Children’s commissioning and business opportunities

What is commissioning? 

Commissioning is the process of planning, buying, delivering and monitoring public services. Good commissioning is about improving people’s lives and providing high-quality services that are designed around the individual.

It's more than simply just buying goods or services, it is about understanding local need and designing services that meet those needs whilst providing value for money for council taxpayers.

The children’s commissioning and placements group

The group has responsibility for the commissioning of placements for looked after children, special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), specialist educational placements and short breaks, homelessness and supported accommodation.

The following sections describe how we intend to commission services for children and young people in Nottinghamshire and how children’s commissioning works together with people to deliver services. There are also opportunities for businesses to work with the council to meet local needs and statutory obligations for children, young people and their families.

Strategic commissioning framework 

The framework sets out the way we will work to ensure there is a clear focus on improving outcomes for residents for the lowest possible cost, whilst maximising social value for the resources that we and and our partners have available:

You can learn more about the strategic commissioning framework by visiting the link below:

Sufficiency and commissioning strategy for children in Nottinghamshire

The sufficiency and commissioning strategy sets out how we intend to meet the sufficiency duty placed on local authorities to secure sufficient accommodation for looked after children.

You can read the sufficiency strategy for 2023 to 2025 below:

Engaging in business with the council

Tenders and procurement 

When purchasing services, as a ‘best value’ authority we are under a duty to 'make arrangements to secure continuous improvement in the way in which functions are exercised, having regard to a combination of economy, efficiency and effectiveness'.

When undertaking a procurement this involves challenging how services are provided, consulting with service users, comparing the performance of suppliers, and using fair and open competition wherever possible to secure efficient and effective services. We run tender processes through ProContract, which can be found at where organisations apply for contract opportunities.

Read our supplier system user guide, which provides instructions on registering an interest and completing a tender response:

The purpose of these guidance documents is to provide information for businesses who are interested in becoming a provider on one of Nottinghamshire County Council’s frameworks for short breaks and/or specialist education.

They provide an overview of what a provider will specifically require, and the processes involved. There are also links to sources of business support and advice.

Short Breaks

Short Breaks offer opportunities for disabled children and young people, aged between 5 and 18 years, to spend time away from their parents and carers and take part in fun activities that encourage socialisation and support their independence. It can also help them develop new skills and to prepare for adulthood. At the same time, Short Breaks support parents/carers of disabled children to have a break from their caring responsibilities.

Find out more about short breaks provision, and guidance and information for new businesses below:

Alternative Education

We are seeking to commission alternative education for those children and young people for whom it has statutory responsibility, who are without a school place; or where a maintained school or academy has been unable to fully provide an appropriate individualised education package.

This service will offer a wide range of alternative education provision, supporting wherever appropriate, transition back into school.

 Find out more about alternative education provision, and guidance and information for new businesses below:

Independent Non-Maintained Specialist Schools

We have a responsibility to provide education to children and young people (CYP) of statutory school age. It is envisaged that specialist education arrangements will be provided for those CYP whose needs cannot currently be met within a mainstream school or maintained special school and/or for whom small group/individualised provision is required.

We wish to secure relationships with outstanding providers of education for pupils with complex needs across the spectrum of special educational needs/disabilities with the establishment of a new framework.

Find out more about independent non-maintained special school provision, and guidance and information for new businesses below:

Independent Non-Maintained Schools New Business Information and Guidance [PDF]


The purpose of a market position statement is to provide key market intelligence, which will be useful to existing and potential providers in making business and investment decisions. It should act as a starting point for discussions between providers and Nottinghamshire County Council by highlighting the provision that the we wish to commission in the future.

Read our market position statement for short breaks for children and young people with disabilities below:

Read our market position statement for specialist education here:

Derby City Council (the Commissioner) now has responsibility for the Supported Accommodation Framework, on behalf of D2N2, to supply high quality supported accommodation for young people aged 16-18 years and care leavers up to the age of 21 years.

This framework runs alongside block contracts already commissioned or being separately commissioned by each local authority within D2N2 and will be used to commission placements when a block contract is unable to meet a young person’s specific requirements or has reached full capacity.

Please note: Currently the framework is closed to new providers. Derby City Council will re-open the framework if new provision is needed to meet demand. This can be found by registering on  and the project number is TD1742. For further information you can email:

The purpose of this document is to provide information for accommodation providers on OFSTED/CQC regulations and registration:

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