Schools get A* for procurement practices

Prince’s Mead Preparatory School who ran a collaborative procurement project with five others in the area has won the inaugural Education Procurement Excellence Awards held at stunning Wellington College.

The school bursar, Richard White used the leverage of the group to claim back over £150,000 of wrongly invoiced waste charges which resulted in the judges presenting Prince’s Mead, and the five other schools, with the ‘Best Overall Results in Procurement’ award.

Richard said “We are delighted to have won this award and we were up against some stiff competition in this category.  It has been a real triumph for collaborative working as we were able to make significant savings by working with other schools in the area to recoup money that we would have otherwise lost. Certainly I would not have succeeded if I had tried to work alone.”

 

Lorraine Ashover, founder of the Awards and Managing Director of Minerva Procurement was delighted with the standard of entries and the success of the night. She said “What we have seen this evening is a celebration of the huge financial benefits that schools can tap into by professionalising their procurement activities.  We’ve heard how the use of well drafted specification documents has achieved significant savings with OJEU procurements, how collaborating with others allows a sharing of best practice as well as achieving significant cost savings”

The purpose of the Awards is to recognise the excellent work being done in schools and, more importantly, to spread best practice to help other develop their own procurement skills and strategies.

Kevan Walsh, Managing Director of Zenergi, judge and headline sponsor of the event said “We have been really proud to be involved as a sponsor and personally it has given me great insight, as a judge, to see the fantastic work that is going on in education. While I have been a supplier to this sector for nearly 15 years, the market is changing more rapidly than ever.  There is greater freedom now for schools to shop around. While this is great for competition it can also be a bit of a minefield if you have never ventured into this area before – we want to be able to help schools navigate through this and events, like this, will give schools and suppliers a springboard for future development”.

The Awards covered a wide range of categories from sustainability through to collaboration between schools and importantly between independent and maintained schools. Noel Erskine, judge and Managing Director of “The Bursar’s Office” said “Sharing and working together is vital to maximise assets. The winning entry for Best Collaboration (independent and maintained school) from Park House School and St Gabriel’s School in Newbury demonstrates perfectly how two schools – one independent and one maintained – can work together, sharing their expertise for the benefit of their students. It is inspirational and just scratches the surface of what can – and is – achieved by our schools. These are things that are rarely heard of but happen frequently. These awards have started to shine a light on this achievement.”

The awards presented on the evening were:

Best OJEU procurement

Sponsored by Arthur J. Gallagher

This category is open to all schools covered by the European Union procurement directives (or similar regulations). The winner needed to have exceeded the thresholds at which tenders must be advertised to qualify for entry.

Winner:  Copleston High School

Highly Commended:  Dunraven School 

Best collaborative procurement (5+ schools)

Sponsored by Blake Morgan LLP

The winner showed how a group of schools has worked effectively together to achieve a mutual goal, for example, negotiation of a better value price or contract terms, where services have been withdrawn from a number of schools or shared resource has been secured.

Winner:  Oxfordshire Academies Payroll Project

Highly Commended: Ringmer Community College

Best collaboration (independent and maintained school)

Sponsored by Blackstone Security Solutions Ltd

The winner of this category showed how an independent school has worked effectively with a maintained school to achieve a mutual goal, for example, reducing cost, sharing services or reducing their carbon footprint.

Winner:  Park House – St Gabriel’s Learning Partnership

Highly Commended:  Prince’s Mead Preparatory School

School Supplier of the year

Sponsored by Minerva Procurement Consultancy Services Ltd

This award is to recognise an organisation that has supported a school’s purchasing activity, through the provision of advice, consultation, training, recruitment or another service on a particular purchasing project. The winner showed how they supported procurement, provided evidence of the benefits and detailed how this support went beyond what was in the contract and the lasting legacy of the support.

Winner:  Pelican Procurement Service

Sustainability Award

Sponsored by Mouchel

This category encompasses sustainability initiatives. The winner demonstrated clearly how the school procurement activity produced results from both a ‘best value’ and sustainability perspective.

Winner:  Elstree School

Highly Commended:  UK Energy Partners and Palatine Primary

Best overall results in procurement

Sponsored by Smith & Williamson LLP

This category is for those schools where personnel across the board do a great job day-in-day-out producing a cumulative benefit from both a cost and service perspective.

The winner of this category demonstrated evidence of the delivering results across a number of projects over a 12 month period (January to December 2014).

Winner:  Prince’s Mead Preparatory School and surrounding schools

Highly Commended:  UK Energy Partners and Palatine Primary and Ditcham Park School

     
   
   
 
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