To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 5 January 2022 to Question 94337 on Schools: Air Conditioning, what steps he took to engage with existing British manufacturers of potentially suitable devices to (a) benefit from their operational experience of fitting and deploying similar technologies and (b) encourage them to produce suitable devices in the UK.
The department’s technical specification was created following significant participation and input from leading (UK) cross-industry and cross-governmental experts, including the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, in addition to engagement from manufacturers in this process.
As part of the procurement and selection process, suppliers on the Crown Commercial Services Framework RM6157 Lot 3 were assessed on multiple criteria which included their conformance to the technical specification, as well as their ability to satisfy the delivery timescales at the volumes required by the department. The volume required was significantly higher than stock available in the UK so not all manufacturers could meet either the technical threshold of the specification, the volumes, or the delivery timescales, or all 3.
To increase the selection of products available on the marketplace for schools, colleges and universities, we are continuing to work with suppliers and manufacturers within their supply chain both in the UK and wider to ensure that their products conform with the department’s technical specification.