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The changing landscape in procurement, international opportunitiesand 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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13:30 – 14:00 Registration and refreshments

14:00 – 14:10 Chair’s introduction and welcome Ed Tranham, Editor, The Assignment Report

14:10 – 15:15 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.
Rob Grimshaw, CEO, TES Global.
Chris Mahady, Managing Director, Findel Education.
Rupert Barclay, Managing Partner, Cairneagle Associates (Chair).

15:15 – 16:20 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).

16:20 – 16:50 Refreshments

16:50 – 18:00 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.
Peter Dabrowa, CEO, Wonde.
Ed Tranham, Editor, The Assignment Report (Chair).

18:00 – 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.

Rob Grimshaw, CEO, TES Global
Rob Grimshaw is the CEO of TES Global, having joined the company in November 2014. Previously, Rob led the successful development of digital at the Financial Times in his role as Managing Director, He was also responsible for the FT¹s print subscriptions, events business and its New York Institute of Finance professional development subsidiary. Rob joined the Financial Times in 1998, holding a series of commercial roles before taking responsibility for He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy & Politics from the University of Warwick.

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.

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.

Charles Robinson, Development Director, International Schools Group
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.

Theodore King, CEO, Faria Education Group
Responsible for the overall business, strategy & planning and product design. Graduated with a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

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.

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.

Rich Davies, Director of Insight, Ark

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.

Peter Dabrowa, CEO, Wonde

Ed Tranham, Editor, The Assignment Report
Ed has been actively involved in the setting up and development of a number of publishing and service companies within the Education sector for almost 30 years and has also undertaken a number of projects on behalf of corporate and private equity clients. Before founding Meissa in 2007, Ed was at AIM listed Electric Word plc, which he joined following the sale of publishing company, Optimus Education in 2000, which he co-founded with Chris Kington. At Electric Word, Ed grew the company’s education business both organically and through acquisitions. Prior to setting up Optimus, Ed held a number of senior roles across the education sector including finance director at Cambridge Education Associates (now Cambridge Education). Ed is also a Senior Advisor to Cairneagle, a strategy consultancy focused on education and media/technology sectors and a founding director of Agena, a high-stakes risk management software company.

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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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Subscribers to The Assignment Report – Register
First delegate: £195 +VAT = £234
Subsequent delegates: £150 +VAT = £180

Non-subscribers – Register
First delegate: £260 +VAT = £312
Subsequent delegates: £210 +VAT = £252
EARLY-BIRD: Non-subscribers can book at 25% off before 10th September 2017

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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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