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The changing landscape in procurement, international opportunities and the use of data in schools

A half day seminar for companies selling to UK and international schools

An Assignment Report seminar in association with Cairneagle


Though schools have long been given increasing autonomy in their spending, the conversion of schools to academy status since 2010 and the growth of Multi Academy Trusts (MATs), is beginning to impact the procurement process for products and services across the sector. Driven by the Department for Education’s efficiency agenda, the movement towards more commercially focused MATs is seeing the evolution of centralised procurement strategies, reminiscent of those of local authorities, aimed at maximising the funding available for teaching and learning.

At the same time, market conditions in the sector continue to be challenging as a result of pressure on school budgets, despite the total annual sum per pupil keeping pace with inflation. Coupled with these ongoing pressures is the introduction of the School national fair funding formula that will come in during April 2018. This will see a redistribution of funding across regions in the England.

Given this market background, it is not surprising that educational suppliers are looking to international markets for growth, driven by a more than 40% increase in English-medium K-12 schools in the last five years. Fuelling this growth has been the apparently unstoppable rise of English as the global language, providing both a currency in an increasingly globalised workforce and entry to the world’s best universities.

As suppliers adjust to the evolving roles of MATs and look to international markets for growth, there is a need for companies to ensure they deliver the best value in the market through efficient e-procurement systems, which integrate with existing school financial platforms, taking away lengthy and time consuming administration processes from time poor teachers and school office managers.

However, procurement is only one administrative task undertaken by teachers – two-thirds of a teacher’s time is still spent on administration, and this workload has increased by 29% in three years. Over 75% of this increase is caused by data.

As education becomes less standardised and students access materials online, teachers’ roles change, and increasingly they need data to help diagnose issues, support learning and target interventions. At the same time, support structures are shifting, and the growing prevalence of MATs and their need to share data, gives suppliers the responsibility to facilitate it.

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13:00 – 13:45 Registration and refreshments

13:45 – 14:00 Chair’s introduction and welcome Ed Tranham, Editor, The Assignment Report

14:00 – 15:00 Panel session one

How are providers of products and services adjusting to the evolving procurement role of Multi Academy Trusts and what strategies are being adopted to expand online ordering?

  • How is the central procurement function evolving within MATs?
  • What services and products are most likely to be procured centrally to help drive the government’s efficiency agenda?
  • How have suppliers changed their sales and marketing model as schools join MATs?
  • How do suppliers execute an effective online ordering strategy?

Julian Drinkall, CEO, Academies Enterprise Trust.
Paul Howells, CEO, Eteach Group.
Chris Mahady, Managing Director, Findel Education.
Rupert Barclay, Managing Partner, Cairneagle Associates (Chair).

15:00 – 16:00 Panel session two

How are suppliers adapting their products and services to meet growing international opportunities?

  • What are international school groups buying from UK and international suppliers of products and services?
  • What is the procurement process?
  • What are the wider international opportunities for products and services?
  • How do suppliers adapt their product for the different needs of international customers?
  • What are the implications for the sales and delivery model for suppliers in international markets?

Charles Robinson, Development Director, International Schools Partnership.
Theodore King, CEO, Faria Education Group.
Saul Nassé, Chief Executive, Cambridge English Language Assessment.
Caroline Wright, Director General, BESA (Chair).

16:00 – 16:30 Refreshments

16:30 – 17:30 Panel session three

How are Multi Academy Trusts using data to improve student outcomes and teacher effectiveness, and what are the implications for suppliers?

  • How are MATs using data to improve student outcomes?
  • What systems are MATs using to support school improvement and improve teacher effectiveness?
  • What are the implications for product and service development?
  • What are the barriers to meeting the requirements of MATs and teachers and how are they being overcome?

Rich Davies, Director of Insight, Ark.
Phil Neal, Customer Advocacy Director, Capita SIMS.
Charles Wiles, Founder and CEO, Zzish
Mehool Sanghrajka, Chief Executive, Learning Possibilities (Chair).

17:30 – 19:00 Wine and canape reception supported by Cairneagle

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Benefits of attending


  • Discover the products and services most likely to be centrally procured by Multi Academy Trusts and the strategies being adopted by companies in meeting their requirements.
  • Find out how to use your product and brand strengths and supply chain to expand into international markets.
  • Get guidance on how to increase online customer frequency and average order values.
  • Inform decisions on your sales, delivery and pricing models for UK and international markets.
  • Learn how Multi Academy Trusts are using data to improve student outcomes and teacher effectiveness, and the implications for data sharing and integrating systems.
  • Get insights from leading industry specialists tackling the same challenges as you.

