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Why schools are encouraged to rate and review their suppliers

Schools have the platform to share their experiences of suppliers and are called upon to get involved in order to help each other

29 February 2016

Shared best practice is nothing new to schools. Teachers have been sharing ideas, resources, tips and skills for many years. However while word of mouth has been a common way to source suppliers for some time the platform for sharing best practice in school procurement is somewhat newer.

The practice of rating and reviewing companies has grown exponentially over the last decade. The success of Amazon, Tripadvisor and Trustatrader for example have been built on the very foundations of ratings and reviews and this digital custom shows no sign of slowing down. In fact the habit of reading reviews before making financial decisions is on which is common to many of us.

The platform for rating and reviewing education suppliers is approaching its third year during which time many headteachers, school business managers and senior leaders have been providing valuable testimonials. In fact, when questioned in the National School Procurement Survey this year, 100 per cent of heads and school business managers said they were willing to recommend, rate and review companies with experience of working with their school to help other schools in their procurement decisions. provides the infrastructure to enable schools to openly share their experiences of products and services. The National School Procurement Survey 2013 revealed the four most important factors when selecting suppliers are value for money, quality, reliability and customer service interestingly all beating cost and was confirmed again in the 2014 survey. The ratings tool at gives schools the opportunity to grade suppliers on these four important criteria.

At a time when there is pressure on school budgets, finding suppliers with a proven track record of providing best value for money is a real asset. All UK education budget holders are encouraged to get involved from SBMs procuring outsourced services for the whole school and middle leaders purchasing subject specific equipment to teachers wishing to share their views on school trip destinations or the latest classroom app. Everyone has their part to play.

The benefits speak for themselves. With greater involvement and increased shared best practice in procurement between schools, the quality of suppliers and value for money that can be achieved can only rise. This empowers schools to maximise budgets and truly get the best learning environments for our students.

Source: Incensu

Incensu says:

The infrastructure is in place for schools to rate and review their suppliers and there is a clear willingness of schools to support each other by sharing their views. Now all schools are encouraged to get involved and build on this valuable resource.