Sue Thompson, School Business Manager at Athelstan Community Primary school in North Yorkshire, faces a daily  challenge to ensure the school continues to thrive whilst belts are tightened.

Many schools will recognise the challenges Sue faces, so I asked Sue to share her advice and experience, including top tips on procurement and the strategies to deal with such a significant reduction in capital funds going forward. Today, Sue shares her top ten tips for effective procurement, and we'll be keeping in touch with Sue over the coming months to update you on her progress.

Top Ten Tips for Effective Procurement (plus two extras)

  1. Ensure that the proposed expenditure links to the School Improvement Plan. Challenge why you need it, identifying the school priorities this project supports.
  2. Compare suppliers to obtain best value in terms of quality and service.
  3. Ensure that products and services meet the needs of pupils and staff.
  4. Seek out additional funding options and grant availability.
  5. Work collaboratively to obtain more discounts.
  6. Provide opportunities to work with the community to maximise letting opportunities.
  7. Review capital funding availability and investigate options to lease ICT to save capital outlay.
  8. Identify ways to release funds for teaching and learning through ineffectiveness and economies of scale.
  9. Achieve best possible planning to ensure value for money.
  10. Identify expenditure as either a recurring cost or a one off capital cost. Consider which is best for the school's development.
  11. "Spend to save" plans, for example, energy saving schemes which could also involve pupil awareness.
  12. Awareness of staff skills base, to ensure that staff are best utilised for the appropriate level of employment.

An Example of a School Efficiency Strategy

Next month, Sue's guest blog will cover the myriad of creative ways in which Athelstan will look to maximise their investment on a reduced budget.

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