Did you know that every year schools collectively spend in excess of £9 billion on goods and services such as energy, IT and back office equipment?

It’s a complex landscape and often hard to know whether you are getting the best deal, agreeing to the right terms and conditions or even whether you are compliant with procurement regulations.

Academies have the freedom to choose how to spend their budget on goods and services, however, they also must comply with the rules of public procurement. Getting the balance right between ensuring funds are being spent through fair and open competition as well as getting true value for money can be difficult.

Shopping around can take up valuable time and resources school bursars or business managers don’t have. Achieving savings is usually at the top of the list of priorities for finance professionals in public service, and schools are no different. With tight budgets and improvements to be made, releasing resources so that your school can re-invest in its priority areas can make a huge difference.

Using established procurement agreements not only speeds up the process, but offers peace of mind by ensuring legal and financial obligations are met. By maximising competition, leveraging supplier innovation and value through the supply chain, national frameworks can deliver major savings to schools.

There are a range of ready to use, compliant deals for goods and services being offered by a number of public sector buying organisations, such as Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation, Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation, Crescent Purchasing Consortium and The Crown Commercial Service. These organisations can provide expert, commercial advice and support and offer deals are available across a variety of core areas.

Multi-functional Devices (Printers) agreement: https://ccs-agreements.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/contracts/rm3781

A collaborative deal with regional buying partners Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO) and Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO) has proven to be of real value to schools. Through working closely with school budget holders to understand their needs, it has specific lots to meet a broad range of different requirements.  As part of the framework, an easy to use portal for lot one is available here: https://store.canon.co.uk/business/

The Purchasing Platform: https://purchasingplatform.crowncommercial.gov.uk/mp-welcome

An online portal designed to help you get quick easy access to the best products for your needs, no matter how big or small.

Energy for Schools: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/energy-for-schools

The Crown Commercial Service has electricity and gas deals for all publicly funded schools to use, including academies and free schools

The organisations listed above all have newsletters, which you are encouraged to subscribe to – you could find your next money and time saving purchase for your school is just a few clicks away!

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