Related Party Transactions

Bellevue Place Education Trust was established in 2012 by two founding organisations – Bellevue Education and Place Group – who both have considerable expertise within the state and independent education sector. The Department for Education approved the proposal to establish Bellevue Place Education Trust as a Multi-Academy Trust to provide much needed new primary school places across London and the south east.

Bellevue Place Education Trust has benefited significantly from the commitment of time and resources provided by the two founding organisations.  As a start-up Trust, there was no existing infrastructure or personnel.  Six years since being established, Bellevue Place Education Trust has grown to become a strong school operator establishing seven successful primary schools.  The two organisations continue to share their combined expertise with the Trust and its schools.

Bellevue Education and Place Group are deemed to be related parties to Bellevue Place Education Trust as set out in the Academies Financial Handbook, and therefore act in accordance with the Department for Education’s guidance in this respect.

What is a Related Party Transaction?

A review of related party transactions in academies, published in November 2014, provides a helpful overview to how Related Party Transactions should be identified, managed and reporting.

  • Related parties arise where one party has control or influence over the other, or where the parties are subject to common control. Accounting standards require transactions between related parties to be disclosed in company financial statements as related party transactions.
  • Such transactions are permitted under company law, charity law and under the Academies Financial Handbook, provided that open and transparent procurement procedures have been followed, and any potential conflicts of interest are adequately and appropriately managed.
  • Due to the nature of academy trusts’ operations and the fact that many academy trustees are drawn from local public and private sector organisations, it is unsurprising that some related party transactions occur. 

BPET’s Commitment to Open and Transparent Transactions

Bellevue Place Education Trust welcomes the transparency of the Related Party Transaction review and the guidance this offers. With a commitment to provide transparency, in addition to the requirement of the Academies Financial Handbook, the Trust also commits to:

  • Publishing a real-time list of Related Party Transactions
  • Providing an overview of any current contracts

This additional transparency is offered, as public information about the contracts is made available through our Audited Annual Accounts.

Overview of Related Party Transactions with Bellevue Place Education Trust

Bellevue Place Education Trust works alongside our partner organisations to bring the expertise and skills for the benefit of the schools within the Trust and support the delivery of its vision. The organisations that support the Trust, with an outline of the current contracts in 2018/19, are:

Bellevue Education International Ltd, which operates 17 highly successful independent schools in the UK, Switzerland and Qatar, and that shares its vision of challenging pupils whilst installing creativity of thought and independent learning.

Overview of Support to the Trust

Bellevue Education was successful in a competitive tendering process to provide School Improvement services to the Trust schools. This is carried out through five visits to each school throughout the academic year. Each visit has a separate focus, in line with the OfSTED inspection criteria and these are:

  1. School Development Plan
  2. Safeguarding Audit
  3. Learning Review (across 2 days)
  4. Regulations and Compliance Audit
  5. Early Years Foundation Stage

The review cycle is a key element of the BPET School Improvement Strategy.  The cycle of high-quality visits provides BPET with an overview of the performance of the schools as well as supporting Heads with their improvement strategies, linked to the vision of the Trust.

The contract was openly tendered,.  The School Improvement service was tendered in June 2016 for a School Improvement Contract to commence from September 2016 for three years. Further details can be found in the School Improvement Contract Awarded.  On quality (70%) and on price (30%), of the six short-listed companies that tendered, Bellevue Education International Ltd was appointed scoring the highest against the specification and was significantly cheaper, with the contract award being more than half the advertised contract value.

In line with the Academies Financial Handbook, these services are provided ‘at cost’ by Bellevue Education – providing the service at cost, means no profit is made for this service.

In 2018/19, in line with the contractual arrangement, the Trust is budgeted to spend £76,236 on School Improvement services with Bellevue Education International Ltd.  This is the final year of the contract and it has been agreed by both parties that the contract will cease in August 2019.

Schools’ Buying Club (SBC) is an education procurement advisory business, providing tender management services to ensure that schools receive best value for money from their contracts, including outsourced services and utilities.

SBC manages compliant tenders on behalf of schools and Trusts and provides ongoing contract management to ensure suppliers continue to provide high quality services. SBC does not charge a fee for this support, instead charging the supplier through a commission rebate model.

Overview of Support to the Trust

In order to be fully transparent and compliant, the Trust went to the market for education procurement support in order to maximise BPET’s aggregated back office purchasing power and receive best value. Bellevue Place Education Trust used an independent procurement consultant in accordance with its financial regulations and awarded SBC with the contract. In entering into the transaction the Trust has complied fully with the requirements of the Academies Financial Handbook and services provided by SBC are provided ‘at cost’.

SBC has been compliantly procured by the Trust to be the procurement provider for large scale contracts across the Trust. This supports the Trust to focus on areas where the group of schools can jointly procure services, using the purchasing power of the group to gain best value for money. These are in areas like outsourced catering.

SBC’s charging model means that the schools or Trust do not incur a direct fee for the procurement and contract management services – the successful supplier is charged between 0.75% and 5% of the contract fee.

In 2018/19, SBC are supporting BPET through the tendering of our ICT contractor to support schools with their ICT purchasing, installation and network assistance throughout the year.

Last updated June 2019

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