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Buying for schools

Department for Education
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Guidance on how to plan and run an efficient procurement process to buy goods, works or services for your school.

A well planned procurement process can help schools to:

  • get value for money
  • follow EU procurement law

Use the following step-by-step guide to plan and implement the most appropriate process for your school procurement need.

Chapter 1 will help you with planning a business case and choosing the right procurement process.

Chapter 2 will help you to write a specification.

Chapter 3 covers the 4 possible ways to make a procurement in detail.

Chapter 4 covers contract management.

  1. 1. Plan your procurement process How to plan what you need to buy for your school and decide which procurement process to use.
  2. 2. Write your specification How to prepare your procurement specification, describing the goods, works or services you need.
  3. 3a. Direct selection of a supplier from a framework How schools can buy goods, works or services from a framework that allows you to directly choose the best-value supplier for your requirements.
  4. 3b. Run a mini-competition between suppliers on a framework How schools can buy goods, works or services from a framework where all listed suppliers may bid for your requirements.
  5. 3c. Run your own procurement: lower-value tenders How schools can buy low- to medium-value goods, works or services by researching the relevant market and seeking a range of quotes from suppliers.
  6. 3d. Run your own procurement: high-value and EU tenders How schools can make high-value and EU-compliant purchases by advertising their contract and running their own competitive tender process between suppliers.
  7. 4. Managing your contract How to review supplier performance, renew or end the contract, and review your procurement process.
  8. 5. Useful resources Links to further information about procurement for schools, including training modules, templates and ICT guidance.