Regional schools buying hub pilot

Closes 31 Jan 2019

Opened 1 Aug 2017

Overview

The School’s Buying Hubs pilots in the South West and North West are now live.  
 
Schools within the South West and North West regions wishing to participate should now register directly through each of the regional Hub websites:
 
 
Overview
 
Schools’ buying strategy
 
The schools’ buying strategy is intended to support schools to save over £1 billion a year by 2019-20 on their non-staff spend. It aims to help all schools improve how they buy goods and services – allowing them to maximise the resources they can invest in high quality education for their pupils and supporting them in managing cost pressures. 
 
 
 
Schools Buying Hubs
 
One of the key initiatives announced in the schools’ buying strategy is to provide School Buying Hubs to help schools with more complex buying activities. School Buying Hubs will be single regional units designed to communicate with and support schools in their purchasing.
 
School Buying Hubs are intended to help schools achieve savings where goods and services which can be effectively bought on a regional basis or where the services are complex, infrequently purchased and high value.
 
Department for Education is inviting schools in the north-west and south-west regions to join a pilot hub. To sign up, follow the link at the bottom of this page.
 
Benefits of Schools' Buying Hubs
 
Schools Buying Hubs will:
 
  • help schools buy and manage their services more effectively allowing them to maximise the resources they can invest in high-quality education for their pupils
  • promote and encourage the development of local School Business Professional networks
  • strengthen local service provision and cohesion to meet local needs
  • help direct buyers to better value and compliant school friendly deals and frameworks such as provided by Public Sector Buying Organisations
  • help identify where new local or national deals and frameworks are needed by schools and work with the market and the Department for Education to develop them
  • enhance communications between schools and the department

Schools Buying Hubs are intended to help schools achieve savings where goods and services which can be effectively bought on a regional basis or where the services are complex, infrequently purchased and high value.

The Schools Buying Hubs will offer the following key services:

  • expert advice and guidance on buying
  • help with complex contracts, particularly services such as catering, cleaning and premises
  • promotion of local collaboration and aggregation, where there is an opportunity to reduce costs on areas such as learning resources, ICT learning resources and administrative supplies

In addition, Schools Buying Hubs will also provide:

  • market intelligence
  • contract management support
 
School Buying Hubs timeframe
 

The Hubs pilot will run from February 2018 until January 2019 and participation is free to eligible schools.

Two organisations will deliver the School’s Buying Hubs:

  • north-west – 2Buy2.com Limited
  • south-west – Schools’ Buying Club

Contracts were awarded in November 2017 and services will be available from February 2018.

Piloting the hubs will allow the department to thoroughly test the approach; evaluate which of their proposed functions are of most use to schools, and tailor the final design of the hubs to best help schools deliver better value.

If the pilots prove successful, we anticipate expanding to deliver at a national scale in 2018-19. 

How you can be involved
 
We are looking for participants in the north-west and south-west regions for the pilot.

Participation in the pilot will be free to eligible schools during the pilot period.

Space on the pilots is limited to 900 schools in each region and we are seeking a range of types, sizes and locations of school, places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

If you would like to participate in one of the pilots, please read the participation agreement and complete the survey below. 

Participation agreement
 
Schools’ buying hubs will provide procurement and purchasing expertise and specialist advice to help deliver better value to the participating schools in the pilot regions.
 
In return all participants need to be able to agree to the following:
 
  1. I have read the published information regarding the schools buying hub pilot project (the pilot) and, if selected to participate in the project, agree, on behalf of the school, to participate fully.
     
  2. In the event that the school is not selected to participate in the first instance, details of your application will be retained for a period of 18 months and we may subsequently offer for the school to join the pilot at a later stage or contact you regarding a national roll-out.
     
  3. I understand that this is a pilot project and the services offered or provided under the pilot may be varied without notice or be withdrawn at any time. Whilst we will endeavor to communicate these changes, such changes may occur at short notice and without consultation.
     
  4. By submitting this application, I agree to provide any reasonably required financial information or feedback as requested by the Department for Education or its contractors, from time to time and understand that such information is vital in assessing the effectiveness and impact of the pilot.
     
  5. During the pilot period I will share details of  the school’s non-pay spend, current contracts and procurement activities undertaken in the past 12 months. This will enable the Department for Education providers to continuously improve the services offered and identify opportunity for aggregated contracting.
     
  6. I understand the department reserves the right to remove the school from the pilot in the event of changes to the pilot or in circumstances where there is a continued lack of engagement or cooperation from the school. 

  7. I also have the right to request for the removal of the school from the pilot at any time upon giving written notice.

 
The School’s Buying Hubs pilots in the South West and North West are now live.  
 
Schools within the South West and North West regions wishing to participate should now register directly through each of the regional Hub websites:
 
 

Express your interest

Audiences

  • Headteachers
  • Governors
  • School support staff
  • Local authorities

Interests

  • Procurement for schools