Increasing cuts to the education system and rapidly rising costs – school funding continues to be a major issue in education. According to recent research published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies* overall school spending fell by 8% per pupil in real terms between 2009-10 and 2017-18. While total spending on 16-18-year-old education fell by around 12% in real terms, per pupil, between 2011-12 and 2017-18.
Pupil numbers have continued to increase, yet teacher recruitment and retention has not kept pace with the increasing demand. It’s little wonder, then, that Schools and Academies are struggling to keep budgets in check.
It was the increasing cuts to the education system coupled with the daily financial pressures that Schools and Academies are under, that led us to expand our services to cover the education sector.
Researching the most competitive and suitable contracts for utility costs, telecoms rates, insurance premiums and other key running costs takes time and industry knowledge. Experienced in cost reduction and having worked in education in various guises over the years, we used our specialist knowledge to help Schools and Academies initially in our local area. This soon expanded and we now work with over 100 Schools and Academies across the UK, helping them to take control of their essential overheads and energy expenditure.
Working within the education sector, however, isn’t without its challenges as we found out when we started working with two London Academies.
Skinners’ Academy in North Hackney specialises in education for boys and girls aged 11–19. Their gas supply had slipped out of contract and they needed to get a new contract in place as a matter of urgency.
Unfortunately, however, their previous contract had left them exposed to very high deemed rates by their current supplier. With their electricity also coming up for renewal we had to act quickly.
As consultants, we are not legally allowed to reveal client information without a valid Letter of Authorisation. Having gained the necessary authority, we were able to search for the most competitive rates and migrate the existing contracts to a much more cost-effective option. Opting for a 36-month contact, Skinners Academy were able to take advantage of annual savings of £18,300 (38%) against rates that they had previously been offered.
City of London Academies Trust
City of London Academies Trust (CoLAT) sets out to ensure that every one of their schools can be judged as ‘outstanding’ within 3 years of joining the Trust. Recommended to CoLAT by one of their Governors, we carried out a ‘health check’ on all of their Academies. A FREE service, the audit aims to review all current expenditure with a view to realising key savings where possible.
Having identified savings and also dealing with a particularly tricky Change of Tenancy agreement (resulting in a credit of over £30,000), we were able to make substantial savings for CoLAT.
Peace of Mind
To make certain that contracts run smoothly every School / Academy has their own dedicated Support Manager on hand to carry out the tendering and negotiation as well as completing all of the necessary paperwork. The flexibility of their ongoing support coupled with their experience not only saves valuable time, but it also removes any undue stress.
In addition to the dedicated support, our clients also have access to our secure online portal. Simple and easy to use, all records and contracts can be viewed at a glance.
It all adds up
In our experience, we are generally able to make savings for 9 out of 10 clients. Our fees are paid by the suppliers which means that every School and Academy that we help keeps 100% of any savings.
For more information on how we can help your School or Academy call us on 0333 313 0090 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
*school revenue balances in England, January 2019