Engagement and Events 

The Schools’ Buying Hub South West team is on a mission to help schools achieve best value for money on
non-staff spend. We attend and run several events throughout the year so we can meet you and discuss how we could be helping you save your school time and money.

We feel sure we have something to suit your busy diary; we will be enhancing your savings through our Spotlight on Savings Roadshows, answering your questions via the Hub Hotline and sharing our knowledge through the Hub Live! webcast series.

Here’s what the Hub advisors will be doing to help you increase your procurement savings throughout the term.

Spotlight on Savings Roadshows: Come along to our face-to-face sessions to find out how you can enhance savings

Come and meet the Hub team to hear news on the latest deals and other information, to help you save time and money. Our Hub advisors will be on hand to discuss your needs and provide practical support on a one-to-one basis.

The Spotlight on Savings Roadshows will focus on all categories of spend and you will be provided with all the latest procurement news and deals to get your school’s savings underway immediately. Come along with your colleagues or on your own, we look forward to seeing you!

 

Spotlight on Savings Roadshows:
The roadshows will be held across nine towns and cities across the South West between 29th September and 8th December in a range of welcoming locations with coffee and cake on tap!

  • Salisbury – 24th November
  • Exeter – 30th November
  • Newquay – 1st December
  • Poole – 8th December

If you would like to join a Spotlight on Savings Roadshow, please fill in the form. If you can’t make any of these sessions but would like to book a consultation with us, just let us know and we will find a convenient time for you.

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The Hub Hotline: A fast and effective way to receive procurement support

Keen to speak to an expert about your upcoming tender? The Hub Hotline is your fastest route to a specialist who can provide answers, discuss the detail, and offer support with day to day requirements. Our procurement experts are ready to answer your questions and assist you when you really need it …immediately. Whether it’s to procure a new service, run a tender for minor works, buy equipment and resources, or just provide advice, we are here to help.

The Hub Hotline is available Monday to Friday 8:30am-5pm, it has been designed to be responsive: your expert will be on hand without having to book appointments. Please click here to access the Hub Hotline.

 

Hub Live! Advice and Guidance webcasts at the click of a button

We are pleased to introduce the fourth series of Hub Live! designed to tackle thorny procurement issues in a lively and refreshing way. In each webcast our procurement advisors share their knowledge, advice, and guidance on an array of topics.

This term we have released five new videos focusing on:

  • Local Government Pension Schemes (LGPS)
    Listen to what the Hub’s procurement advisors have learnt about dealing with Local Government Pension Schemes.
  • Managing under-performing suppliers
    A robust working relationship with your supplier is essential, but what happens when things aren’t happening as they should?
  • Securing bids for small schools
    You’ve written the specification and sent out the tender but received few or no bids? Listen to practical advice and guidance to get suppliers interested.
  • Tightening up on tenders
    Well-defined tenders head off a host of problems down the line. This short video offers tips on T&Cs and avoiding common pitfalls.
  • How to avoid the last-minute dash!
    Preparation, preparation, preparation. This short webcast provides hands-on advice on how to ensure you are prepared for all your upcoming tenders.

The series has been designed with your busy week in mind and is perfect for viewing during a coffee break. Click here to access previous webcasts. These include:

  • Specifications: social value, sustainability and data collection
    An accurate and detailed specification which highlights your priorities is crucial to a successful procurement. This webcast will help you understand the information and key elements that you need.
  • Statutory testing for MATS
    This webcast is full of tips and advice for procuring your statutory testing needs, from understanding the supply market to how to structure your service.
  • TUPE: avoiding the pitfalls
    Transfer of staff is an essential aspect of many procurements for schools. This webcast covers the key TUPE requirements in an accessible manner, to ensure you are prepared for all your staff transfer requirements.
  • Managing your printing requirements
    Whether you require single printers or a suite of interconnected devices across multiple sites, this webcast can help you understand how to procure your MFD and printer services to get best value for your school.
  • Energy management
    Energy management is an important consideration for schools and this webcast is full of tips on how to manage your energy procurement and ensure you get a good deal on gas and electricity.
  • Post-Brexit Procurement
    Unsure about the impact leaving the European Union may have on your school’s procurement? The Hub explains the upcoming changes to procurement practices and legislation in our short and accessible webcast.
  • ICT Managed Services, Hardware and Software
    This webcast covers a range of ways to procure ICT effectively and compliantly for your school, with top tips on how to save time and achieve best value for money on your ICT requirements.
  • Consolidation v Lotting
    This webcast looks at the cost and management benefits of undertaking a tender process to consolidate contracts as well as examining the options to split a contract into ‘lots’ to award to more than one supplier.
  • Contract Management Tips
    This webcast will cover some helpful tips enabling you to effectively manage your school’s contracts, including managing supplier performance through the use of Key Performance Indicators and building relationships with your suppliers.
  • Procurement Planning and Timelines
    Knowing what a complex procurement involves and how long it will take is key to robust planning and being compliant. This webcast allows you to plan effectively and be ready well in advance.
  • Evaluation
    How do you get the contract that you need? How can you ensure it is fair, transparent, and compliant?  Listen to this webcast to find out how a robust evaluation process can help meet all your requirements from the outset.
  • Catering
    Catering is one of the few areas where schools can generate a surplus, and this webcast covers how to secure the best value contract and get the right quality for your school.
  • Cleaning
    This webcast is full of tips and practical advice to help you organise your cleaning contract so that it is compliant and that you get the service you want.
  • Frameworks and Dynamic Purchasing Systems 
    Find out about frameworks: how easy it is to use them, how they can help you and how to pick the right framework for your needs. Hear how DfE frameworks have been selected with your school in mind.

We also attend events throughout the year, this term you can find us at the following events:

  • Wessex Association of Leaders in Education: 18 – 19 November
  • Future of Finance Conference: 3 December
  • South West Institute for Teachers (SWIFT): School Operation & Resources Network Meeting: 20 January

Request a visit to your school, network or cluster

Our procurement experts can visit every corner of the South West and are keen to meet schools, academies and MATs to discuss your procurement priorities. Get in touch with us here to request a visit.

A message from Norma Johnston, Head of School Engagement

Meeting with school business leaders and managers has proven the best way to build strong working relationships.

Understanding precisely what each school, academy or Multi-Academy Trust needs ensures the Hub can move promptly to create tangible savings. It also gives SBLs the chance to meet others in the same profession to see what’s working for them and whether buying together could be an option.

The Hub team is on the road across the South West, please contact us for a visit or to attend one of our Roadshows.

Contact us