Published date: 21 January 2016

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.

Closing: 29 February 2016

Contract summary


  • Education and training services - 80000000

Location of contract

Any region

Value of contract


Procurement reference


Published date

21 January 2016

Closing date

29 February 2016

Contract start date

25 April 2016

Contract end date

31 March 2020

Contract type

Service contract

Procedure type

Open procedure

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

Contract is suitable for SMEs?


Contract is suitable for VCSEs?



China is a country of huge strategic importance to the UK and education plays a key role in developing that wider relationship with important economic, educational and diplomatic benefits. The Government firmly believes that learning other languages is important in our globalised economy, as well as helping pupils to prepare for life in modern Britain.
On 22 September the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced funding of £10 million for at least 5,000 additional pupils to be taught Mandarin in schools in England by 2020.

Description of service:
The purpose of the programme is to deliver a minimum of 5,000 speakers of Mandarin on their way to a high level (HSK level IV, V, Chinese GCSE and A Level) of fluency by 2020. This does not include native Mandarin speakers.
A key requirement of the programme is to implement a rigorous programme of study to the most able students. Schools must also be equipped with the resources and teaching expertise to provide this with confidence.
The contract will include break clauses at the end of each year and an option to extend.
The programme will:
• start in September 2016 with year 7 pupils, be demanding and intensive and focus on a relatively small number of schools;

• be rigorous and involve the study of Mandarin by the most able and motivated pupils for eight hours a week made up of a combination of class-time teaching, after school teaching and self- study;

• supply a sufficient number of teachers that are recruited and trained centrally;

• embed effective, sustainable teaching practices that will continue to increase Mandarin teaching beyond the funding of this project.

• give pupils an experience of China through visits and/or online contact; and

Estimated value:
DfE estimate the contract value to be 10,000,000 GBP (including VAT) over 4 years. The contract will include break clauses at the end of each year and an option to extend.

Length of contract:
A period of 4 years (ending 31 March 2020), including break clauses (related to KPIs) at the end of each year and the option to extend for up to a further two years at the end of the contract. The scope of this contract may be extended following future, as yet unknown, developments which fall within the scope of the original contract aims, up to a further value of 20% of the original contract value without the need to tender. Any such changes including revised costs would be agreed with the contractor.

More information


Additional text

To obtain a copy of the full tender document, please email


Deadline for tender responses to be received. 29.02.16
Clarification Meetings if required w/b 14.03.16
Department announcement of preferred bidder w/b 04.04.16
Contract fine-tuning with preferred bidder to take account of the solution w/b 11.04.16
Contract award w/b 25.04.16

Please note that the above timetable is indicative only. Given that we are not holding a selection stage it is difficult to judge the number of bids which may be received and require evaluation. We will inform all bidders as soon as possible if we need to amend the above plan.

DfE intends to contract with either a supplier who proposes to offer the whole service (with or without subcontractors) or a consortium of suppliers who have joined together to offer the whole service. At the bidding stage a consortium must be either a legal entity or have a lead organisation which is authorised to act on behalf of its members with which DfE can contract. Suitably qualified Small and Medium Enterprises (SME's) who consider that they have the necessary skills and experience to support the programme are encouraged to submit a bid.
The Department reserves the right to finalise payment mechanisms, based on the preferred supplier's bid, as part of formalising the contract.
This contract is being undertaken in accordance with the Light Touch Regime.

About the buyer

Contact name

Eben Groenewald


Department for Education, Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street