How good are you at negotiation?

There is one way in which virtually every school in the UK could save itself a considerable sum of money each year.

Negotiation is something most of us think we are good at because we do it every day. We negotiate with colleagues, we negotiate with students. If we have a family at home we also spend time negotiating with them. (After all which parent has not at some time resorted to, “You can watch TV after you have done your homework”?)

But there is no doubt that most of us working in schools don’t have much background in negotiation with suppliers. We tend to accept the contract that suppliers offer us, sign it, and expect everything to be fine.

If we do negotiate it is usually to try to get a discount without necessarily noticing that in so doing we might actually be negatively affecting other aspects of the purchase.

And yet the contract between the school and the retailer offers an opportunity for each side to be specific about what is possible, to clarify assumptions and to enter into a relationship which is satisfactory and beneficial for both parties.

It is because many schools pay little attention to the contracts that they sign that the book Contract Matters:

Connecting the Education and Contract World has been written. It exists because many schools find it nigh on impossible to recover from having entered into a bad contract. Invariably all they can do is see the contract through and rue day it was signed.

Contract Matters contains numerous tips in everyday language for anyone in a school who is in charge of managing contracts. It lists the do’s and don’ts and prompts everyone to investigate assumptions before making decisions.

One minor change to a contract made as a result of reading this volume will pay for the book many times over.

Contract Matters book costs £35.00 plus £3.95 postage and packing. Further information is on-line

Order code: CMAAA £35.00 ISBN: 978 0 9876527 3 7

Sample pages can be found at

You can purchase the book