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Newly launched portals help procurement compliance

The Naace and Think IT frameworks are available free of charge to all schools

Posted by Hannah Vickers | March 04, 2017 | Secondary

Industry association Naace, and EU tendered, edtech procurement framework supplier, Think IT, have announced the launch of online portals to support schools through the Government’s guidelines on procurement.

The portals are designed to meet the increasing need of schools to invest strategically and wisely with reduced budgets. A number of serious revelations about schools and academy chains spending funds inappropriately and outside of the Government’s stipulated guidelines has compounded this need.

Neil Watkins, managing director of Think IT said, “Nine out of 10 schools do not have a three year edtech strategy because they work on annual budget cycles. This means they make poor or reactive buying decisions. Many can’t afford to keep a large staff of technicians on the payroll and even if they can, these technicians rightly struggle to keep up with the pace of change in technology.   

In these times of shrinking budgets, having the right ICT strategy can save them from making reactive, poor and expensive ICT decisions - Neil Watkins, managing director of Think IT

“In these times of shrinking budgets, having the right ICT strategy can save them from making reactive, poor and expensive ICT decisions.” 

The Naace procurement advisory service, guides schools through the first step of investment; understanding what edtech they need. 

The Think IT Tender Portal then offers schools pre-approved suppliers in 18 different product categories to choose from. Schools can buy directly from the site without having to get three quotes or go out to tender; vendors have already been through the selection process and prices have been heavily negotiated, saving schools time and money on procurement. The online tools respond to the Department for Education’s (DfE) strong recommendation that schools use procurement frameworks to help save time, money and remain compliant.  

Neil Watkins continued, “Most schools and Multi-Academy Trusts (MATS) don’t have the skills in-house to specify, go out to tender, evaluate technical bids, negotiate deals, review contracts and manage implementation. They need help and support, and that’s where Think IT comes in.”

Mark Chambers, CEO of Naace said, “schools have been telling us that this support and these tools are the most important thing that they have heard of recently; currently the procurement landscape for schools is full of mishaps, mistakes and wasted money; applying the tools from Naace and ThinkIT can make a significant difference."

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