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Buying for schools during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Department For Education

July 31
14:40 2020

Relief for suppliers due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Buyers in schools or those who manage supplier contracts, will need to be aware of the procurement policy notes (PPN):

  • 01/20 gives information and guidance on public procurement regulations and responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
  • 02/20 and 04/20 set out information and guidance for public bodies on payment of their suppliers to ensure service continuity during and after the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Free school meals

Schools buying national vouchers may find it useful to read guidance for schools and local authorities on free school meals arrangements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning products

Schools are responsible for sourcing their own PPE and cleaning products.

You may need:

  • masks (Type IIR fluid-resistant surgical masks or, for aerosol generating procedures only, FFP3 respirator masks)
  • disposable gloves
  • disposable plastic aprons
  • eye protection (for example a face visor or goggles)

To fully understand the product specifications and standards for PPE and hand washing, read the guidance on technical specifications for PPE.

Read the safe working in education, childcare and childrens social care settings guidance for information on using and accessing PPE and cleaning products.

Most staff in education, childcare, and childrens social care settings, will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work, even if they are not always able to maintain a distance of 2 metres from others.

Read Personal protective equipment (PPE) including face coverings and face masks.

Where to buy

You can try the following:

We cannot guarantee that you will be able to get the equipment using these routes.

Do not try to use DHSCs online PPE ordering portal. This is an emergency route for GPs, and small adult social care providers, when other routes fail to meet needs.

If you cannot get the equipment or products

Contact your local authority if your school cannot get the PPE you need.

Childrens homes, secure childrens homes, residential special schools, or other childrens social care settings that have an unmet urgent need for PPE to operate safely, should get in touch with their local resilience forum (LRF).

Help sourcing supply teachers and other temporary staff in schools

Crown Commercial Services (CCS) is a government-led service that provides a solution to help schools with hiring supply teachers and agency workers.

CCS are offering all schools free one-to-one sessions with their experts to help find good value in the supply market ahead of reopening in September 2020.

Book a one-to-one session to start the conversation. Email the team supplyteachers@crowncommercial.gov.uk with your:

  • school name
  • full name
  • email
  • telephone number
  • preferred dates and times

CCS will be in touch within one working day to arrange a video call at a time that is convenient for you.

Benefits of using CCS

CCS provides a framework to help schools with hiring supply teachers and agency workers which is fully compliant with EU procurement legislation. Schools that see an increase in the demand for supply teachers due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) may find it useful to know that all agencies in the framework:

  • are accredited by The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCO), the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) or Standards in Recruitment (SiR) to ensure they have sound recruitment processes and will comply with the terms of the deal
  • do not charge temp to permanent fees (finders fees) if a worker has been in place for 12 working weeks or more, provided the school gives 4 weeks notice
  • will complete thorough checks on all their workers
  • will comply with the Department for Educations keeping children safe guidance
  • will comply with a code of conduct providing assurance for consistency

Email the team supplyteachers@crowncommercial.gov.uk to book a one-to-one session.

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