tech Code of Practice and passed GDS Beta Service assessments
  • Expertise in user research and usability testing and taking account of discovery/alpha findings to meet user needs (including assisted digital, users with access needs and accessibility audits)
  • Experience in leading an agile team as well as to coach, mentor and upskill people in agile techniques and roles to build capability within existing teams
  • In house expertise in developing production ready open source code for private/public Beta releases from Discovery and Alpha outputs (e.g. low-fi/hi-fi prototypes) and use of GitHub
  • Expertise in automated (testing) environments and implementing continuous integration, delivery & deployment
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate experience of managing and proactively engaging internal stakeholders and building relationships to support digital transformation
  • Demonstrate experience of designing and delivering a recruitment platform or service
  • Demonstrate experience of delivering services for UK government departments or public bodies
  • Demonstrate knowledge and experience of working in the schools sector

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution: demonstrate approach to delivering an exemplary service according to the Digital Service Standard
  • demonstrate strategy to minimise the cost of maintaining and further developing the solution post-delivery
  • Demonstrate above post delivery strategy, including by another party
  • Demonstrate how the approach or solution will meet user needs, including those of 'assisted digital' users and users with access needs
  • Demonstrate how the approach or solution will provide the DfE with real-time data about teacher recruitment
  • Approach - how the supplier will deliver in the Scrum framework, further user research/testing, GDS assessment and transition planning for public beta
  • Identification of dependencies and risks, and approaches to manage them
  • Estimated timeframe for the work – demonstrate how work will be organised using sprints
  • How the transition planning from private to public beta will lead to project success
  • Proposed team structure including CVs
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate your approach to engaging with internal senior stakeholders undergoing cultural change and how this will support project success
  • Demonstrate how you will work transparently, collaboratively and share your approach with the DfE project team and seek actionable feedback
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Could you tell us who carried out the Discovery and Alpha for this opportunity?
The supplier was DXW
2. Please indicate the budget for this project
The budget will be determined by the proposed team from the supplier and the amount of days the project will run as defined in the requirements document.
The budget and the payment will be capped and based on time and materials, Please clearly define your proposed team to provide a solution to our requirements and a detailed cost plan for the timescale shown.
3. 1. What tech stack was used for the alpha prototype?
The alpha prototype was built with Ruby on Rails Technology Stack.
4. 2. Are any technology choice constraints for the beta?
Our preferred language for beta would be Ruby on Rails or .NET Core.
5. Could you tell us who carried out the Discovery and Alpha for this opportunity?
Updated answer
The Discovery was carried out by Cadence in partnership with an internal DfE team.
The Alpha was carried out by dxw in partnership with an internal DfE team.