LEAP Multi Academy Trust

LEAP Multi Academy Trust

Learning Engagement Achievement Partnership (LEAP) Multi Academy Trust was formed in February 2015. The Trust now comprises of three secondary schools: Brinsworth Academy, Dinnington High School and Eckington School, which joined the Trust in 2018.

Achieving Excellence is the overriding ambition of the LEAP Multi Academy Trust, with students placed at the centre of everything they do.

Following the three year catering contract being awarded, a two year extension was then negotiated, including a further injection of capital investment and an improved financial offer to the Trust. Plans are now being developed to align the catering service across all schools in the extended LEAP Trust.

Background

The relationship between Litmus and the LEAP schools started with a competitive catering tender that was initiated in 2014.

The schools were previously provided a catering service via both the local authority and with a commercial catering contractor. The Trust determined that they were looking for a more dynamic, cost effective and bespoke catering provision, rationalised across sites, but more tailored to the individual needs of member schools, and with a capital investment plan to further enhance the catering provision.

Brief

Litmus was briefed on the following objectives:

  • Improve the catering provision for pupils in both the original Trust secondary schools;
  • Add value to pupil’s educational experience, in particular those in greatest need;
  • Appoint a contractor exhibiting the Trust’s Values and Culture;
  • Ensure all catering staff benefited from new employment opportunities;
  • Support local businesses and food producers wherever possible; and
  • Ensure ‘value for money’ was consistently provided for pupils and the Trust.

Approach

Mike Neales, the Litmus Partnership, said: “We were keen to find a supplier that would offer LEAP the ‘best value’ and so this was at the heart of the decision making process.

“We initiated an end-to-end, OJEU compliant, competitive tender process. There were various elements that we advised on including ensuring the catering specification delivered on both the relevant regulatory compliance and the achievement of the Trust’s stated objectives and ensuring stakeholder engagement from the Senior Leadership Team of each school, with representation from both parents and pupils to make the contract award decision. Having everyone, from the senior team through to the pupils, involved in the decision making was important.

“Contractors presented to a panel and a three year contract was awarded.”

Outcomes

Following the three year catering contract being awarded, a two year extension was then negotiated, including a further injection of capital investment and an improved financial offer to the Trust.

Plans are now being developed to align the catering service across all schools in the extended LEAP Trust.

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“We have had the pleasure of working with Litmus since 2014. They have provided excellent advice and support in relation to our cleaning and catering contracts, and have the ongoing brief to help us manage the delivery of high quality catering services in the MAT through a third-party provider, ensuring value for money to our academies.

Litmus’ depth of experience in catering and procurement is greatly valued; we have been successfully guided through OJEU compliant tender processes leading to a very satisfied outcome. Ongoing monitoring of the contractor’s financial and operational performance provides for longer-term continuous improvement in the best interest of our pupils. Our partnership with Litmus continues to develop our future plans.”

Richard Wheatcroft, CFO and Principal Business Manager, LEAP MAT