Head of Procurement

Peterborough, Cambridgeshire or London
£60,000 per annum dependent on experience
14 Sep 2022
27 Sep 2022
Specialist Area
Contract Type
Full Time

The Role:

This new role will be responsible for the development and implementation of a robust procurement and contract management strategy across our schools, academies and central functions.

Reporting to the Chief Financial Officer, the job holder will work closely with our Executives’ central teams and school leadership teams to deliver an effective procurement framework, influencing spend and identifying and leveraging synergies to manage non-pay expenditure across the group.


Your initial focus will be to review and update the procurement strategy.  You’ll be responsible for leading the implementation of procurement plans and strategies for key areas of expenditure and maximising the value for money obtained in the acquisition of goods and services through sustainable, efficient and effective practices including the management of risks and compliance with Procurement Regulations.

Your ongoing areas of responsibility will be

  • To ensure that the Procurement Strategy, Policy, Procedures and Systems are continually developed and represent best practice and align with the United Learning Strategic Plan. To lead the communication of the procurement strategy and engage with senior staff across the Trust in delivery of the strategy. To drive the delivery of groupwide savings identified through the procurement strategy.

Establish a supplier management process to be used both centrally and locally in schools which includes:

  • Review of delivery against contracts and addressing any underperformance by suppliers. Develop and implementing tools to enable effective monitoring. To manage the supplier bases and develop good relations with key suppliers based on mutual trust, confidence and cooperation in order to deliver effective supply chain solutions.
  • Provide professional procurement advice and support, ensuring all statutory and regulatory obligations are met and the procurement regulations are strictly applied. Deliver procurement and contract management training to the United Learning staff who are involved in procuring goods and services. Oversee the Group catering contract to ensure excellent service and compliance Oversee key national complex or high-risk procurement activities (public and private sector), guiding schools and central teams on process, evaluation of tenders and supplier selection and leading negotiation strategies to secure the best possible terms and conditions. To develop collaborative arrangements to the benefit of the Trust, engaging with other institutions and bodies as appropriate, representing the United Learning at meetings and within professional groups in respect of procurement activities and to establish a strong network within these groups. Work closely with internal and external stakeholders to build relationships, understand customer needs, maintain a rolling schedule of future procurement requirements/tendering exercises and develop sourcing strategies, exploiting opportunities for collaboration. Promote group contracts and framework agreements that represent best value, reducing off-contract spend to a minimum. Act as an escalation point for significant and/or persistent contract management issues, advising on remedial action and resolving disputes. To develop and maintain a trust wide approved supplier database.

About You

You will have the following skills and experience:

  • extensive procurement experience gained with large multi-site employer in the private or public sector. Educated to degree standard, or equivalent. MCIPS qualification preferred. An in-depth knowledge of contract and other law relating to procurement, including EU and Academies Financial Handbook regulations and the implications of non-compliance Strong track record of results and delivery in procurement. Evidence of a track record in devising, developing and delivering a Procurement Strategy in a large and complex organisation. Experience of delivering procurement frameworks in a large, complex organisation Excellent project planning and project leadership skills, qualified in Prince2 methodology (or equivalent). Understanding of and experience in category management. Strong written, oral and presentation skills. Able to make complex information clear, simple and understandable. Excellent negotiating skills required to maximise commercial opportunities. The ability to communicate, influence and persuade stakeholders at all levels and both internally and externally in order to establish credibility and trust and build effective networks. The ability to undertake financial appraisals and identify, develop and implement commercial opportunities. Highly developed analytical skills and experienced in using data to drive decision making.

Rewards and Benefits:

As a Group, we can achieve more together than any single school alone, and we can offer you more as an employee too! As an employee of United Learning, you have access to a range of benefits, from great discounts with Kids Pass and Tastecard, opportunities to get fit with our GymFlex and Cycle2Work programmes, and a range of health and lifestyle benefits including childcare vouchers, car lease schemes, health and dental plans and travel insurance. These benefits are paid for directly from your monthly pay.

United Learning:

United Learning is a large and growing, group of schools aiming to offer a life changing education to children and young people across England.

Our schools work as a team and achieve more by sharing than any single school could. Our subject specialists, our Group-wide intranet, our own curriculum and our online learning portal all help us share knowledge and resource, helping to simplify work processes and manage workloads for an improved work-life balance.

As a Group, we can reward our staff better with good career opportunities, better pay, benefits and ultimately, the satisfaction of helping children to succeed. We invest in our staff wellbeing. It's an ethos we call ‘the best in everyone’.

Where support is better shared


United Learning comprises: UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee. VAT number 834 8515 12. Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB.


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