The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has launched the latest part of its new framework for education bodies to procure ICT goods and services.
It has announced the awards for three lots of the Education Technology framework – for broadband fibre infrastructure, broadband services and hardware – following the award of the first lot for ICT solutions early last month.
Awards for a fifth lot for audio visual equipment are expected to be finalised next week.
The framework has been designed by Crown Commercial in a collaboration with the Department for Education (DfE) to help schools, colleges and universities to buy equipment and services including hardware, audio-visual equipment and broadband fibre infrastructure.
The deal will run for three years with the potential for a further 12 month extension, and 40 suppliers have been awarded places on the agreement, nearly four-fifths of them being SMEs.
Customers will be able to use the agreement to fully kit out new facilities as well as refresh existing kit.
Niall Quinn, director of Crown Commercial Service’s Technology Pillar, said: “Guided by the feedback we have gathered by engaging with schools and the Department for Education, we are proud to offer a practical solution for schools to be able to procure all of their technology needs through one single agreement.”
CCS reported that a total of £44 million was spent through the predecessor framework, ICT Services for Education, of which 46% went to SMEs.
The move comes as the DfE has taken steps to increase the use of digital technology in schools. In April it published a strategy along with the promise of £10 million to support innovation in the sector.
Image by Antonio Chaves, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons