Does the transport affect the result?

Imagine your team travelling by minibus to a fixture and the minibus breaks down. Or maybe it makes the journey but it is extremely uncomfortable.

Neither approach is likely to make your team feel particularly well set for the match to come.

But you have a problem too. Minibuses are expensive, and you just don’t have the money in your fund, or indeed in any school fund, to buy a new minibus.

Which is why we have introduced the leasing of minibuses to schools rather than the buying of the bus.

Further, through this arrangement whereby we, as the company that leases out the minibus, are also in charge of maintenance resolves the particular problem of keeping the vehicle fully operational at all times.

Through leasing, a minibus is simply paid for month by month. Where some visits and trips are paid for through contributions from parents and the PTA, it is very possible that the minibus can be funded without taking anything from the school’s capital account.

In other cases the minibus can be funded through small monthly deductions from various departments’ income. Combined, if half a dozen departments agree to fund the bus, and the PTA agrees to put in a monthly amount as well, the funding problem is completely resolved.

Benchmark Leasing specialises in the supply and maintenance of school minibuses. If you are interested in the benefits of a minibus do call us on 01753 859944 or click here to see what we can offer.

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