Local authorities should be wary of reserving contracts for local suppliers, as recommended by Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 11/20. Other contracting authorities may want to maximise their use of this
The decision follows discussions at a dinner hosted by Anthony Collins Solicitors where delegates received presentations from Frank Green, National Schools Commissioner, and Pank Patel, West Midlands Regional Schools Commissioner.
The event was attended by over 60 guests including the chief executive officers of a number of leading local multi-academy trusts and the Head of Education and Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People in Birmingham.
Simon Ramshaw, a partner at Anthony Collins Solicitors, said: “Three themes emerged from our dinner event at Hotel du Vin.
“We need to re-imagine what we mean by ‘school’ and mentally compare this to the transition from Stephenson’s Rocket to The Flying Scotsman, the bullet train and the jumbo jet.
“The economic situation can be turned to our advantage. Innovation thrives when times are tight.
“And the academy system must develop to become self-serving. Academies and MATs need to work together to find solutions to challenges as they emerge, rather than wait for the regulators to address them.”
He said the event heard that 40 per cent of children and 40 per cent of teaching staff are now in academies, so although the number of academies may seem small, the proportion of those working in and being educated by academies is larger than might be thought.
“The event was extremely successful and it was very helpful to hear the views of Frank Green and Pank Patel.
“We want to harness the energy generated at this event and the aim is now to set up a Midlands Forum for MATs.
“We hope that academies and MATs will see this as a positive initiative and drive it forward. Anthony Collins Solicitors will provide support and encouragement in any way we can.”
He added that other themes to come out of the evening included the idea of an annual awards dinner that would foster and support best practice and help the development of initiatives in the Midlands region.
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