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 tomake significant savings by working with other schools in the area to recoup money that we wouldhave 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 similarregulations). 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