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Procurement, Collaboration and Shared Services

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 European public procurement regime applies to schools and academy trusts in the same way as it applies to local authorities and is a fast moving and sometimes complex area. There are strict rules about the mechanisms to select contractors through transparent and fair procedures. New rules are almost agreed at an EU level to take effect in 2014 and which all schools and academy trusts will need to understand.

  • Potential liabilities - Bidders dissatisfied with the procurement processes have rights of redress including unlimited fines and damages claims. 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 enormous experience in all aspects of EU public procurement. 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 forthcoming new directives


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 Allison Cook on 0117 314 5466.

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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 at VWV
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Alice Reeve - Partner at VWV
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