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Schools Benefit From Working Together – A MATter Of Fact

More MATs are recognising the need to implement a complete asset management solution, in order to deliver against the Education Funding Agency financial efficiency guideline levels.
Challenges include deterring fraud from asset misappropriation, enabling effective resource sharing across multiple schools, providing a centralised service for ICT and premises teams, affecting procurement strategies for the MAT and federation, automating works and checks on premises and H&S keeping you safe and compliant, unifying and streamlining contract management, creating extra income by letting premises and assets…and reducing workload for all staff and auditors.
Having multiple systems and spreadsheets creates extra work both for management and directors when it comes to amalgamating reports, and the lack of continuity between schools and staff creates inefficiencies that lead to extra work and costs. Academy Asset Manager and School Inventory Manager solutions work within a MAT Account Manager module and enable you to make efficiencies across all these areas very easily.
For example, we have small MATs and federations of five schools such as An Daras Multi Academy Trust, Cornwall and Gipsy Hill, London that use our solution to allocate ICT inventory to specific schools on certain days that aligns with when their ICT engineer is moving from school to school throughout the week. Our centralised Helpdesk – developed in conjunction with E-ACT academy Oldham Academy North – ensures cries for help from staff are logged and tracked for ICT and premises support across the trust, and management can report on efficiency levels across schools.

Our premises app has been developed in conjunction with CMAT, Cambridgeshire and Step Academy Trust, Croydon and ensures all work and H&S checks are scheduled for your facilities teams. It keeps your schools compliant. Larger MATs such as Aspire Cornwall recently found that this functionality and the adaptability of the software to work to their requirements to be a compelling reason for choosing Parago.
Unifying and streamlining contracts within a MAT can save thousands of pounds, as Kent Catholic School Partnership found for their 24 academies. Whether this is with utility suppliers or local contractors, centralising contracts and agreements, it also puts you in control by alerting you to forthcoming expiry dates, which saves you from rollover traps and unbudgeted costs.
The ESFA is also encouraging schools to look for ways of creating income from their premises and assets. These can include rooms, outside facilities and minibuses. Our Room and Asset Booking module will let you organise this in a simplified and structured manner. It was developed with input from 105 schools such as Harehills Leeds who continue to give us ideas on new features and upgrades, so you can be sure it will work for you.
When choosing a solution that covers all areas of a school’s day to day management ie IT & Inventory, Premises, Booking and Contracts, for reporting and MAT continuity it is of paramount importance to ensure they are all managed within one solution.  That was the conclusion of MATs and federations from Cornwall to Lancashire this Summer, who talked to the MATs that have helped us develop our system into one that continues to deliver for them despite the challenging financial circumstances. Whether they were a 20+ academy MAT such as Aspire Cornwall or Samuel Ward Suffolk, a mid-sized MAT such as Education Central with 13 academies across the West Midlands, or small federations and MATs such as Koinonia Federation Greenwich or Keys Federation Lancashire, all schools can now look forward to reaping the savings and benefits of working together.
If you would like to know more about how Parago School Management Software can help your MAT or federation, email or call 01189 508087.

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The author

Damien is the co-founder of Nexus Education - a collaboration of over 11,000 schools, 500 solution providers and other key figures across the education sector. Nexus encourages, and aids, group collaboration across a number of areas including procurement and training to ensure the best possible outcomes for children in schools all over the UK. Nexus has invested over £100,000 directly into UK schools via #NeXworking.

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