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21 June 2012 | Kamalpreet Badasha
Schools could save £400 million a year using collaborative purchasing according to the Schools’ Buying Club (SBC).
Schools using a single framework agreement to buy resources would, on average, save approximately 10 per cent, which amounts to £400 million based on the Audit Commission’s report Valuable Lessons’ figure of £4.2 billion spent in the categories the SBC analysed.
London is the least efficient region for procurement, spending on average £1239 per pupil, while schools in the South West are spending on average £550 per pupil according to research from SBC. The average spend per pupil was calculated by using the total spend and dividing it by number of pupils per region. For the category of administration supplies London schools spend £106 per pupil while in the North East the spend is £45 per pupil.
The SBC also calculated that schools in England are overpaying for catering services by £63 million, back-office services by £80 million and facilities management by £1 billion.
“The figures we have uncovered should concern not only head teachers, but parents and pupils who could gain from better negotiated deals and seeing the impact where it matters – in the classroom. Undertaking proper procurement practices will significantly reduce costs and free up time to focus on ensuring that every child has an improved learning experience,” said Claire Delaney of Schools’ Buying Club.
SBC analysed spend for the following categories: administration supplies, agency spend, back-office services, buildings maintenance, catering supplies, cleaning, energy, grounds maintenance and ICT learning resources.