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Julian Drinkall, CEO, Academies Enterprise Trust
Julian Drinkall is Chief Executive of Academies Enterprise Trust with effect from January 2017. He was until recently Chief Executive of the Alpha Plus Group, one of the largest groups of independent schools in the UK and the largest in London, and which has built a strong reputation for its high educational standards. In addition to this Julian brings over a decade of experience in education: as President and CEO of Cengage Learning, EMEA and India, as well as three years as CEO of Macmillan Education, besides further roles in media and international education companies including IPC Media. Prior to this, his early career was in strategy consulting and corporate finance, becoming Head of the BBC’s Financial and Commercial Strategy in 1998. Educated at Eton and Oxford where he graduated in PPE, Julian also has an MBA from Harvard and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard’s JFK School of Government, where he holds a Littauer Fellowship. About Julian Drinkall. Follow @AETAcademies.

Paul Howells, CEO, Eteach and FEjobs
After working as a PE teacher in London, Paul started the first London supply teacher agency, LHR Education, in 1990, which soon became one of the fastest growing businesses in the UK. In 2001, Paul launched the visionary which has evolved into a world-leading portal of school recruitment innovation, and in 2004 which is now the market leading job board for further education across the UK. Today, Paul’s websites, Eteach and FEjobs have become synonymous with teacher-centric, value-driven, ground-breaking and proactive recruitment methods. Paul has a wealth of knowledge and experience of education recruitment and is passionate about using effective online strategies to optimist school recruitment. For more information see Eteach and FEjobs.

Chris Mahady, Managing Director, Findel Education
Chris Mahady joined Findel Education in February 2004 as General Manager, National Brands. He was then appointed as Divisional Operations Director in 2006. In 2014 he was appointed as Chief Operating Officer and then as Managing Director in May 2015. Prior to joining Findel he was UK Operations Director for Hallmark Cards and previously held Senior roles within Creative Publishing PLC and Unique Images Ltd. About Chris Mahady. Follow @FindelEducation.

Rupert Barclay, Managing Partner, Cairneagle Associates
Rupert’s strategic advisory career spans twenty-five years working in consulting and in industry. He spent ten years at LEK Consulting, the last five as a partner, working on a wide variety of strategy and M&A assignments in various industries. He followed this with spells as Head of Strategy and M&A at two top 50 UK companies, Allied Domecq and Reuters. He is Chairman of Sanditan Investment Trust, Director of FTSE-listed Lowland Investment Company plc and of a number of private companies, and was formerly a Board member of Dimension Data plc until its acquisition by NTT Communications Corporation in 2010 and Instinet Inc. He has an MA in Classics from Cambridge, an MBA with Distinction from INSEAD and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales. About Rupert Barclay. Follow @Cairneagle.

Charles Robinson, Development Director, International Schools Partnership
Charles first became involved in education when his wife bought into a nursery group in 1994. They then expanded that into five nurseries and a prep school. From there, Charles joined Cognita Schools in 2006 and for five years helped expand the group across, UK, Europe and the GCC to 55 schools. Charles started his professional career a submariner and then, after an MBA at Cranfield, worked with a number of different companies. Charles’ view on education is simple, start with the child and everything else drops into place. About Charles Robinson. Follow @ISPSchools.

Theodore King, CEO, Faria Education Group
Theo co-founded Faria in 2007 and has led the company since inception with responsibility for the overall business, strategy and product development. Faria presently serves over 2,400 leading international schools and over 680,000 students through its two flagship services: ManageBac, a curriculum first learning platform combining planning, assessment & reporting, and OpenApply, an online admissions solution for international schools. About Faria Education Group.
Saul Nassé, Chief Executive, Cambridge English Language Assessment
Saul Nassé has been Chief Executive of Cambridge English Language Assessment since 2014. He leads a team of 700 people who, as part of the University of Cambridge, are committed to helping learners of English across the world. The team produce a suite of research-based tests and qualifications which take people on an English learning journey from beginner to proficient user of English. Saul’s particular interests are in the field of digital learning, where Cambridge English is innovating to deliver new products that combine assessment and learning in novel ways. Saul graduated from Cambridge with a degree in Natural Sciences. He spent three years as a research scientist at Cranfield University, before embarking on a 23 year career at the BBC. He was the youngest ever editor of popular science programme Tomorrow’s World, and executive produced the Indian version of Dancing with the Stars. His last job at the BBC before joining Cambridge English was as Controller, Learning, where he was responsible for the corporation’s education programmes and websites. About Saul Nassé. Follow @CambridgeEng.

