A specialist procurement framework for Education

DfE Buying Guidance for Schools recommends that schools investigate suitable framework agreements, including those from local authorities and public sector buying organisations. It states:

A framework agreement is an arrangement that a ‘contracting authority’ (eg a local authority or a public sector buying organisation) makes with suppliers of goods, works or services. It sets the terms under which you can make a purchase from a supplier during the lifetime of the framework agreement.

Using a framework will generally save you time, resources and money, as:

  • it will have already been through a full competitive tender process (ie the organisation that set up the framework will have evaluated a range of suppliers on a range of criteria such as their capabilities and experience)
  • it will have favourable terms and conditions for the client
  • you may be able to get support or advice from the organisation that manages the framework

Each framework will have guidelines that you must follow to select a supplier and place an order. It will require you to either:

  • make a direct selection, where you choose the best-value option for your requirements from a list of suppliers
  • run a mini-competition, where you ask all suppliers on the framework to send you a bid (or ‘tender’) for your requirements

How Think IT complies with the DfE Guidance :

  • Think IT was 'let' by E2BN, a public sector buying body set up by the Government in 2000
  • Click here to see the EU contract award notice
  • Think IT is backed by 9 local authorities in the East of England
  • The framework can be used by any educational establishment in the UK, including schools, colleges, universities and "other educational users within England"
  • It covers a range of 'Educational Cloud Services’ specifically designed for the needs of UK Education in schools, comprising educational software, systems, hardware, services and support to meet the diverse needs of schools, academies and other learning centres
  • As an educational establishment you can make a 'direct selection' if you know what you want and need, buying direct off the framework without the need to go out to tender or get three quotes
  • Or we can run a 'mini-competition' with our partners if that's what you'd prefer
  • Framework partners are rigorously vetted before joining the framework, and are regularly checked to ensure they are providing 'best-value' through the framework

Find out more about the Local Authorities we're working with here.

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