Published date: 22 January 2018

Last edited date: 22 January 2018

This notice was replaced on 28 September 2018

This notice does not contain the most up-to-date information about this procurement. The most recent notice is:

Awarded contract (published 28 September 2018)

Closed opportunity - This means that the contract is currently closed. The buying department may be considering suppliers that have already applied, or no suitable offers were made.

Contract summary


  • Special education services - 80340000

Location of contract

Any region

Value of contract


Procurement reference

LDSG (SEND) 18-19/01.

Published date

22 January 2018

Closing date

5 February 2018

Contract start date

2 April 2018

Contract end date

31 March 2020

Contract type

Service contract

Procedure type

Open procedure (above threshold)

Any interested supplier may submit a tender in response to an opportunity notice.

This procedure can be used for procurements above the relevant contract value threshold.

Contract is suitable for SMEs?


Contract is suitable for VCSEs?



See 'Attachments' for a Word version of the description. On 1 September 2014, Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 took effect; offering simpler, improved and more consistent help for children and young people in England with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
The new system:
• has replaced statements of SEN and learning disability assessments with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans - setting out in one place all the support families will receive;
• requires councils to publish a 'local offer' showing the support they expect to be available in the area to all children and young people who have disabilities or SEN;
• requires better co-operation between councils and health services to make sure that services for children and young people with SEN and disabilities are jointly planned and commissioned;
• gives parents and young people with EHC plans the offer of a personal budget;
• has introduced mediation for disputes; and
• has introduced a legal right for children and young people with an EHC plan to express a preference for state academies, free schools and further education colleges.

On 30 November 2017 the Minister for Children and Families, Robert Goodwill, announced a package of additional support for embedding the SEND reforms in England during 2018-19. This included:

• £29 million to support councils and their local partners with implementation of the reforms;
• £9.7 million to establish local supported internship forums; creating work placements for young people with SEND and training job coaches, who are vital to the success of supporting those with learning difficulties into paid work; and
• £4.6 million for Parent Carer Forums, which bring parents together with local decision-makers and help to provide them with a voice in the process.
It is critical to the success of the new system of support for children and young people with SEND that they, and their parents, have access to high quality, accurate information and impartial advice and support to enable them to participate effectively in decisions that affect them. This should best ensure that children and young people with SEND receive the right support at the right time, which improves their education and life outcomes. Effective participation by families is a fundamental principle of the SEND reforms.
To complement this programme of ongoing delivery support, the Government is now seeking applications for a new contract in 2018-19 and 2019-20 to ensure that, in every local authority area, children and young people with SEND and their families have access to impartial information, advice and support covering SEND issues - including through a dedicated Freephone service.

More information


Additional text

There will be an option to extend this contract for up to two further years depending on the contractor's performance, the availability of funds and an ongoing need for the services provided.

About the buyer

Contact name

Angela Overington


The Department for Education
0-25 SEND Unit Level 2, Sanctuary Buildings Great Smith Street