Holy Cross Catholic High School

Holy Cross Catholic High School

Holy Cross is a popular, vibrant and welcoming secondary school located in Chorley, Lancashire, welcoming year 7-11 pupils.

With the previous provider the school was paying a subsidy for the catering service delivered, and wasn’t happy with the quality and the uptake was poor. Through the re-tender, Litmus put in place a service that was provided at no cost to the school as well as the school now benefitting from a profit share.


The Business Manager at Holy Cross was seeking external independent expertise to tender the catering service as they were not satisfied that the service was as good as it could be, in terms of the customer experience. The school wanted the tender process to be managed on their behalf according to OJEU guidelines but wanted to be very much involved in the process.


The four objectives set for this tender were:

  • To manage an OJEU compliant catering tender process;
  • To work in partnership with the school to achieve its objectives;
  • To provide ongoing advice and support on the schools catering service; and
  • To achieve a quality of service that encourages more pupils to eat a balanced meal in school.


Diana Lishman, Consultant at Litmus Partnership, said: “We worked very closely with the Business Manager throughout the whole process, and began by liaising closely to ensure we understood the issues and objectives.

“With the previous provider the school was paying a subsidy for the catering service delivered, and wasn’t happy with the quality; we were aiming to create an agreement where the service was provided at no cost to the school.

“Throughout the tender, we were able to ease a lot of the pressure from the school and take on the more time consuming elements. This involved us offering guidance at each stage, feedback on the various contractors and their responses and advice on any questions that arose.”


We were successful in finding a provider who could provide the service at no cost to the school, with hospitality also provided at cost price.  The school now benefits from a profit share and we identified a further saving of £843 and a higher profit share than originally proposed by the contractor. Not only this, but both pupils and staff now enjoy the service provided.

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“I was introduced to Litmus by a colleague in a local school over four years ago when the school decided to move away from the LA for our catering. 

“Throughout the tendering stage we were kept fully informed, offered unbiased advice, and guided through each aspect, which made a very complicated and time consuming process quite straightforward.  Since then we have retained Litmus and their services have been invaluable. They produce monthly reports which we then go through with our catering contractors, along with analysis of the figures, which helps result in savings we could never have achieved on our own. 

“With Litmus’ guidance we have already extended our three year contract to five years and we are starting to look ahead and are considering whether or not to re-tender. We feel really confident that if we do re-tender we will be in good hands with Litmus.”

Business Manager, Holy Cross Catholic High School