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Achieving good value for money is important at any time, but in the current economic climate it is vital that schools are able to effectively manage their expenditure and get the best possible deal that meets their needs.
The Schools White Paper, The Importance of Teaching, published on 24 November 2010, stated that “it is important that schools should make savings on procurement and back office spend in order to invest resources in teaching and learning. The Spending Review announcement said that schools “should be able to save £1 billion in these areas by 2014-15.”
Although schools spend most of their money on education staff, they collectively spend approximately £9.3 billion on other areas. This covers a number of expenditure categories including learning resources, catering, back office/administration and energy. For some groups of staff, such as cleaning and catering, schools have the option of whether to employ staff directly or to buy-in services. Therefore, when we look at schools’ costs in these areas, we include staff costs. Significant savings can often be made in these areas, which can be reinvested in the school’s priorities for teaching and learning.
This spend covers a number of categories:
Many schools have already started to take a closer look at the way they buy and are discovering that significant savings can be made which can be reinvested into their school’s priorities for teaching and learning, or used to address a budget deficit. A good place to start is to ensure you understand your school’s spending patterns and that you have all the relevant information you may need to help you in the procurement process.
For more information on efficiency and value for money in schools more widely, see the Efficiency and Value for Money section of the website.
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