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Schools' Buying Club can help with securing catering contracts

Great meals and great deals

As the government cuts funds for schools and academies, now is the time to start saving says Schools' Buying Club

Posted by Stephanie Broad | February 02, 2016 | Law, finance, HR

As part of the recent public spending review, academies are to lose all the extra funding they receive through the education services grant (ESG).

With the education sector facing funding uncertainty, academies are increasingly taking decisive action to ensure that they are maximising their budgets.

Buy with other schools in your area or within your Multi-Academy Trust

By buying services or sharing contracts with other local schools, your school can take advantage of the economies of scale generated through collaborative purchasing. It takes time to get all stakeholders on the same page but persevere, as by putting in place a long-term procurement strategy, all schools will reap the benefits of potentially cheaper, higher-quality goods and services across all categories.

Time is running out to tender for new catering contracts for September

It might seem like you have plenty of time before you have to renew your catering contract. However, the more time you have to develop your exact requirements and manage the procurement process, the greater level of competition you can drive from the supplier market and the better value solution your school will receive.

Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start or what you need to do to secure a new catering contract. Schools’ Buying Club works with schools across the country supporting them through the process.

The more time you have to develop your exact requirements and manage the procurement process, the greater level of competition you can drive from the supplier market

Claire Delaney, from Schools’ Buying Club, said: “We help schools exit their current catering contract and seek a better deal and more flexible solution.”

Schools’ Buying Club manage the whole tendering process to secure value-for-money contracts and ensure these purchases are compliant with your Financial Regulations and the new EU Procurement Directives that came into effect in 2015.

Claire adds: “With regard to your school’s catering contract, we would come to the school, write the specification for you, take it to the market (through our OJEU compliant portal) and then evaluate the bids on your behalf when they come in.

“We don’t charge our client schools for our service but instead charge the successful supplier a ‘success fee’ that we invoice over the lifetime of the contract.

“It’s completely transparent in all of the documents that we prepare for you so that you and your Governors see how we earn our money and by invoicing over, for example, a three-year period, it means that we contract manage the supplier on your behalf, so, for example, if there are any issues once the contract has bedded in, then we help resolve them and ensure that both parties are adhering to the terms of the agreement.”

Schools’ Buying Club is currently managing in excess of £75m of government expenditure for goods and services supplied to schools and academies and last year saved thousands of pounds on a variety of services including:

● A primary school in Dorset saved over £17,000 on their photocopier contract and the school can now afford to purchase a new Transit van.

● A secondary school in Rotherham were looking for help to re-tender their BSF ICT contract. The school saved over £100k over three years whilst also increasing the level of service and support provided by the successful supplier.

● A secondary school in Hertfordshire saved £66,000 over the three-year life of its new cleaning contract.

● A primary school in Richmond-upon-Thames saved in excess of £4,300 on the renewal of their gas and electricity supplies.

● A combined 5-in-1 Staff Absence Insurance Cover can save your school significant funds as you no longer have to purchase HR & Employment, Occupational Health and Wellbeing independently. 

If you would like to chat through the options for new arrangements for your school for 2016, please contact Claire Delaney on 0845 257 7050 or email contact@schoolsbuyingclub.com

For more information visit: www.schoolsbuyingclub.com

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