Education technology association Naace and education technology procurement framework supplier Think IT have announced the launch of online portals, supporting schools through the Government guidelines on procurement.
The portals aim to help schools with minimum budgets to invest strategically and wisely for the future of education technology departments.
Recent revelations regarding academy trust finances being used inappropriately, with directors being allowed to develop business interests from private companies run within school premises, have highlighted the need for the portals, with MPs demanding tougher controls regarding academy trust finances.
The Naace procurement advisory service initially guides schools through the first steps of investment, outlining what edtech they need, with the Think IT Portal then offering schools a list of pre-approved suppliers in 18 different product categories for them to choose from.
Vendors will already have been through a selection process and prices heavily negotiated, saving schools time and money on the procurement process by buying directly through the site, without the previous need of having to get three quotes or go out to tender.
“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,” said Neil Watkins, Managing Director of Think IT. “They need help and support, and that’s where Think IT comes in.”
Mark Chambers, CEO of Naace added: “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.”