Published date: 25 August 2021

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: 22 September 2021

Contract summary


  • Research and development services and related consultancy services - 73000000

Location of contract

United Kingdom

Value of contract


Procurement reference

DFERPPU 21-22/025

Published date

25 August 2021

Approach to market date

22 September 2021

Contract start date

11 November 2021

Contract end date

18 March 2023

Procedure type

Open procedure (below threshold)

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

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

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The purpose of this Prior Information Notice (PIN) is to alert the market to a proposed process and impact evaluation of the 16-19 Tuition Fund. The evaluation will be used for continuous improvement of the scheme and to measure the impact of the fund.

About the 16-19 Tuition Fund
Like all learners, students aged 16-19 (in further education and school settings) have had their learning disrupted by Covid-19.

In June 2021 DfE announced a package of 'education recovery' measures**See 'links' section of this listing for publication** for supporting learners, including for 16-19-year-olds. This included extending the 16-19 Tuition fund which ran in academic year 2020-21 to the 2021-22 academic year.

The 16-19 tuition fund aims to support small group tuition for students aged 16-19 in English, Maths and other subjects that have been disrupted by the pandemic. Students are eligible if they have not achieved a GCSE grade 4 or 5 in English and/or Maths or have a grade 4 or above and are from an economically disadvantaged background. More details on the fund can be found in the 'Links' section of this listing.

Process Evaluation
The proposed process evaluation will aim to answer the following overarching research questions:

1) How has the Tuition Fund been used by providers?
2) How has the Tuition Fund been supporting eligible learners?
3) How can the Tuition Fund be improved for future years?

We expect the process evaluation will use a multi-method approach, including surveys and in-depth interviews or focus groups with learners and providers.

Impact Evaluation
The proposed impact evaluation will aim to answer the following research questions:

1) What is the impact of the Tuition Fund on educational attainment outcomes in academic year 2021/22?
2) Does the impact of the Tuition Fund vary by type of course?
3) Does the impact of the Tuition Fund differ by learner characteristics?

The universality of the 16-19 Tuition Fund makes designing an impact evaluation challenging as there is no significant control or comparison group. In academic year 2020/21, 1,869 out of 2,427 16-19 providers opted into the fund and 558 providers opted out. While it may be possible to construct a comparison group from these 558 providers, this could be difficult because the two groups may not be comparable.

We have begun exploring some impact evaluation options and we will be inviting bidders to consider these and propose their own quasi-experimental or non-experimental approaches. We will also ask bidders to build a feasibility testing phase into their proposal, to test the viability of an impact evaluation alongside the process evaluation. For some initial methodological ideas and further information please see the additional information section.

Please also see the 'additional information' section for further details, including how we expect to issue the call for competition should the opportunity go ahead, (Note: this will not be through ContractsFinder).

More information

Spend profile

This table displays the spend profile of the notice
Financial year Budget
2021/2022 £87,500
2022/2023 £162,500



Additional text

This notice is for information only and is not a call for competition. The Department reserves the right not to enter a formal procurement process and not proceed with contract award. Accordingly, the Department will not be liable for any bid cost, expenditure, work or effort incurred by any organisation in acting on the basis of this Prior Information Notice.

All information included in this notice is indicative and subject to change.

We expect to procure this evaluation via the Government's CCS Research Marketplace DPS - RM6018.
Please register asap if you are not already registered - a link to
the Research Marketplace DPS - CCS ( is provided in the 'links' section of this listing.

Furthermore, suppliers will also be required to register onto the Jaggaer resourcing system.
You are encouraged to also register your organisation onto the Department for Education eSourcing Portal (, a link is provided in the 'links' section of this listing

Registration does not guarantee an invitation to tender. However, you should be registered on the systems to allow invitations to be sent.

Further Project Information is available in the attachments section of this listing.

About the buyer

Contact name

Alice Phillips


2 Rivergate
Temple Quay