Our 2015 Judges
If you are interested in being a judge for 2016 please get in touch with us.
Noel Erskine, Director, The Bursars’ Office
Having served as a logistics officer in the Royal Navy for 28 years in the UK and abroad, Noel has had a successful second career as a Bursar working at an Independent Day School near Newbury. With substantial building projects, IT infrastructure, eLearning systems, and projects for a co-ed Junior School and new nursery behind him, he established his own consultancy in 2014 called “The Bursars’ Office” where he has been joined by some of the most experienced bursars available today. His innovative “Independent Register” is setting a new quality mark for professional services in the Independent Education Sector.
Jess Pike, Editor, Independent Executive
Jess Pike is editor of Independent Executive and Education Executive. She regularly writes about the challenges facing independent schools, including competition from the state sector, political interference and increasing parental expectations. Since joining the Independent Executive team in August 2013, she’s been lucky enough to interview some pretty impressive heads and bursars, including former HMC chair Tim Hands and current HMC chair Richard Harman. She’s also got one foot firmly planted in the state school sector; as editor of EdExec, she’s au fait with the big issues affecting school business managers and writes on everything from free school meals and ICT procurement to buildings maintenance and fundraising.
Jack Salter MCIPS, Head of Commercial Policy Department for Education
Jack has for the last 6 years led the Commercial Policy team in the Department of Education, providing procurement advice and guidance within the Department and wider education sector and representing the Department when other Government departments are proposing changes to legislation affecting procurement in schools.
A former industry buyer, he moved to the public sector 30 years ago and has worked for a range of public sector procurement authorities including, Property Services Agency, The Crown Suppliers, and the Department for Work and Pensions.
During this time Jack has let hundreds of contracts and led many major procurements.
Jack has been involved in the drafting of many of the iterations of the Public Procurement Regulations during that time, and has produced innovative procedures to apply these Regulations and piloted new applications to deliver better outcomes.
Jack's in depth knowledge of and experience with procurement in the education sector (including resolving issues when things go wrong!) means that he is well placed to recognise good procurement!
Caroline Wright, Director, British Educational Suppliers Association
Caroline Wright is Director of BESA, the trade association representing British Educational Suppliers. Prior to joining BESA Caroline’s career spanned the public and private sector in a range of leadership and communications roles.
From an early career working in national and local newspapers Caroline moved into Government working as Director of Communications across a range of Departments including the Department for Education, Ofsted, Partnerships for Schools, The Cabinet Office, and the Department of Trade and Industry.
Kevan Walsh, CEO, Zenergi Ltd
Kevan Walsh has been involved with the electricity and gas markets since 1993 and has in-depth experience working for both sides; assisting the set up one of the first independent electricity suppliers in the UK from scratch, and over recent years, running an independent consultancy. More recently Kevan has been involved on the OFGEM steering committee to develop a Code of Practice for the energy consultancy industry.
Kevan (and his wife) set up and has been Managing Director and now CEO for 12 years, of energy consultancy, Zenergi, which provides energy procurement services nationally to Schools, Colleges, Academies and Businesses. He is a great believer in providing great customer service to his clients and expects this same service from all angles of his life.not always achieved from others though!
In his spare time Kevan loves to play golf; ski; eat/drink and socialise, but more importantly spend quality time with his wife Rachel, 2 sons of 19 & 18, daughter of five and various 4 legged friends. Kevan is also a Governor, Trustee of The School Bus Foundation and a member of The Worshipful Company of Educators.
Our Next Award Ceremony
Thursday 23rd June 2016
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"Delighted to have been selected as official media partner for 2015"
"Independent Executive is delighted to have been selected as official media partner at the Education Procurement Excellence Awards', primarily because the awards celebrate so much of the great work that bursars and school business managers do on a daily basis. As champions of those fulfilling these financial and managerial roles in schools, we look forward to learning more about the impressive finalists in the coming months!"
– Jess Pike, Editor, Independent Executive
"Excellence in procurement has never been more important than it is now"
"Excellence in procurement has never been more important than it is now, with tight constraints in the maintained sector and a strong drive to continue affordable independent education, I am thrilled to be able to help recognise the best elements in the sector through the Education Procurement Excellence Awards 2015."
– Noel Erskine
"Pleased to be a sponsor & to acknowledge the hard work & achievements"
"As accountants and business advisers, we clearly recognize the challenges faced by management teams in delivering best value for money. This is particularly relevant in school finance as cost savings maximize the funds available to provide the best all round education for pupils – the overriding aim.
Smith & Williamson is, therefore, very pleased to be a sponsor of the inaugural Education Procurement Excellence Awards  to acknowledge the hard work and achievements of school bursars and financial management teams."
– Smith & Williamson LLP