Peninsula Learning Trust
The Peninsula Learning Trust, based in Cornwall, is an educational charity that manages eight schools; one secondary and seven primary, ranging in size between 90 and 1,400 students.
Some of the schools had catering and cleaning services contracted out and some were in-house. In 2012, Litmus managed a group catering tender and thereafter monitored the contract moving forwards. In 2017, Litmus also managed the retender.
Peninsula then wanted to focus on the cleaning services and awarded Litmus the contract to manage the tender process on this too. Once the tender was complete, Litmus also monitored the cleaning contract.
Litmus was briefed separately for the catering and cleaning services. Peninsula’s objectives for the catering contract were:
- To have assurance that all catering staff are being effectively managed with regards to performance and supported throughout;
- To continue to support new children school induction days, in particular the child/parent dinners, and to have involvement in school events and activities where appropriate;
- To provide food of a high quality standard at affordable prices in accordance with the Schools policy on healthy eating; and
- To remain fully compliant with the Trusts/School safeguarding procedures, for example enhanced DBS checks, staff disqualification declarations, safeguarding training and safer recruitment assurances.
The cleaning objectives were:
- To find a contractor with previous experience of working within the education marketplace;
- To find a contractor ideally with a strong operational base within the South West of England, thus allowing for both adequate contract support and operational flexibility;
- For the contractor to provide a ‘Letter of Assurance’ for all staff; and
- For the contractor to have undertaken ‘level 2’ safeguarding training.
Ruth Lile, the Litmus Partnership, said: “As we had already worked with Peninsula on the large catering contract, when it came to working on the cleaning contract we were in a strong position to know exactly what they were after.
“For both tenders, we followed OJEU requirements and supported Peninsula throughout the entire process. When looking at the responses from contractors, one of the key focuses was ensuring best value was going to be delivered.”
The contract was awarded for five years. All the objectives were achieved by going through the tender process. Litmus now monitor the account monthly and undertake quarterly reviews which, with the support of the client, ensure the key performance indicators are achieved or exceeded.
“I have worked with Litmus for the last five years, initially for a large catering contract for seven of our schools and recently for a large cleaning contract across all schools within our trust.
“We have received immense support and direction as well as sound advice and guidance in contract procurement and ongoing monitoring. Litmus has been instrumental in ensuring best value for our schools and has continued to support us in regular monitoring meetings with contractors.
“One of the outstanding factors I have found in working with Litmus is the fact they work for our best interests ensuring that any contracts are fair, supportive, detailed and that they protect schools. This support is regularly followed up by Consumer Insight Surveys which seeks feedback directly from our students and staff members.”