Foundation announces first round of tenders

The Education and Training Foundation has released its first invitations to tender under a new competitive bidding process.

A total of four contracts are up for grabs — three concerning professional standards for teachers and trainers in England and the fourth about a workforce survey.

It comes a week after a letter from the foundation’s interim chief executive Peter Davies and interim chair David Hughes was posted on its website saying contract bids made under its old non-competitive process had been binned.

A foundation spokesperson said: “As part of our commitment to open and transparent ways of working, we have released four invitations to tender.

“Three of these will enable us to progress the review of the professional standards for teachers and trainers in England, as outlined in our delivery plan including to lead the consultation to inform the review of professional standards; establish the set of professional standards, following the review; and, develop guidance for teachers and trainers on the use of the professional standards.

“The fourth invitation to tender focuses on the workforce survey.”

She added: “Specifically the [fourth] invitation is for suppliers to design and deliver a consultation regarding the workforce survey, so we can ensure that this meets the data and reporting needs of the sector.”

Sue Dutton, foundation interim lead for professional standards, teaching, learning and assessment, said: “These are significant pieces of work. One of the priorities identified in our delivery plan is the review of the professional standards for teachers, trainers and tutors.

“The standards play a key role in supporting the professionalisation of the FE and skills workforce, underpinning both initial teacher training and continuing professional development.”

Other contracts that could be offered to bidders in the coming months involve traineeship and apprenticeship support programmes.

The changes to the tendering process followed news that £75,000-worth of contracts had been awarded to organisations, such as the Association of Colleges and the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education, through the foundation’s non-competitive process. It is understood these contracts will remain in place.

Bids for the workforce survey are due by October 18 and for professional standards for teachers and trainers by October 23 — the same date bids for specification for the development of professional standards for teachers and trainers in England are due.

Bids for work on guidance for the use of professional standards for teachers and trainers are due by October 28.

Email tenderqueries@etfoundation.co.uk for more details.