Aylesbury Vale Academy is a multi-cultural co-educational secondary school in Aylesbury and incorporates Berryfields Church of England Primary School. The school was Buckinghamshire’s first Academy and is sponsored by the Anglican Diocese of Oxford as the primary sponsor and Buckinghamshire County Council as co-sponsor. The school caters for pupils between the ages of 3-19 and currently accommodates approximately 1,130 pupils across the primary and secondary schools.
The Academy moved to its current newly built site with effect from September 2013.
The contract for five key services for Aylesbury Vale were due to come to an end concurrently and all required a procurement process to award the new contracts.
Aware of the significant time investment required to complete such a project, when personnel still have ‘the day job’ to undertake, Aylesbury Vale Academy engaged Minerva Procurement Consultancy Services Limited to run it on their behalf whilst working closely with them.
The project involved simultaneously tendering for five key services for the Academy. These services consisted of reactive and planned preventative maintenance, cleaning, grounds maintenance, catering services and security services. A separate contract was to be awarded for each service meaning it was possible for each service to be delivered by a different supplier. Therefore, a two-stage tender was carried out which consisted of five lots, one for each service area. This approach allowed the school to benefit from the time and efficiency gains from running the tender for all services simultaneously whilst still being able to award a contract for each service separately. This approach meant the Academy could appoint the most suitable and capable supplier for each service area as well as the option to award suppliers multiple contracts. Before the tender process all five of these services were being carried out by one supplier for the Academy.
Being a large Academy there is a requirement to prove that value for money is being achieved on the services being delivered which have been outsourced to an external contractor. As the overall value of the contracts for all five services exceeded the OJEU threshold of £164,176 an official procurement process compliant with OJEU regulations had to be carried out. From the beginning of the process, Minerva worked directly with the Academy and their current suppliers for each service to understand what the requirements were for the future. With this information Minerva created a complete set of tender documentation and started the two-stage tender process. Minerva managed this process from the start of the tender all the way to contract award for the Academy.
The Academy received 14 initial expressions of interest across the five services to the school. Of these, 13 suppliers were shortlisted to the final stage of the tender and eight completed proposals were received. The five different services were awarded to four suppliers, with one supplier being successful across two of the lots.
Careful planning ensured the process was completed within the original set deadlines which allowed the Academy sufficient time to liaise with their new suppliers to complete pre-contract mobilisation tasks and TUPE obligations.
Minerva successfully assisted the school with tendering a new, OJEU compliant, three-year contract in all five service areas. Two of the suppliers were completely new to the Academy but had demonstrated their ability and intention to improve the quality of service within the school whilst still offering value for money.
Minerva understood the requirements of the Aylesbury Vale Academy very clearly and completed the exercise in a very objective and professional manner. Because they understood our needs, the specification was as relevant as possible and we believe that the process has delivered the most optimum outcome in terms of selected providers of our services.