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One of the freedoms of being an Academy is the ability to decide for yourselves where to purchase goods, works and services. As a maintained school you will have been familiar with buying normal supplies and services and perhaps using local authority frameworks or local suppliers for small value items. However, some of the contracts you may now have to sign up to will be complex and need full consideration of the inherent opportunities and risks.
One of the freedoms of being an Academy is the ability to purchase goods, works and services - or procurement. Whilst this is a great opportunity it also presents significant challenges as schools are under increasing pressure to make cost savings and therefore make good procurement decisions.
But how do you make a good procurement decision? How do you know if you are getting value for money? What is covered under procurement rules? Do you have an internal purchasing policy? Is joint procurement with other academies an opportunity to save money or does it add complexity and rigidity that may add to the overall cost.
Many academies and schools, that are in the process of converting, are not aware of procurement practices and responsibilities – especially where the EU Public Procurement Directives apply. Getting it wrong can have serious repercussions as competition in the market place is fierce and legally decisions can be questioned.
Understanding procurement practices and how to get it right can appear like an overwhelming/daunting task, but it needn’t be. Through articles, videos, tools, and guidance the Hub will provide you with everything you need to consider. It will inform you of the latest approaches and thinking about procurement for Academies, including joining or setting up a cluster or procurement hubs, understanding framework agreements and how to get your procurement strategy in place.
Buying for Schools / Department for Education
Buying Goods and Services in Education / Crown Commercial Service
Procurement Training for Schools / DfE and Crown Commercial Service