Awarded to Cadence Innova

Start date: Monday 1 April 2019
Value: £278,785
Company size: SME
Standards and Testing Agency (STA) Department for Education

Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) Live support

4 Incomplete applications

3 SME, 1 large

5 Completed applications

5 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Friday 1 March 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 8 March 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 15 March 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
To procure a digital delivery partner via a call-off drawn against Lot 2 – Digital specialists of the CCS-let DOS3 frameworks, on a (maximum) 6 month contract, with supplier to complete any remaining development work, take MTC into live service and transfer agile technical skills to the business.
Latest start date
Monday 1 April 2019
Expected contract length
6 months maximum. No further contracts are exepected.
West Midlands
Organisation the work is for
Standards and Testing Agency (STA) Department for Education
Budget range
Budget of upto 350K. Bidders must fully detail their resources and charges at proposal stage. Travel and subsistence should be included in the proposed charges.

About the work

Why the work is being done
1. To procure a commercial digital design service support to provide continued Agile Project Management and User Researcher (UR) service, for the period 1st April to 30th September 2019.
2. The above service is required to support the open beta service and upskill STA staff in preparation to run the live service of the STA multiplication tables check (MTC) online pupil check front-end system and underpinning check administration service design and development, transition to and entry into live operational service – i.e: into the live national (voluntary) pilot (open Beta) in June 2019 ( statutory (live) service in June 2020).
Problem to be solved
Completion of front-end system design and development in advance of national voluntary roll-out in summer 2019 – Work-package is required support and deliver: the next phase of the STA multiplication tables check (MTC) online pupil check front-end system and underpinning check administration service design and development, and, transition to and then entry into live while upskilling STA staff in the BA and UR roles.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a Headteacher/teacher I complete assessment administration and view results.
As a pupil I undertake assessments (using access arrangements if applicable) that are fair and comparable.
As a STA Service Manager I prepare assessment windows, support in school administration, monitor system performance and review MI so i identify issues.
As a STA Test developer I upload assessment forms, review question performance to ensure check forms remain valid.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The MTC project is running up to its Open Beta (April-June 2019) with, discovery, alpha and private complete.
Existing team
You will be required to work alongside STA team consisting of Project owner, Deputy Project manager,Test Development Researcher, User researcher and Business Analyst. You will also be required to work alongside other contractors ( solution Architect, developers and quality assurance) on the project.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Cheylsmore House, Quinton Road, Coventry. CV1 2WT
Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, Westminster, SW1P 3BT
Travel to other DfE sites and schools to meet users is expected but must be in line with DfE travel and subsistence policy. Expenses must be included in the quoted contract sum ( to note there will be no separate budget for expenses).
Working arrangements
We will operate using Agile project management methodology (Kanban) including daily stand ups, sprint planning, sprints, retrospectives and show and tells. Face to face attendance at all show and tells is expected. There is some flexibility for remote working arrangements.
Security clearance
The team will require BPSS as a minimum.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

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
  • Have experience in delivering similar solutions in Azure cloud based environments and understand the security and management of cloud components.
  • Proven track record of delivering projects at speed with clearly identified deliverables and timescales.
  • Demonstrable evidence of excellent planning, co-ordination, communication and project management skills.
  • Demonstrable evidence of a robust risk management process, including risk identification, mitigations and governance.
  • Have experience of delivering high quality content and information architecture design for complex user journeys across multiple touchpoints, that meet user needs.
  • Demonstrate experience of designing digital assessments.
  • Examples of delivering services using agile teams practising Kanban Methodology, meet the Digital service Standard/Tech Code of Practice and examples of passed GDS Beta Service assessments.
  • Expertise in taking forward user research and usability testing to meet user needs to meet any set acceptance criteria (including assisted digital, users with access needs and accessibility audits).
  • Demonstrate experience of managing and proactively engaging internal stakeholders and building relationships to support digital transformation.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate experience of designing and delivering an online 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
  • Evidence that your proposed approach and methodology for delivery will successfully deliver working software to meet user needs and meet specified acceptance criteria.
  • Proposed supplier team structure, with evidence to demonstrate a strong team and how their skills and experience will deliver the required outcomes.
  • Evidence that the supplier has an appreciation of the education and educational technology policy landscape and that the proposal is relevant to that context.
  • Evidence of how the proposal represents value for money.
  • Demonstration of ability to work with DfE/STA in-house teams with limited technical and agile expertise.
  • Evidence of the required technical capabilities to provide immediate impact and working software.
  • Demonstration of a proactive approach, taking responsibility for work and resolving issues quickly, without an over reliance on the client team.
  • Demonstration of working in a transparent and collaborative way with DfE in a remote working environment including expertise of Kanban Agile methodology and products such as VSO, Slack and Zoom.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstration of an understanding of DfE's need to deliver the best value for money solution.
  • Demonstration of ability to work in a modern digital way within DfE and GDS formal procedures and policies.
  • [Desirable] experience of working with the educational sector and/or experience of primary assessment development.
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Hi, can you provide more info about the technology stack that is involved? Azure is the only one mentioned.
Admin application is where teachers administer pupil check. Written in Javascript, runs on Node JS express running in a docker container.
Pupil check application is written in Typescript, runs on Angular framework. Typescript is transpiled during build phase into optimised Javascript and is a pure client side application (SPA). It depends upon API endpoints over HTTPS.

• Azure Blob Storage
• Azure Container Registry
• Azure Storage Queue
• SQL Azure
• Power BI
• Azure Cache for Redis
• Web app for containers.

Other services
• Codacy
• Github
• Travis CI
• Azure Dev Op
2. Hi, are Olive Jar, to whom the build was awarded, bidding for the support contract?
The Department does not comment on live tendering exercises due to their commercially sensitive nature.