Awareness of the Schools Buying Strategy

Date: 28.01.2019

Schools seem to be interested in comparing their financial performance with that of similar schools: 84% of them do so.

However, schools - especially LA schools - don't seem to find much use in the DFE's Schools Buying Strategy, where the best this research can find to say about it is that "nearly three-quarters of all schools taking part in the survey (73%) were at least slightly familiar" with it. Only 16% of schools have made use of any ‘Better Deal’ initiatives with around 14% of schools having made any savings.

Given that the strategy is meant to save schools £1 billion a year by 2019-20 on non-staff spend, it seems to be falling rather short of target. At the current rate of uptake, that 14% schools would need to be saving around £300,000 per school.

Note that this is an unrepresentative sample - clearly SBMs in MATs were more likely to complete the survey than those in LA schools. There is no indication of the primary/secondary split either.