Public Sector Network Tender Alert


Mandarin Excellence Programme

The purpose of this Prior Information Notice (PIN) is to notify the market of a forthcoming market engagement event relating to the Mandarin Excellence Programme (MEP). The Department will be hosting an online event on 30 September 2020 for any interested parties. Please register your interest here: The purpose of the event is to share our thoughts and seek the input and expertise from the sector, to help develop our early thinking about the Mandarin Excellence Programme. China is a country of huge strategic importance to the UK and education plays a key role in developing that wider relationship with important economic, educational and diplomatic benefits. The Government firmly believes that learning other languages is important in our globalised economy, as well as helping pupils to prepare for life in modern Britain. In 2015 the Department announced its intention to provide funding for at least 5,000 pupils to be taught Mandarin in schools in England. The Department is now looking to build upon the success of this initial pioneering programme. We aim to re-procure this programme to continue from April 2021, subject to internal approval. Our intention for the scope of the re-procured MEP would be to continue delivery of Mandarin fluency with a minimum recruitment and retention of 1,800 Year 7 pupils commencing and continuing study annually from September 2021 to September 2023. It will also maintain up to 20 PGCE Mandarin teachers. The Department is seeking a lead provider or consortia or similar entity to deliver the programme, which will include, but is not limited to the following objectives: - support the diverse geographical location of the schools (where necessary) to ensure the development of teaching and learning of Mandarin Chinese in schools across the country; - ensure school-led development of the programme, translating centralised guidance and support into local practice; - provide a framework for the sustainability of Mandarin Chinese in England beyond the life of the programme; - ensure experienced MEP schools act as hub leaders to implement successfully the step-up of teaching required within the life of the programme, and to be able to lead confidently additional new schools in following years. - build upon the successes of work delivered to date by the current contract holders. Indicative Dates for Procurement: Following the market engagement event, we intend to publish the Invitation to Tender in November 2020 subject to internal approval. Contract award will take place around February 2021 with contract commencement in April 2021. Further information on the procurement process will be provided during the market engagement activity.


Department for Education, Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street

Contract value:

Published: 21 Aug 2020, Receipt by: 2 Nov 2020