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About the DfE's Schools' Buying Strategy

The Department for Education’s Schools' Buying Strategy intends to help schools save over £1 billion a year on their non-staff spend by 2019/20. It aims to assist all schools in improving how they buy goods and services - supporting them in managing cost pressures, and allowing them to maximise the resources they can invest in high quality education for their pupils.

 
One of the key initiatives announced as part of the Schools' Buying Strategy is to provide regional Schools' Buying Hubs, which are designed to help schools with more complex buying activities. These Hubs will be individual units, which will communicate with schools and support them in their purchasing.

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

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 those 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 communication between schools and the DfE

Schools' Buying Hubs Timeframe

The Department is currently piloting the Schools' Buying Hub concept in two regions across England – the North West and the South West – with the potential to roll out more Hubs nationally if these prove successful. The pilot started in February 2018 and will run until January 2019 – and participation is free for eligible schools. Piloting the Hubs will allow the DfE to thoroughly test the approach, to evaluate which of their proposed functions are of most use to schools, and to tailor the final design of the Hubs to help schools deliver better value.

If the pilots prove successful, it is anticipated that a national roll-out will commence in 2019.

View The Schools' Buying Strategy on GOV.UK

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