Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
Better procurement advice could save schools millions
Education Secretary Damian Hinds has published a new toolkit to help schools save money to ensure every pound possible is being spent in the classroom.
Providing schools with practical advice on how to reduce the £10 billion non-staffing spend spent across England last year, the School Resource Management Strategy is estimated schools could save up to a billion pounds through better procurement and buying strategies.
This includes information on how to work collaboratively with other schools to drive down costs on things like stationery, energy and water bills, as well as supporting schools with staff recruitment and retention. This follows a pledge by the Education Secretary to work with schools and bear down on cost pressures so every pound counts in the classroom, with Hinds having unveiled plans to clamp down on agencies charging schools excessive fees to recruit staff earlier this year.
The strategy introduces a new deal for teacher recruitment agencies by publishing a register that will set out agency mark ups so schools will know up-front what they are paying for. It is hoped that this will help schools avoid agencies which charge fees for making temporary staff permanent. It will also provide free online training materials, audit tools, practical examples and model policies and recommend deals to schools that could save money on things they buy regularly – including new deals on books, ICT solutions and software licenses.
Hinds said: “I want to help schools use their resources as effectively as possible. This strategy equips head teachers and school business professionals with the practical advice, resources and support they need so that they can focus on what they do so well – delivering high-quality education for their pupils.
“There can be no great schools without great teachers to inspire and motivate children, so it’s absolutely right that we help schools to maximise the money they have to spend in the classroom by working together, making sure they’re getting the best deals and are not being overcharged for services.”