DfE courts partners for schools' bulk tablet procurement
A series of webinars is to be held this month around CCS exercise designed to better negotiate the discounted purchasing of several types of device
The Department for Education (DfE) has announced a new procurement designed to support schools to purchase tablet devices as part of a collective buying power strategy.
Managed by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), the procurement will build on a pilot project claimed to have saved participants 12% by taking a group approach to negotiate better discounts for tablet devices.
Four devices - the Apple iPad, Microsoft Surface Pro, LearnPad and a generic tablet - will be offered through the agreement, alongside associated products including security marking, covers and charging stations.
Bournville Primary School, which served as one of the institutions involved in the initial pilot procurement, described the process as being "simple".
"We were assured by the fact that we were purchasing from an approved supplier operating under the framework's terms and conditions," said the school in a statement.
For the procurement to proceed, the DfE said it needs a minimum order of 500 devices shared across all organisations that are involved. Schools wishing to participate in the procurement are asked to express interest via e-mail by May 6.
"If the procurement is agreed, CCS will publish forms to capture your school's requirements. A series of webinars and a helpline to help you with the application process are available once you register your interest," said a statement on the exercise.
"The actual procurement will be completed for you - you won't need to run it yourself."
A series of introductory webinars is expected to commence from May 3, running up to the 18th of the month. A final deadline for commitment to participate has then been set for May 24, with a procurement expected to run between June and July.
After orders are placed, schools are expected to receive the required devices by August at the latest, with payment expected to be processed no more than a month later.
According to the department, procurement experts will also be available to answer questions up to May 23.
More details on the procurement can be found here.