Inspire Education Trust- Contracts
SJ Solutions worked with Inspire Education Trust recently to look at some of our existing contracts and to see if savings could be achieved now we have four schools in our Trust. Having worked on Insurance, Hygiene and Water coolers, we are delighted that we have saved ourselves in excess of £3k collectively over 6 months. We are very happy with this service and have found SJ Solutions to be efficient and dedicated, following the process every step of the way
Gosford Park Primary- Summer Holiday Works
Just wanted to say a big thank you to Sam and the team at SJ Solutions for all their help and support with the work we scheduled for 2017 summer holidays. The SJ Solutions team were involved in all our projects from the outset through to final completion and they ensured the school was ready to be handed back to us at the start of September. As a school we have benefitted greatly from the working partnership we have developed with the SJ Solutions team and I would highly recommend their services.
Project Management – Nursery & Reception Outdoor Areas
SJ Solutions oversaw a project to redesign our early years areas. The project was an amazing success. With little time we achieved fantastic early years facilities under budget! Sam and her team plus contractors delivered over and above our expectations and we couldn’t be happier with the results.
New Cleaning Provider & Contract
SJ Solutions brought in three very good cleaning contractors who each provided quotations to clean our school. I found them to be very professional, helpful and proactive in ensuring the impact on myself and staff in school was minimal so not only saving us time but money in changing the contract. Every effort was made to ensure it is a smooth changeover to the new contract and we are very happy with the overall saving of £3k per annum.
Within the Inspire Federation we have utilised SJ Solutions to work alongside Office Managers to seek and bid for external grant funding. We have taken advantage of the economies of scale that our membership allows access to. Membership of SJ Solutions allows us to have a virtual staff member with whom we can try out ideas with and subsequently benefit from creative thinking. By working with SJ Solutions we have achieved value for money in some of our contracts, gained access to a wider network base and have been able to tap into Sam’s expertise in school business management.
Trying to source products can be time consuming so it is reassuring to know that SJ solutions are on hand and will provide a quick and efficient service.
Writing Bids & Sourcing Building Quotes
St Gregory’s Catholic Primary has been working with SJ Solutions and have found the service they provide to be friendly, efficient and professional. As a one form entry school, we do not have the capacity to source and write funding bids or gather building quotes. SJ Solutions has provided this service. I would highly recommend them.
Globe Water Feature
SJ Solutions have been an invaluable source of administrative support over the last year. Sourcing products and suppliers can drain administrative time and it has been a relief to be able to rely on Sam and her team to do the leg work for us particularly when a specialist supplier is required.
Sam was able to find a manufacturer to create and install a bespoke globe water feature for the school when all our efforts had failed.
The school has set Sam a number of challenges over the last year and she has repeatedly come back with the solutions. She provides a great source of support. She will liaise between the school and the supplier on the school’s behalf where required and will always make site visits. At £1 per pupil per year, this represents fantastic value for money.
Grant / Bid Writing
I contacted Sam Morris at SJ Solutions with regards to gaining funds for a disability hoist for our swimming pool.
We have two disabled children at school and as they get older they will struggle to make use of the pool. This is not an area that I have any knowledge in and although I had found one source of funding failed to gain any monies. Sam and her team were great, they was able to deal with all of the issues from start to finish, identifying funds, doing the application, tenders and once the money came through oversaw the project to completion.
By using SJ Solutions it took away a lot of the hassle from me and freed up time that I could then use to work on other projects. Thank you Sam, I look forward to working together in the future on more projects.
Key Stage One Playground
In the Autumn term 2014 we decided to submit a bid for funding to resurface our KS1 playground and re-fit some new playground equipment. Due to tight timescales we enlisted the help of our procurement support company, SJ Solutions. The outcome is that the management of the project by SJ Solutions exceeded our expectations and represented excellent value for money. Utilising this company enabled us to share ideas, gave us access to a wider range of suppliers and most importantly saved the school a considerable amount of time, which we were able to spend on other projects. We would highly recommend their services.
SJ Solutions have helped us enormously with two big projects which took place in the Summer holidays 2015. From the initial quotes though to managing the workforce, Sam Morris ensured everything ran smoothly and that the workmanship was of a good quality. She managed the project which included the installation of a MUGA (multi use games area) with all weather flooring, two climbing areas and the development of a science outdoor learning area which included the installation of log cabin. Her company were so efficient and took the hard work of managing a project of this size and nature. We can’t thank Sam enough for all her hard work.
