Published date: 22 January 2020

Last edited date: 11 February 2020

Closed future opportunity - This means that a potential contract has passed its approach to market date. A buyer can choose to consider any supplier interest or convert this notice into an opportunity ready for live procurement.

Approach to market date: 17 February 2020

Contract summary


  • Research and experimental development services - 73100000

  • Research consultancy services - 73210000

  • Design and execution of research and development - 73300000

    • Evaluation consultancy services - 79419000

    • Management-related services - 79420000

    • Education and training services - 80000000

Location of contract

Any region

Value of contract


Procurement reference

EdTech AT Challenge

Published date

22 January 2020

Approach to market date

17 February 2020

Contract start date

1 April 2020

Contract end date

31 July 2021

Procedure type

Call-off from a dynamic purchasing system

A mini-competition or direct purchase from a pre-established dynamic purchasing system.

Contract is suitable for SMEs?


Contract is suitable for VCSEs?



The purpose of the PIN is to initiate market engagement. It is not a call for competition. This PIN is intended to inform the market of a potential future procurement exercise to appoint a delivery partner to work with the Department on the design, management, implementation and evaluation of the Assistive Technology (AT) Testbed programme. The Testbed will support short-cycle evaluations of AT use in schools and colleges.

We will be holding two webinars: Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th February 2020, 14:00-15:00. Please email to express your interest and we will send on the invite. All information from the day will be made available to those who are unable to attend.

**IMPORTANT** The procurement will be run using DfE's Education and Children's Social Care (ECSC) Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS). Please ensure that you are fully registered on the Redimo2 system and accepted onto the DPS in order to see the opportunity. You must have applied for the DPS by 06/02/20 at the latest to guarantee acceptance before this opportunity goes live. If you are not FULLY registered onto the DPS and have selected your category codes by the publication date you will not be able to bid.
We anticipate that the opportunity will be launched on the Redimo2 system in the week commencing 17/02/20.

Redimo 2 guidance:

DFE registration/ECSC DPS application process:

Redimo 2 portal:

Procurement Description:
We anticipate that the delivery partner will use up to £300,000 of funding available in FY2020-21, to undertake short-cycle evaluations (for example an academic year or less) of AT in schools and colleges, assessing the impact of AT for students with SEND.

The delivery partner would have responsibility for working with the DfE to:
- Identify/recruit Testbed schools/colleges who use AT to support their pupils with SEND
- Set the evaluation framework, measurement tools and baseline assessments (without using 'control groups' where AT are actively withheld from SEND pupils), and manage the evaluation process
- Collect the post-intervention data and assess impact
- Analyse impact data and produce a research report
- Provide progress reports to ensure the conditions of contract are met and value for money is achieved
- Effectively communicate key messages/emerging findings via appropriate channels to the wider sector, catering to the needs/preferences of various audiences
- Evaluate the AT Testbed programme

The findings and evaluation of the AT Testbed programme will provide a clearer understanding and raise awareness of what AT works in which contexts. These findings will support and steer future policy direction by identifying the factors and types of products that have the greatest impact.

More information

Spend profile

This table displays the spend profile of the notice
Financial year Budget
2020/2021 £300,000


Additional text

We are holding market engagement events to engage with suppliers that are interested in and capable of delivering the above services. These events will provide information about the expected procurement process and the high-level commercial and financial principles applicable to the services.

We would welcome applicants lacking experience in a particular area to enter as part of a consortium with partners that have the relevant experience. The lead bidder must be registered on DfE's DPS (see above).

The delivery partner is expected to have experience of working with schools and colleges in England, including the special school and college sectors, have expertise in research and impact evaluation and have in-depth knowledge and understanding of pupils and students with SEND and AT.

DfE's EdTech Strategy ( recognised assistive technologies (AT), as a key area of opportunity where technology can support access, inclusion and improved educational outcomes for all.

Whilst there are examples of effective AT practice across England, many parents, pupils, students, teachers, Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs), and administrators are failing to access and exploit the potential benefits.

Additionally, much of the current academic evidence on the impact of AT is inaccessible, difficult to digest and too general for many to make informed decisions on the choice and implementation of AT.

To help address these issues, DfE launched a challenge to the EdTech sector to "identify the best technology that is proven to help level the playing field for learners with special educational needs and disabilities".

The Assistive Technology Testbed Programme is a key pillar of the EdTech strategy and is designed to meet this challenge by building the evidence base of what works and communicating key messages and findings regarding the potential of AT for pupils with SEND.

About the buyer

Contact name

Robert Rodney


Sanctuary Buildings
Great Smith Street