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Budget cuts for schools – is collaborative procurement the simple solution?

30 March 2010

Last week’s Budget confirmed fears of spending cuts to education. It has been reported that the Treasury will reduce public spending by £39 billion in a bid to try to reduce the level of national debt. Despite the Government promising to protect spending on education, the DCSF has announced that it will be taking a hit on funding. The Department will have to find £1.1 billion of savings and £950 million will come from schools.

The DCSF has said that schools should try to save money through “collaborative procurement” of services such as human resources support, cleaning and catering. The DCSF also wants schools to employ School Business Managers to help reduce operational costs.

Yet costs efficiencies which can be made by streamlining back office functions are limited and savings can take a long time to kick in, meaning it is doubtful whether schools can make the required savings through shared services alone. It seems that even if schools work collaboratively, in order to reduce costs to the extent indicated by the Budget, they may still be forced to make staff cuts and reduce frontline services.

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Mark Blois

Mark Blois

Partner and Head of Education

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