Student Loans Company hunts ‘strategic partners’ for £200m-plus transformation of ageing IT estate

Arm’s-length body seeks to appoint a range of providers across various procurement exercises

Credit: Johnny Green/PA

Following a government review that shed light on an “overwhelmed and outdated” digital and technology infrastructure, the Student Loans Company has commenced a programme of work to find and appoint suppliers to fulfil a transformation programme costing hundreds of millions of pounds.

The non-departmental public body has kicked off an “ambitious programme [that] will transform the commercial framework and delivery models” used across the organisation. 

The first stage of which will see SLC float a £200m contract for a company to revamp its “customer interface and associated technology estate”. The deal will be awarded via Lot 4a of the Crown Commercial Services Technology Services 2 framework – which features 70 suppliers accredited to deliver large government tech projects requiring official security classification.

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“Details of the future lots within the Strategic Partner Programme, including notification of the procurement route and market engagement plans, will be communicated in due course,” the SLC said.

The IT and digital overhaul comes on the back of a review, published last year, which identified an “inflexible” and “fragile” technology infrastructure as one of the major challenges facing the company. Over the course of a seven-month investigation, officials from the Department for Education also found that the organisation had not kept up with the growing popularity and increased functionality of online services.

Announcing the strategic partner programme, SLC chief executive Paula Sussex said: “Our new technology strategy, and proposed approach to building strategic technology partnerships, is critical to modernising our operational capability and to delivering an outstanding service to our customers.”

Chief information officer Stephen Campbell added that the programme represents “the first stage of delivering a new technology model that will see us working with a small number of strategic partners to develop, deliver and support our technology estate and digital services to customers”.



Sam Trendall

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