By Joanna Frost
5th Jun 2017
Last month we attended the Trust Network Estates Conference. After hearing from the Department for Education (DfE) on their new Schools Buying Strategy we realised how closely aligned our services are with the key initiatives of the strategy and how can we help our School and Academy members achieve the recommended outcomes.
The first key aim of DfE’s strategy is to ensure buyers in schools have the right relationships and skills through building peer-to-peer support networks and creating regional advice and guidance services to help with complex buying. CPC members can already take advantage of the CPC Communicator an email forum amongst our members that supports peer-to-peer networking and guidance requests. CPC members can also call on the support of our Regional Procurement Advisors who can provide help and guidance with more complex buying and put you in touch with other trusts or academies in your region.
The DfE strategy also aims to support schools to be smart consumers – providing practical help and advice on buying decisions and contract management. CPC Members have access to a training resource Felp providing information about key procurement processes, why they are important and how to carry them out. It’s the place to find out how to improve procurement within your organisation and gain access to examples of procurement good practice. In addition, we are working on the production of six training videos that CPC members will be able to access free of charge covering various procurement topics such as how to improve contract management. Keep an eye out for the launch of these resources on Crescent Learning.
Lastly the DfE strategy aims to ensure buyers have access to the best value every time – giving schools access to better deals, for example on energy, printers and photocopiers and using digital opportunities to make buying easier. This is the core business of CPC and we have ‘deals’ covering a wide range of goods and services including printers and photocopiers, cleaning, catering, grounds maintenance, IT hardware etc. with our online request for quotation tool providing an easy method for sending your requests for quotation to the framework suppliers. The deals we have in place provide a compliant route to a pre-qualified supply market that offers great value. But don’t take our word for it, take a look at the case studies from members who have benefited from our services.