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Procurement, collaboration and shared services

Academies, MATs & Schools


Procurement, collaboration and shared services legal advice for academies

As part of the day to day operational life of a school or academy trust, it will enter into a wide range of commercial agreements with third parties suppliers and contractors. The pressure is on to make savings across the sector and schools and academy trusts are increasingly looking to work together to generate efficiencies in their contracts and spend profiles.

Quick Enquiry

It’s not a straightforward area, so expert help and guidance can be invaluable for newly converted academies and for multi academy trusts with higher cumulative totals on their contract spend.

Here’s why:

  • Complex rules - The public procurement regime applies to schools and academy trusts in the same way as it applies to maintained schools. There are strict rules and timescales for the mechanisms to select contractors through transparent and fair procedures.

  • Potential liabilities - Bidders dissatisfied with the procurement processes have rights of redress including set aside, fines and damages claims as well as the management time and costs of dealing with aggrieved suppliers. Shared service school companies also need to comply with the rules.

How can we help?

Our nationally recognised public procurement team is made up of experts in this field and has extensive experience in the academies sector. We advise academies on the application of the rules, running tender processes, establishing and calling-off under framework agreement and dynamic purchasing systems and managing procurement disputes. We offer cost effective, commercial and risk assessed advice on the rules and case law to help schools and academies to achieve their objectives.

This includes:

  • Drafting procurement policies and guidance for trusts

  • Standardised procurement documents

  • Setting up and running framework agreements

  • E-auctions, Dynamic Purchasing Systems and e-sourcing

  • Procurement challenges and complaints about processes

  • Advising on the various structures for collaboration which can be put in place

  • Training on procurement rules and the new Procurement Act

Strategic and practical legal support

A particular area of activity for academies is in using existing frameworks to call off contracts, including through central purchasing bodies and LEA arrangements. We can help with strategic and commercial issues, and practical help with day to day operation of these arrangements. We also have specialist expertise in the creation of shared service procurement companies to undertake purchasing for groups of schools, chains and multi academy trusts.

For specialist legal advice on academy procurement, collaborations and shared services, please contact Stephanie Rickard on 0117 314 5675.

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Meet the Team

We provide academies with experienced education lawyers who are always on hand to give practical solutions to problems and the confidence to react positively to opportunities.

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Yvonne Spencer - Partner & Education Lawyer in London - VWV Law Firm
Alice Reeve - Education Employment Lawyer in Bristol - VWV Law Firm
Matthew Wolton -Partner in Bristol

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