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Joint Venture

posted Aug 21, 2015, 4:44 AM by Nicholas Basson   [ updated Aug 21, 2015, 4:44 AM ]
Like all organisations that run schools, we have a duty to demonstrate value for money in the use of public funds. At the end of last year, the AET board therefore agreed to undertake a market-testing exercise regarding the procurement of a range of support services.

Following a lengthy process, we identified that PwC had submitted the strongest bid and we would be looking to set up a joint venture with them to take matters forward. Joint venture arrangements are promoted by the Cabinet Office as a means by which public services can be transformed. We believe that this is the right model and PwC share this belief.

However, after careful consideration and consultation with various stakeholders including the Department for Education, we have decided that we should not continue with the proposals for the joint venture arrangement with PwC at this current time, and instead we should develop an internal solution to deliver the efficiencies and improvements to our various support services in order to improve value for money across our academies. The AET Board has agreed that we should move forward in this manner.

The recognised trade unions have always stated that an internal solution is their preferred option, and we will therefore continue to work closely together with them over the next twelve months, to consider the best way to move forward. This communication has been welcomed by our recognised trade unions who have said they want to work with us over the coming months on an in-house solution.

PwC has worked alongside us over the past months at no cost to us and has separately undertaken an efficiencies review of a sample of ten of our academies. We will use the findings from this review as a starting point. This will initially focus on improved category procurement, as this is also an area where we are keen to find potential gains.

We remain committed to driving up the quality and efficiency of the services we provide, and look forward to delivering continued improvement to our academies.