Support for school business professionals: guidance on buying for schools

The DfE is offering support for school business managers looking to save money on their procurement budgets

Earlier this year the government released guidance on buying for school business professionals.
The aim of this guidance is to encourage SBMs to connect with their peers; knowing how other school business professionals work, and sharing contacts, can help you get the best deals so you save money and time.
For example, networking with other buyers for schools can help you:

  • find suppliers;
  • benchmark costs and budgets;
  • get support with making purchases;
  • learn from others’ documents;
  • check best practice and understand the market;
  • get discounts by buying in bulk together.

You can browse the Department for Education’s directory of more than 50 networks for school business professionals.
Additionally, you can find out more about networks for school business professionals.
Read how one school business professional established a peer-support network linking schools to improve financial health.
Pilot schemes
Until the end of this month the DfE is running two regional pilot schemes – the schools’ buying hubs – to help schools with effective buying of goods and services.
The regional schools’ buying hubs offer:

  • expert advice and guidance on buying;
  • template and example documents;
  • help with complex contracts, like catering, cleaning, premises and technology services;
  • local collaboration, where there is an opportunity to reduce costs on areas such as learning resources and administrative supplies;
  • market intelligence;
  • contract management support.

If your school is in the north-west or the south-west, you can register. You can find out more about the hubs, and contact the DfE schools commercial team if you have any questions.
If your school is outside the pilot area, don’t despair; one of your local networks for school business professionals could provide the buying support you need.
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