MATs are achieving maximum benefits from running their procurement process effectively.

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School leaders are increasingly focusing on effective procurement to deliver great value, maximizing their budgets without compromising on educational standards.

One area that can often be made more efficient is ICT. Leaders can utilise their procurement process to streamline their ICT and make sure it’s delivering what’s needed while making cost savings along the way.

Strategic Procurement is sometimes thought of as bringing in new technology. But when used correctly, the objectives are centered around delivering the right systems, working with economies of scale, saving costs, and can include outsourcing tasks to service providers.

How do you decide what ICT you actually need?

With budget always a consideration it can be hard to establish what you need to buy. The key to maximising an ICT budget is to make purchasing decisions strategically and in line with your ICT vision and strategy aims. After all, your ICT purchases need to be cost-effective, deliver value for money and support both your long and short-term goals.

One advantage of strategic procurement is that it allows you to capitalise on economies of scale by leveraging your buying power through collaborative purchasing. This is particularly applicable for growing Trusts bringing on new academies. In these instances, each academy brings its own ICT systems, services and suppliers ranging from essential ICT services such as broadband, and telephony to hardware and software. The logical step is to bring them together and implement a Trust-wide ICT approach which naturally extends to procuring ICT services on a Trust-wide level.

The starting point for these significant changes is an ICT Audit and Review and through this, you may have identified a need for new technology or rationalisation of existing technologies to deliver efficiencies across your Trust. It’s also important to consider that there may be technology out there that you are unaware of. Too often we see schools and Trusts miss opportunities because they didn’t have the knowledge of certain systems and solutions.

Although not an exhaustive list, the systems we urge you to consider are:

  • Management Information Systems (MIS)
  • Financial Management System
  • ICT Managed Service
  • HR & Payroll System
  • Broadband
  • Telephony
  • Classroom AV

In our experience, the running of a robust procurement process will save money for your MAT and result in better quality services and systems for your money and help deliver a good learning environment which contribute to students’ achievement of learning outcomes.

Why should you bring in an external consultancy to run your ICT Procurement?

There are two main advantages of bringing in an external consultancy to support:

  1. Increase capacity

Managing a procurement exercise can be time consuming and complex:

  • requirements need to be fully understood and the process fully planned
  • gain an understanding of what is available through soft market engagement
  • the specification and service level need to detailed in a tender document
  • Invitation to tender (ITT) should be written
  • the overall tender process needs to be fairly managed
  • supplier responses marked and scored and communicated
  • finally award the contract.

An external consultancy can manage either the whole or parts of the process for you allowing you to focus on delivering an education to your students.

  1. Provide assurance

Bringing in an external consultancy, such as ourselves, gives you an assurance that you’re working with experts who use rigorous methodology, understand the environment and constraints you work with and will work compliantly adhering to regulations and FTS tenders (previously OJEU).

External consultants will guide you through the process, reducing the chance of future disputes around how the exercise was run by using robust processes and jumping through all the legal hoops for you. Leaving you with the right systems for your school or Trust procured in the right way.

As a result, you can be confident that you’re maximising your ICT Procurement process and making the most of every pound of your ICT budget, making significant cost savings that can be re-invested into teaching & learning. While safe in the knowledge that all legal and financial obligations are being met and documented.

To give you an idea of how to run an ICT Procurement process, read our Novatia Note ‘6 Steps to Successful ICT Procurement for MATs and Schools’

6 Steps to successful ICT Procurement


Get in touch

As ICT experts in UK Education, Novatia can provide aFREE CONSULTATIONto discuss your procurement requirements. From here, you can decide how much you want us to be involved.

Ifyou would like to speak to a member of our team, get in touch either by phone on 01962 832632 or by email

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