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Department for Education

Publication date 22 February 2024, 4:45pm
Closing 25 March 2024, 2:00pm
Contract location
UK - United Kingdom
Lot value
Total value £15,000,000

Regular attendance at school is vital for children’s education, wellbeing, and long-term development. Improving attendance is a priority. Support for pupils who are persistently absent was also the subject of a recent education select committee enquiry: Persistent absence and support for disadvantaged pupils – Committees – UK Parliament. The Department is currently piloting a 3-year intensive mentoring programme in 5 priority education investment areas (PEIAs), delivering attendance mentoring support for pupils in areas with high levels of persistent absence. We are now looking into options to expand this pilot programme into more PEIAs.

The Department for Education is seeking to appoint a Supplier to deliver targeted, responsive, one-to-one support for at least 10,800 persistently and severely absent pupils across 10 Priority Education Investment Areas (PEIA). The successful Supplier would be expected to train mentors to be able to support pupils and families on a one-to-one basis with the intention of understanding barriers to the pupils attendance and supporting the pupil and family to resolve this. This support should be responsive to the individuals needs and may be delivered in the school, or in the pupil’s home. Depending on the pupil need, trained practitioners may also be expected to work with external local agencies to ensure all support to a particular family or pupil is aligned and drives towards overcoming attendance barriers. Mentor work could also involve working closely with families to support better engagement in education. The successful Supplier will also need to work with evaluators to evidence the impact of the support throughout the project lifecycle. 

The initial contract period is for 29 months for delivery over 2 academic years plus the set up period, assuming that the contract will be signed in June 2024, to allow for implementation and mobilisation activities ahead of delivery commencing in October 2024 and conclude in October 2026. This initial contract period may vary slightly in duration if contract signature is delayed for any reason. There will be an option to extend for a further 12 months at the Department’s sole discretion.
Continuation of the contract into academic years 2 and 3 will be subject to satisfactory performance. The maximum contract length would be 3 academic years of delivery plus the set up period.