Procurement to lead classroom cuts

22 September 2009

Schools secretary Ed Balls became one of the first ministers to break cover on spending cuts last weekend.

His department will aim save £2 billion over the next three years. It will almost inevitably result in icy wage freezes and, it seems, the knife will be taken to numbers of the UK's most senior teachers. But Balls is also confident that procurement can have a significant voice in classroom cuts. Outlining his plans on Sunday, Balls dived into talk of collaborative purchasing on big energy and insurance deals. He says there is plenty to go after if schools team up - a tenth of the education's £7.8 billion purchasing budget to be exact. Sounds good, but why aren't schools doing this already? And is there the procurement talent to back up Balls' claims?
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