Partnership Learning Trust
The Partnership Learning Trust consists of seven schools in Dagenham where their ethos aims to maximise social mobility, giving their pupils the same opportunities as their most favoured peers – outstanding teaching, schools organised around the ability profile of their pupils and wide-ranging enrichment activities to develop confidence and resilience.
The schools within the Trust were previously all contracted to the local authority where the Trust’s main objective was to test the market to assure they were receiving best value from their catering services across all schools. The focus was on improving service delivery, quality of meals, transparency of financials and cost reduction.
The objective of Litmus’ engagement was to:
- Manage the entire tender process in line with OJEU procedures;
- Understand the status quo at each school and provide strategic direction as to their realistic and achievable future objectives for the service;
- Provide a forum for raising issues and facilitate problem solving;
- Act as a consultative body for head teachers and other stakeholders;
- Ensure best value was achieved; and
- After the tender, provide ongoing dedicated monitoring of the contracted service to ensure compliance with the contract.
Rachel O’Grady, the Litmus Partnership, said: “We kick started the process by understanding each school’s specific parameters and then created the tender, which was completed within OJEU procedures.
“We executed a detailed, financial evaluation of all submissions via our LTMS electronic portal – identifying anomalies and errors and providing a concise ‘user friendly’ like-for-like comparison of the bids. We then hosted presentations with the shortlisted contractors together with the Trust.”
The catering contract was successfully awarded in 2017 and universally provided all schools an improvement in the quality of meals delivered along with stronger and more effective management of the services and a significantly reduced cost from what had previously been levied by the council.
“We continue to monitor the catering service and, as a result, the contractor has made further consistent improvements in food and service quality coupled with maintaining a market competitive meal price that continues to deliver best value.”