Schools’ Buying Club has been awarded the contract to run the Department for Education’s Schools’ Buying Hub South West pilot, a key strand to the Government’s Schools’ Buying Strategy.
The pilot will commence on 1st February 2018 and will run until 31st January 2019, with the aim of supporting an initial cohort of 900 schools with their procurement requirements. Schools’ Buying Club will be providing advice, guidance and tools to help the pilot schools save money; signposting schools to the best deals and most advantageous frameworks, and helping schools purchase goods and services collaboratively.
Simon Rule, CEO of Schools’ Buying Club commented, “Our mission for the Schools’ Buying Hub reflects our own, which is to disrupt the status quo of how schools procure goods and services, change the attitudes and behaviours of both buyers and suppliers and enable schools to be informed, smart purchasers and commissioners.
We want schools to be in the driving seat when it comes to specifying accurately what they need; setting high quality standards; and defining the terms by which a contract is entered into and monitored.
Our role as the Hub will be to provide school business managers/ finance managers/ headteachers with the knowhow, tools and practical support to turn this historic subordinate position of schools in the buyer/ supplier relationship, into a fair and equitable partnership ‘every time’, not ‘sometimes’. This will help ensure high quality provision, and the maximum possible funding to support teachers to deliver better outcomes for pupils.”
Jenny Williams, Deputy Director of the Schools Commercial Team at the DfE added, “Launching the Schools’ Buying Hub pilots signifies a major step forward in our aim to help schools to buy better value goods and services. A key part of the Schools’ Buying Strategy, published in January 2017, was to provide school buyers practical help with buying decisions and contract management – often a very complex and challenging task. Piloting the Hubs will allow the department to test this approach to supporting schools and identify how we can best help schools to deliver best value from their resources allowing every school to invest in high quality education for their pupils ”
Pilot schools will sign up to participate in a range of buying activities, and to share information about their experience of the Hub and the savings (both in cost and time) that they are making.
Should the pilot be successful, the DfE can extend the contract for a further three years.
Further information can be found on the Gov.uk website: https://consult.education.gov.uk/schools-commerical-team/927e1fd1/