All schools will be encouraged to buy furniture from a list of up to five suppliers under a DfE agreement worth £40-£60 million over four years.
The DfE today published a notice alerting potential bidders about its plans to procure a framework agreement “for the supply, installation and delivery of furniture, and fittings”.
It says the framework agreement will be available to “all educational establishments from primary through to further education, and special educational needs provision”.
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The notice says the framework will mainly be used by all centrally-funded free schools and priority school building programme capital projects, but adds that “all schools will be encouraged to call-off from this agreement”.
It says the framework will be for 48 months, and has an estimated value of £40-£60 million.
The notice says the DfE is looking for three to five suppliers who can supply, install and deliver furniture for schools including:
- A range of tables including those suitable for a range of practical activities;
- A range of seating including stools for practical environments and chairs which are suitable for teaching, office and social environments;
- A range of loose and fitted storage with shelves or trays;
- Laboratory serviced pedestals containing a range of services (services supplied by others);
- Fitted benching in both laminated core material and solid laminate with a supporting structure of varying heights;
- A range of shelving suitable for both classroom and storeroom use.
The notice says the DfE will host a market engagement event for all potential suppliers next month, before it is expected to publish the formal tender in the Official Journal of the European Union in May.
Framework agreements are contracts with agreed terms and conditions that allow schools to buy good, works or services without having to run a full buying process.
The DfE says that it is usually quicker and easier for a school to buy from a framework than getting bids or quotes because they have already been through a fully-competitive tender process, have been quality checked, and have complied with the law.
The DfE says each agreement includes details of the products and services available, an agreed pricing structure, details of the suppliers, instructions on how to buy, and an agreed set of terms and conditions.