I don't know about the educational system in the UK, here in the US, red tape is used by the gross lot in the admin and purchasing office. Speaking from personal experience having worked with a computer retailer, selling to school districts and gov't agencies, it can be painful to establish the approved channel for doing business. Having an Authorized Reseller agreement goes along way with the school district offices for knowing your real.
Schools also have a different way of doing business. In a store front, walk in, pay cash or use a credit card, walk out with product. Schools use a multi-layered back-n-forth paper work nightmare. RFPs, Approval to place a bid Bonding, Delivery Contracts, Purchase Orders, Performance Assurances, and on, and on. I understand the need to protect the use of public funds. But boy does the system it get to you after awhile.
On top of all the paperwork load, the school districts want to really only deal with one vendor for all the parts of a system. So thinking that schools will order boards from an overseas charity, software off the web, keyboards and mice from another, my experience makes me believe that will be the exception, not the standard method. Let us not forget that schools may pay 30-90 days after delivery with something called a Warrant. A promise to pay, maybe, sometime in the future.
So you wonder why companies die from being in business to service the educational system.
[ Thanks. My remembering the Dark Side of the educational business model, now has me rethinking making offers to the School Districts in the US.]