By
8th Nov 2018

VFM

The Department for Education (DfE) has published a new school resource management self-assessment tool for academies and trusts. A version for Local Authority (LA) maintained schools will be published next year and is intended to replace the current Schools Financial Value Standard from April 2019.

The tool helps you identify areas where you might be able to save money or resources, by measuring information about your school’s spending and characteristics against set thresholds. The checklist asks questions of governing bodies and trust boards in six areas of resource management, including the following in relation to Value for Money (VFM):

  1. Does the Trust benchmark its income and expenditure annually against that of similar schools and investigate further where any category appears to be out of line?
  2. Does the Trust have procedures for purchasing goods and services that both meet legal requirements and secure value for money?
  3. Does the Trust consider buying goods and services through national or regional purchasing bodies?
  4. Are the Trustees given the opportunity to challenge their staff’s plans for replacing contracts for goods and services that are due to expire shortly?
  5. Does the Trust consider collaboration with others, e.g. on sharing staff or joint purchasing, where that would improve value for money?

CPC can help with a number of these recommended activities. CPC members can make use of our Benchmarking Service to compare the pricing on our deals to the pricing that you are currently receiving. The ultimate aim of benchmarking is to demonstrate that using deals provides you with best value for money and, on the very rare occasion where it doesn't, to take action to improve the deal.

The CPC’s team of Regional Procurement Advisors are on hand to provide support and guidance to all our members and in conjunction with the resources available on www.felp.ac.uk, can provide you with access to example procurement procedures and advice on the legal requirements of public sector purchasing.

CPC is the national purchasing body dedicated to the education sector! We are owned by and operated for the education sector with many of our deals being recommended by the DfE. Our deals cover a wide range of commonly bought goods and services, and they are proven to offer excellent value for money. CPC are a not-for-profit organisation, meaning the income generated from CPC's activities stays within the education sector. Our income is used to sustain and expand the range of contracts for goods and services that we provide, as well as being used to support procurement training initiatives.

Collaborating is at the heart of what we do, the CPC Communicator a great tool for sharing good practice with counterparts in other institutions. CPC host regional procurement network meetings to encourage collaborative procurement exercises and our sister company Tenet Education Services specialise in delivering collaborative procurement projects.

Should you have any questions please contact Regional Procurement Advisor Jo Frost via email j.frost@thecpc.ac.uk or on 07990 763928.