Significantly large sums are spent by schools each year on contracts, so it is vital to keep track of renewal dates to have time to obtain alternative quotes before the termination deadline.

The best way to monitor and review contracts is to keep a master list on a spreadsheet including the deadline dates for renewal/cancellation, the relevant dates can then also be diarised to ensure quotes are obtained in time.

In order to assess whether what you are currently paying is reasonable, benchmark your costs; using local schools and academies in your comparator selection gives realistic information.

Procurement – although it is assumed that MATs may have more bargaining power with some suppliers, this does not compare with Crown Commercial Services’ buying power. They are a government department that have negotiated a range of contracts that schools are able to sign up to, negating the need for competitive quotes as the leg work has already been done for you to secure the best deal.

Alternatively, you can use Crescent Purchasing Consortium (CPC) which is free to join. They have an excellent quote tool, you simply enter the details of the goods/service you want to purchase and the quotes come to you from their framework of already vetted suppliers; a time efficient way of getting competitive quotes. The CPC have also negotiated discounts with some suppliers for their members, you simply enter the information at the point of ordering and the discount is automatically applied – eg. Screwfix give 8% discount.

The savings may be small individually, but when added up across the year can amount to a significant sum.

Kim Cannon

Kim Cannon

Kim is the Service Manager of the Finance Support Team. She has worked in schools since 1998 and been a member of the Finance Support team since 2008.