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  • Writer's pictureGraeme Sloan

Pressure on school budgets and what you can do about them.

Managing the school budget during uncertain times is one of the greatest challenges in the life of a head teacher.

It probably isn’t going to surprise you to learn that this challenge is projected to become even more complicated, as you can see from the chart below.

The good news is that you have more control over these pressures than it seems. In fact, the World Commerce and Contracting Authority identified that the average organisation loses 9.2% of the value of the contract through poor procedures. And fortunately, that is a problem that can be fixed, with a little help.

Here’s a breakdown of the budgetary challenges that head teachers are now facing, along with the ways that Procurement 4 Education can help you stop the loss, improve your processes and help make quantified savings that can then be redeployed.


Inflation continues to rise with no end in sight. The best protection against inflation is to fix prices, yet this task is costly and doesn’t bring any guarantees. We can help you decide which contracts need fixed pricing and if the supplier can be trusted to honour the agreement.


Shortages are predicted to worsen, due to continuing labour/supply chain issues and reduced production of food and fertilisers in the Ukraine. It’s critical to choose the right suppliers in this climate, and this is something we can help you with.


The strong likelihood of a recession in the near future means hard times for students, families and staff. We can help you achieve savings to allow options for those facing financial issues.


Unfortunately, poverty is becoming an ever-present experience for students and, in some cases, staff. We can help you make savings that can be redeployed as a cushion for them.


The combined and lasting effects of first Brexit and then Covid-19 have left tremendous pressure on the economy. In addition, environmental concerns and the war in the Ukraine have added to these pressures. All of the research we have read suggests we will be facing double-digit inflation for at least two years, creating a recession and possibly stagflation.

Workforce Pressure

We are in the midst of a teacher shortage which is only going to get worse due to growing demand and increasing student numbers. The problem is exacerbated by the number of teachers leaving the profession. The government’s proposed 3% salary increase will mean another actual salary reduction, making retention even harder.


Covid-19 lingers on, along with repeated and sudden shortages of staff and students. We now understand that the need for temporary teacher coverage is an ongoing reality, creating one more item in the budget.


Our politics are uncertain. Will a new PM call a general election? If they do, what will that do to the Department? Given the revolving door in the role of Secretary of State, what will the new PM do? These questions leave us with many uncertainties about the financial future of our schools.

If all of this has you throwing your hands up with despair, don’t.

Procurement 4 Education has the tools and the knowledge to help.

Here are some of the things we can do for you:

1. Review contracts and agreements to produce a contract register, detailing ending dates, when notice must be given to avoid automatic extensions, escalation clauses and many other issues.

2. Based on these reviews, make a set of recommendations on how you can manage your spending going forward.

3. Carry out retendering of services if necessary.


To do points 1 & 2, we will charge £1,000 excluding VAT. However, if we cannot show you savings above £10,000, we will charge you nothing.

Contact Procurement 4 Education to learn more about how we can help you.

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