£12m tender launched to develop early career framework training

The government is looking for five education providers to split £12 million to develop training and support packages for new teachers as part of the early career framework.

Announced as part of the recruitment and retention strategy in January, the early career framework aims to improve the level of support giving to teachers as they start their careers.

The early career framework includes £130 million funding for mentoring, training programmes, free curriculum and training materials and a reduced timetable to allow new teachers to focus on their training.

The Department for Education has now launched a tender open to schools, local authorities and other educational institutions to develop materials and training to support the early roll-out of the programme in four areas.

A set of answers to frequently asked questions sent out by the DfE, and seen by Schools Week, revealed £12 million is available to share between successful applicants. The DfE is planning to award five contracts, but may award more or less depending on the quality of the bids submitted.

However, the official tender documents warn that £12 million is “only an estimate and could fluctuate up or down, depending on funding and customer demand”.

The FAQs also showed the government is aware that launching the invitation to tender over the summer period will mean schools and universities have limited time to put forward bids, but it said the government could not delay the invitation to tender until the autumn without posing a “potential risk” to the start of the early roll-out in September 2020.

The DfE expects to award five tenders, but the tender documents show more could be appointed in order for the early roll-out to reach 2,500 early career teachers and their mentors. Each supplier will be expected to deliver a programme to at least 200 early career teachers and their 200 mentors.

The deadline for submission of bids is August 9 2019, with successful bidders will be announced in the autumn.

Education secretary Damian Hinds said: “The early stages of a teacher’s career are an incredibly exciting time – but they can also be very challenging, which is why it’s so important to make sure they are properly supported.

“Earlier this year I set out my plans to transform the support available to newly-qualified teachers through the centrepiece of our flagship Teacher Recruitment & Retention Strategy.

“Today marks an important milestone on this journey by inviting tenders to create training and support for those starting out their careers in teaching.”