Stour Academy

Winners of the School Procurement Award

Congratulations to The Stour Academy Trust Central Team for winning the School Procurement category at the 2018 Education Business Awards, held at the Grange Hotel, London.

The award was presented by lexicographer and long term occupant of Dictionary Corner on Channel Four's Countdown, Susie Dent.

Please read below the background to The Stour Academy Trust's success.

In July, 2017, The Stour Academy Trust had 3 external catering providers and 2 in house school catering services, all of which were costly and hard to manage.

The Trust was not only looking for a cheaper alternative, but one that would enhance the provision for all children and go above and beyond in supporting our approach to pupil health and well-being.

The Trust sought the help of Schools Buying Club to assist as an independent consultant. This was a nil cost to the Trust against the cost of the tendering process as the contract exceeded the OJEU limit. Between the Trust and Schools Buying Club a number of tender documents were prepared and a “What does the Trust want from a provider” wish list was established. Once published, a number of providers expressed an interest in the contract. The Trust, together with Schools Buying Club, held a bidders day which allowed contractors the opportunity to see kitchens and sites before bidding.

After a rigorous process of analysing and scoring tenders against each other to ensure both the best deal financially and the best provision towards our health goals, 3 contractors were invited to present to the Trust’s Senior Leadership Team and Chair of Trustees.

One company ticked all of the Trust’s boxes. They were small enough to class the Trust as a “big fish” rather than being a multinational contractor where The Trust would be a small priority. The transfer then took place.

The 3 year deal secured with the successful contractor created a saving of £62.5k for the Trust as a whole and, more importantly, a guaranteed return from the contractor for allowing them to work alongside us within our schools. The company has also invested money in new equipment within the Trust. This is a huge saving in the current education financial climate and the guaranteed return is split between the schools on a per meals per annum basis. This allows the additional funds to be spent on projects to improve health and educational outcomes.