All Saints Schools Trust is a Multi Academy Trust based in Suffolk. There are 11 primary schools in the Trust that participated in this tender. The schools are situated in Bury St Edmunds, Eye, Laxfield, Thorndon, Woodbridge and Wortham.
The Trust’s school sizes range from 70 to 250 pupils and have either a fully equipped kitchen or serveries in all the schools. There are five schools that have a delivered in service from other Trust schools.
All Saints Schools Trust conducted a tender process to award a contract for the provision of Catering Services that commenced on 1 June 2023 for all schools, the duration of the contract was for 3 years with two optional extensions of 12 months each. The Trust commissioned Minerva Procurement Consultancy Services to conduct a review of the Catering Services due to the incumbent’s contract coming to an end.
Due to time pressures the Trust opted to run a competition utilising ESPO Framework Managing Food and Catering – 704_22 – Education. An ‘invitation only’ closed tender procedure was conducted via a one stage process.
The Trust required a Contractor to undertake the catering service for all year groups in accordance with good practice; to ensure the provision of a high standard of food service for the benefit of all stakeholders including school staff, pupils, and visitors to the Trust.
In alignment with the requirements of a further competition via a framework, Minerva Proactively contacted all Catering Services contractors who had bid and been accepted on the framework for the relevant geographical region. 13 suppliers were invited to take part in the tender process.
Using ESPO Framework allowed Minerva to carry out all relevant supplier checks without the requirement to score a Selection Questionnaire (SQ) or process references work already undertaken by ESPO in order to accept bidders on to the framework.
Two questionnaire responses were received within the given deadline and were scored according to the evaluation criteria and 2 suppliers were invited to attend the presentation day.
All Saints Schools Trust informed Minerva of their decision to award the Contract to Aspens Services. They submitted the most advantageous bid, with the lowest cost, and the highest scored submission overall. Their understanding of the requirements of each School and their commitment to delivering a consistent, high-quality service was particularly well regarded.
ASST had to complete a catering tender at short notice on a limited timescale, not easy with 11 school locations and difficult market conditions. Minerva found a solution, ensuring compliance with public procurement regulations. Full support was provided throughout to ensure that the tender progressed smoothly and successfully.
Karen Preece, Chief Financial Officer, All Saints Schools Trust