ESPO unites with public bodies to enable schools and academies achieve up to £1 billion savings
Date published: 05 March 2013
ESPO has collaborated with two other public sector procurement organisations; YPO and Government Procurement Service (GPS) and the Department for Education (DfE) to provide a single online platform for academies and schools to access EU compliant contracts which can help them achieve efficiencies with their everyday purchasing requirements, and drive up to £1 billion savings back into the sector.
Schools across the UK currently spend approximately £9.2 billion on non staff costs.[i] and they could potentially make significant efficiency savings through smarter procurement. These savings are critical in the current climate, as funds can be redirected back to the frontline for teaching and learning priorities.
With the aim of linking schools to good deals and simplifying the buying process, a new free website dedicated to providing wider choice and value for the education sector has been developed. www.edubuy.org offers a collective portfolio of over 300 of ESPO, YPO and GPS's EU compliant contracts across core areas, including ICT, stationery, facilities management and energy. It contains practical procurement guidance and case studies to help schools, academies and the wider education market identify savings and efficiency opportunities.
Alyson Gerner, DfE Head of Procurement and Chair of the EduBuy Steering Board said: "The EduBuy website will save schools time and money by simplifying and speeding up the buying process for everyday products and services so they can focus on what's most important - teaching and learning.
"The DfE listened to what schools wanted, understood their difficulties with complex EU procurement processes and worked with three major public sector buying organisations to simplify the system. The EduBuy website brings together a comprehensive and compliant set of contracts to make it easier for schools to buy more efficiently and save themselves, and the UK taxpayer, valuable resources."
Simon Hill, EduBuy board member added "Procurement can be a bewildering process for education establishments, particularly with so many contract options available in the market and speed is often of essence. This collaborative website provides a quick and easy solution enabling customers to view a comprehensive range of compliant public sector contracts available to them in a single place."
The website was launched on 4 March 2013. It is the latest in a number of collaborative projects between the organisations looking to drive procurement efficiency savings across the whole of the public sector.
[i] Department for Education, 2012. Improving Efficiency in Schools. Available at: https://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/i/improving%20efficiency%20in%20schools.pdf [Accessed 24 January 2013].