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Respect and trust – the perfect partnership

Nottingham High School has a long relationship with Auditel. When Stuart Ramsey, the new Director of Finance and Operations, joined the School in 2016, it was his first role in education. He needed to be confident that the cost base was appropriate and realistic, and he knew that Auditel, who had been in place with the School for several years, would be able to provide up-to-date advice.

 

Nottingham High School is an academic community where intelligent children from a wide variety of social backgrounds are given the maximum opportunity to strive for the highest standards.

Auditel consultants Laurence Fitch and Ruth Dawe quickly identified with Stuart and his team a number of cost categories which would benefit from review. A proposal was submitted and agreed which detailed the areas to be looked at and the objectives for each. Using their experience and enlisting specialist knowledge from within the Auditel network, Laurence and Ruth put together a project team which would have the resource and essential skills needed to deliver the projects for Nottingham High School.

Energy Procurement
Auditel looks after contract negotiation, supplier management and invoice reconciliation for 10 electricity supplies and 12 gas supplies for the School. Eleven months before their latest gas contract renewals, Auditel advised the School that the market was at a nine-year low and they should consider going to tender early. As anticipated, the markets rose sharply a few months later. Thanks to their advice, Auditel saved the School around £70,000.

Auditel resolved two gas billing issues, gaining compensation of £2,500 for the School. “The motivation is not to have a big surplus for the sake of it. There are just over 100 children from year 7 up to year 13 on bursaries, and this costs over a million pounds a year. Therefore, the higher the surplus, the more bursaries we can offer that give free places to children whose parents don’t have the means to pay the school fees. It’s a great outcome.”

The savings have also enabled the School to reinvest into the fabric of the buildings, and systems and processes. For example, they have installed cashless tills to improve flow through the restaurant, and classrooms will be fitted with smart projectors. In addition, because the cost base could be managed, there was less pressure on increasing school fees.

Bus Fleet
There are several routes that bring the children to school and take them home. As well as looking at the cost of the service, Auditel were able to look at optimising the routes themselves.

Through taking all routes to tender, Auditel identified savings of approximately £24,000. They also recognised that it was uneconomic for some buses to return to their base during the day, so these were used as sports ground shuttles. This further reduced costs by at least £10,000 pa.

Communications
Auditel were asked to report and make  recommendations on fixed line and mobile communications, the telephone system, maintenance, data and broadband services. Through consolidating supplies and adding a flexible contract, immediate savings of 42% were made. Further savings included 40% on maintenance, 30% through restructuring the data and broadband services, and 35% on mobile communications.

A new telephone system was required, with specific requirements for functionality and future-proofing. Auditel managed the entire tendering process, including assisting with supplier selection and implementation.

Energy Efficiency
Auditel conducted site visits and analysis for six months to understand exactly how, when and why the School use energy. Savings of up to £60,000 were identified; achievable through installation of upgraded equipment, more efficient lighting, and improved operational issues.

Water Review
Auditel conducted a site survey which identified that a large reduction in water use could be achieved by fitting passive infrared sensor units in the boys’ urinals. This resulted in a 42% reduction in water consumption and annual savings of approximately £14,400.

Waste Removal
Auditel identified savings of £20,000 pa (57%) through a competitive tender process, by better matching collections to school term times and by understanding VAT implications.

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Top-level outcomes

  • More money for bursaries
  • More smart projectors in classrooms
  • Cashless tills that improve flow through restaurant
  • Less pressure on school fees

Savings Breakdown

CATEGORY SAVINGS
Bus Fleet n/a
Communications 42%
  • Data & Broadband
  • Mobiles
  • Maintenance
30%
35%
40%
Energy Efficiency n/a
Energy Procurement n/a
Waste 57%
Water 42%

“I was surprised at just how far into the cost base Auditel could look. It isn’t just utilities – it’s waste disposal, mobile and landline costs and even our transport fleet. It goes across a whole array. That’s particularly reassuring when you’re someone new to a business and you want to make sure that the cost base is buttoned down. Moving forward, I know that we have a good platform to review those costs on an ongoing basis.”

 

Director of Finance and Operations

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