Caroline Wright, Director General, BESA
Caroline Wright is Director General of the British Educational Suppliers Association, the UK’s national industry association for educational products and services. Caroline joined BESA in 2012, taking on the Director General role in July 2016. In her time at BESA the association has grown in impact and size and represents more than 80% of the UK educational resources market and more than 350 education suppliers. Prior to joining BESA Caroline’s career spanned the public and private sector in a range of leadership and communications roles. From an early career working in national and local newspapers Caroline moved into Government working as Director of Communications across a range of Departments including the Department for Education, Ofsted, Partnerships for Schools, The Cabinet Office, and the Department of Trade and Industry. Caroline was also a Non-Executive Director of the UK’s largest acute NHS hospital trust from 2012 to 2014. About Caroline Wright. Follow @besatweet.

<” height=”152″ width=”250″ align=”left” style=”PADDING-RIGHT: 5px”>Rich Davies, Director of Insight, Ark
Ark is a network of 36 schools serving disadvantaged communities across London, Birmingham, Hastings and Portsmouth. As Ark’s Director of Insight, Rich Davies is responsible for analysing Ark’s assessment, pastoral and operational data to facilitate decision making throughout the organisation. Over the past three years, he has driven the development of Ark’s award-winning analytical tools, which are used by teachers and leaders across the network to generate insights and take informed action. Prior to joining Ark, Rich was a Project Leader at the Boston Consulting Group. He has also previously worked for Aspire Public Schools – a successful US charter school network. Rich holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, an MA from the Stanford Graduate School of Education, and an MEng from the University of Oxford. He is also a proud alumnus of Amman Valley Comprehensive School in South Wales.
About Rich Davies. Follow @ArkSchools.

Phil Neal, Customer Advocacy Director, Capita SIMS
Phil’s experience of managing and sharing information in schools and local authorities is probably second to none. Phil spent 14 years teaching in Bedfordshire, first at the sixth form college and then at a high school. During his time as a teacher, he developed a hobby programming computers and produced software that helped automate many routine tasks. He spearheaded the development of management information systems into the education sector with his role in the creation of the SIMS software suite nearly 30 years ago. The software became the most popular in the UK and is now used in 22,000 schools and 120 local authorities. About Phil Neal. Follow @CapitaSIMS.

Mehool Sanghrajka, Chief Executive, Learning Possibilities
Mehool founded his first company whilst at University and his journey has been that of the technology industry. His businesses have been in technology distribution, value-added resellers, system integrators, managed service providers and dot-com retailers. All have had an international outlook. Over the past 15 years, he has focused on educational technology. His first two ventures were acquired by major UK public companies. His latest venture, Learning Possibilities, which he founded in 2007, is a leading cloud-based company and Microsoft Global Partner serving education and government segments globally. Over 25 years, Mehool has become a seasoned entrepreneur building businesses at the leading edge with disruptive and transformational models, as well as a skilled managing director / chairman with FTSE 250 public company board experience. He is a member of the Microsoft Partner Advisory Council, a small group of people that advises Microsoft’s senior education and public sector teams on global strategy. Mehool has always worked with charities and has found the experience both enriching and fulfilling.
About Mehool Sanghrajka.

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“Very valuable insight into the emerging issues across the education industry and how companies, including our competitors, are developing strategies to address them.”
Ben Powell, SVP, Business Development & Partnerships, Learnosity.

“I consider your event the best networking occasion of the year, and this one was no exception.”
Lis Tribe, Managing Director, Hodder Education.

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First delegate: £195 +VAT = £234
Subsequent delegates: £150 +VAT = £180

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First delegate: £260 +VAT = £312
Subsequent delegates: £210 +VAT = £252

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Substitutions, cancellations and refund policy

Substitutions welcome at any time. Written cancellations made four weeks before the seminar date will be subject to a full refund. Written cancellations made two weeks before the seminar date will be subject to a 50% + VAT refund per ticket. Cancellations made less than two weeks before the seminar data cannot be refunded. All cancellations must be made in writing. Meissa Limited reserves the right to alter the programme without notice due to unforeseen circumstances. We also reserve the right in our absolute discretion and without further liability to cancel the programme in which case all monies will be refunded. Meissa Limited safeguard your data. We will endeavour to keep you informed of our other Meissa events and products where appropriate.

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