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Peep peep! All aboard the £300m UK education IT procurement express

Absolutely no guarantee of £300m or indeed of a single penny, but hey

The clock is ticking for tech suppliers wanting to grab a seat on the soon-to-be refreshed UK "ICT Services for Education" framework gravy train, estimated to be worth up to £300m over four years.

A contract notice was placed by Crown Commercial Services on the Official Journal of the European Union at the weekend, indicating that up to 20 tech sellers will be accredited.

“This new framework agreement will provide customers with the capability to obtain ICT goods and services tailored for the specific needs of a diverse range of educational establishments,” it stated.

“The scope of requirements is expected to cover the full range of ICT goods, services and solutions operated by educational establishments including design, specify, supply, integrate, implement and test, training, support and maintenance.”

Products include servers, PCs, operating systems, office productivity software, routers, switching, LAN infrastructures, printers and AV kit.

Fixed line broadband connectivity is not included in this procurement vehicle, and the contract notice stated specialist suppliers will be separately sought.

The procurement vehicle is open to education institutions including academies, free schools and further education entities, but other areas of the public sector including the NHS, emergency services and National Parks can also buy kit or services.

CCS said it “cannot guarantee” to suppliers that they will pick up any business via the framework - it gives them a mechanism to bid for individual contracts as they arise - but the estimated spend is £300m excluding VAT.

Suppliers have until 17 November to register their interest but the framework is not expected to launch until March next year.

ICT Services for Education replaces the existing 2010 agreement established by Becta, before control shifted to the Department for Education the following year and the body was scrapped.

Suppliers on the existing framework include Arvato AG; Capita Business Services; Centerprise International; Civica; CSE; Dell; Ergo Computing; European Electronique; Gaia Technologies; Joskos Solutions; Mass Consultants; Misco; Mouchel; Northgate; Redstone; RM; Tribal; Tribune Business Systems; Viglen; Virtue Technologies; XMA; Zentek Solutions; Bovis Lend Lease; Pearson Education; and Babcock 4S. ®

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