Saint Cecilia’s Church of England School is a co-educational secondary school for pupils aged 11-18 years in the Diocese of Southwark and the London Borough of Wandsworth. It opened as a voluntary aided school in September 2003 and grew incrementally until reaching a full set of year groups in the 2007/2008 academic year. The school converted to academy status in March 2015 and continues to grow in terms of reputation and pupil numbers.
The academy had outsourced the ICT Managed Service contract previously but due to exceptionally bad luck both of the previous incumbent service provider business failed, leaving the school once again seeking a new company to support them. Minerva was approached by Dave Cobb (Business & Development Manager) to run the tender as he had used Minerva previously and was extremely happy with the service provided. Prior to the failure of the businesses, Dave already had concerns about their current supplier, in regards to service delivery and in addition what impact any failure would have on the school and the Network Manager employed by them. After assessing the ‘whole life value’ of the contract it was concluded that it would breach the OJEU threshold*, so a full compliant tender process was required to be run. The school decided they wanted a contract term of two years with the option to extend for three further terms of 12 months each, meaning a maximum contract length of five years.
* OJEU has subsequently been replaced by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.
Minerva’s initial work was to produce the tender documentation necessary for the tender. This included a Memorandum of Information (MoI), a Selection Questionnaire (SQ) and the Invitation to Tender (ITT). In addition a number of supporting documents were pulled together such as TUPE information, a ‘Statement of Requirements’ (SoR) with full details of the school service provision and a Pricing Submission Form.
To be compliant with Regulations, a legal agreement should be part of the tender pack provided to bidders. The school took the decision to use the Minerva precedent legal agreement for ICT Managed Services and so this was also drawn up and bespoked to the school’s requirements.
A full OJEU process was then run and resulted in an initial 13 bids from suppliers at the SQ stage. These were draft scored by Minerva and then confirmed by the school. From this five suppliers were shortlisted to submit an ITT response and invited to the Site Visit. There were two withdrawals at this stage, which is unfortunately not uncommon, resulting in three suppliers submitting an ITT response. Once again Minerva conducted draft scoring for the ITT which was reviewed and moderated by the school. This resulted in all three bidders being invited to the Presentation Day. Post presentation further moderation was undertaken by the school based on the responses received during the Presentation Day and from this the highest scoring bidder was awarded the contract. The winning supplier submitted the most advantageous bid with very competitive pricing and demonstrated a well thought out approach to the ICT Managed Services. Their understanding of the requirements of the school and the particular focus on teaching and learning was highly regarded, as was their commitment to working in partnership with the school to achieve a good level of service. In addition, there was good confidence that the resourcing could be managed effectively as the only bidder to proactively look at appointing an Apprentice.
A really successful project that with tight timescales and which had to be completed during the Corona Virus lock down. Minerva went out of their way to facilitate the successful completion via video conference, which worked very well.
Dave Cobb, Business & Development Manager