Project Management – Building & Refurbishment Projects
SJ Solutions project managed a new build for John Shelton, of which the contract total was £158k. They were fantastic! They walked us through the whole process, from architect drawings to health and safety ramifications and navigating the tender process. They managed any problems with the contractor directly where they could and involved the school in bigger decisions where needed, saving us time and allowing the school to focus on teaching and learning. SJ Solutions have a gift of knowing what the customer wants and needs and an even more impressive track record of delivering what they promise… going over and above to ensure the job gets done to an immaculate standard.
Project Management – Building & Refurbishment Projects
We had plans to extend our school to include a new classroom and staff room. These plans were then extended to include the redesign of the school reception area. In order to facilitate this we decided to procure the services of SJ Solutions. Sam and her team took over the management of the project from day one. She made sure all the processes were followed including gaining planning permission, liaising with Health and Safety and tendering for the project. She made sure all the aspects of the project were in place to ensure a tight timescale was managed. I was particularly pleased with the way she rigorously made sure we were happy with everything that was going on by communicating regularly with us. She understood our vision for the school and made sure the community were informed of what was happening and when.
During the project we had a number of problems and each time Sam ensured that someone sorted it out efficiently so that the project was completed on time. I’d like to express our thanks to Sam and SJ Solutions for a project well managed and I would recommend them.
I Strongly Recommend SJ Solutions
I have been working closely with Sam Morris from SJ Solutions over the past few months looking at Service Level Agreements and procurement.
Following recommendations Coundon Primary has just changed the grounds maintenance service provider for the coming year and is also currently looking to change the cleaning services provider. Both of these have been done with a view to receiving better value for money.
Coundon Primary School is to become a 3 form entry school from September 2014 and again SJ Solutions have been busy gathering quotes for furniture, play equipment and canopies which we require. The time I have saved using SJ Solutions has more than covered their annual fee.
I wholeheartedly recommend SJ Solutions to you. Please contact me at school if there is anything you would like to ask.
Refurbishment ICT Suite
The complete refurbishment of an old classroom into a technology room was a task that I was dreading, until I met Sam and Dave from SJ Solutions. They enabled my vision to become a reality, from a room that I locked when showing people around to a room that we proudly show off. SJ Solutions helped with the initial design and then sourced all furniture and trades quotes, presented them to the school and then project managed the whole refurbishment. Any issues that arose I only had to email or phone and it was dealt with quickly, efficiently and professionally. The school was so impressed with the standard of work and honest, professional advice that the school has commissioned SJ Solutions to carry out further refurbishments.
Grant Bid / Writing
SJ Solutions met with us to discuss how we could secure funding to help us with our swimming pool changing rooms in school. We had no facilities and we really needed a space for the children to get changed in. They sourced a grant, wrote the bid for us and were successful in obtaining us £9500 from lottery funding. This was a huge help and they then went on to obtaining us quotations for the refurbishment and then project managing it when the refurbishment took place. All in all it was a fantastic service that had minimal impact on the school yet has created such a brilliant facility.
School Catering Tender
Manor Park Primary School in Coventry is a 3FE school who was facing the challenge of the Local Authority withdrawing its school catering service with very short notice. Although there was the option of moving across to a comparable service from a neighbouring Local Authority, we felt that we needed to look for an alternative provider, as we were increasingly disappointed with the quality of meals and the service that we were receiving. As this was a worrying time for our school in terms of the whole tendering process and daunted by the workload involved, we joined with three cluster schools to support each other to secure the best catering provider. As a group we employed SJ Solutions to manage the whole process. This was the best decision that we made. SJ Solutions offered us a first class service from beginning to end of the process. They met with the cluster headteachers regularly to listen to our requirements whilst efficiently carrying out all the necessary tasks involved, including supporting us with the shortlisting and interview process. The process was so much easier and successful than we ever anticipated! We are delighted with our new catering provider and SJ Solutions have sorted out any initial snagging with them on our behalf swiftly and competently. I recommend them without reservation and am already using them on our next project!!