C.Co was appointed by a metropolitan borough council to undertake a review of HR traded services for schools. The review was prompted by several factors impacting on the viability of services for schools:

  • Key decisions needing to be made in the immediate future about the configuration of a new system, as the package does not align with current service offerings
  • A council-wide focus on commercial opportunities and the financial viability of current traded services
  • Increased competition and the conversion of schools to academies, impacting on the council’s market share.

The scope of the review was focused on:

  • Comprehensive analysis of the current HR traded services provision, providing a clear understanding of the true cost of providing services and break-even points
  • A review of the offerings to schools
  • Analysis of current and future demand and competition: understanding what opportunities exist (especially with academies) and what any offering should look like
  • Clear and evidenced recommendations for continuing, expanding or stopping services.
Our approach

We worked collaboratively with this council’s HR and finance teams, schools and their ICT consultants to undertake the analysis based on detailed information and consultation with a range of stakeholders.

The outcome

The outcome of the work was a detailed report which set out:

  • ​analysis of the cost of delivery of HR services to schools and break even points by service
  • review of the impact of the system implementation on the offerings to schools
  • ​findings from a survey of schools (undertaken by C.Co)
  • comparison with other councils and wider trends in the sector
  • recommendations and action plan for short term (24/25) and longer term, including stop/continue/expand recommendations

Further to this we were able to provide ongoing support to develop the offer for schools for 2024/25 and future years. To do this we worked alongside the team to support the implementation of the recommendations from the report, including:

  • Development of revised, modernised Service Level Agreement documents for both 2024/25 and 2025/26 and support for the distribution and communication of the revised approach with schools
  • Creation of a new dynamic pricing model
  • Recommended pricing and options for 2024/25 and 2025/26 and alignment with income targets
  • Specific analysis of costing and pricing for statutory obligations.

This was carried out in a period of uncertainty in relation to the system implementation, where we had to adapt the focus to allow for a change in timeframes and other related facto

What difference has C.Co made to the client?

As a result of the review, the council has a good understanding of the financial position of the HR services provided to schools which can be used to inform future decision making.  This enabled the HR team to make an evidence-based decision about the future configuration of the offer to schools.

C.Co was also able to provide additional capacity to allow the team to undertake this work at a point where there were a number of staff on extended leave as well as vacancies in team, coupled with additional pressures from the system implementation.

What are the next steps for the client?

The review highlighted that the services are operating at a loss to the Council. Additional consideration needs to be made to agree the future of services for schools and the wider relationship that the council has with schools.  This includes financial implications for the Medium Term Financial Strategy.

Contact us to find out how we can help your organisation.