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

Department For Education

December 17
11:48 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):

  • PPN 01/20 gives information and guidance on public procurement regulations and responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
  • PPN 02/20 and PPN 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

Most staff in education, childcare and childrens social care settings will not require personal protective equipment (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.

Where to buy

For information on cleaning requirements, where coronavirus (COVID-19) related PPE may be required and how to access supply please refer to Safe working in education, childcare and childrens social care settings, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Should your school have a need to directly source PPE or cleaning products, DfE approved routes to market can be found using the Find a Framework tool. We cannot guarantee stock availability.

For additional information on product specifications and standards for PPE and hand washing, read the guidance on technical specifications for PPE.

If you need additional support contact schools.commercial@education.gov.uk.

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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