Schools’ Buying Club has worked with groups of schools and multi-academy trusts across the country.
Bright Futures Educational Trust (BFET) appointed Schools’ Buying Club (SBC) to support its schools procurement strategy development and tendering requirements. This relationship has now transpired into a partnership, with a mutual goal of centralising contracts for third party service provision to generate efficiencies and generate best value for the Trust.
BFET’s strategy, led by its Chief Operating Officer Amanda Bailey, is both innovative and strategic, in driving the efficiency agenda whilst growing the number of schools joining the multi-academy trust. BFET has recently created a Procurement Board which meets bi-termly and is attended by key business functions from across the Trust and its academies to define and implement its centralised procurement strategy and ensure BFET’s schools have the highest standard facilities and services. The Procurement Board also provides an opportunity for each individual school to share information surrounding best practice procurement, discuss appropriate points of aggregation which relate to local purchasing activity and raise exceptions or issues which can be dealt with by the group centrally.
BFET has recently adopted SBC’s ‘Toolbox’ as its online contracts database and procurement community hub across its growing number of academies. Toolbox acts as a virtual procurement portal for the schools to collaborate on tenders and exchange information, whilst it provides a dashboard of contracts for the central BFET business team to manage end dates and ‘let’ group-wide contracts that each new BFET academy can join. The collaborative purchasing power of BFET has enabled it to secure an advantageous energy contract, deploy payroll across all its schools (enabling savings of 50%), and sign a nil cost catering contract with projected re-investment capability.
BFET is currently developing its three-year procurement schedule to drive efficiency across all ‘back office’ services to maximise the funding available for teaching and learning. This will potentially include some centralised management over such areas as supply staff, food services, cleaning, ICT, facilities maintenance and commodities, capital projects and professional services.
If you would like to discuss your Trust’s or group of schools procurement strategy contact us today.