Stone King Partner Graham Burns has written an article for Tes following changes to the procurement thresholds under the Public Procurement Regulations 2021, which will affect both maintained schools and Multi Academy Trusts (MATs).

He explains that both MATs and maintained schools are covered by Public Procurement Regulations (PCR) and so must carry out any procurement above the set thresholds in line with public procurement procedures when entering into contracts for works, services and goods. The thresholds where the PCR public procurement procedure kicks in is reviewed every two years and as of 1 January 2022 the thresholds have changed.

Under the previous regime, the threshold for goods and services contracts and purchases that need to be procured under a fully compliant PCR public procurement procedure was £189,330 exclusive of VAT.

Under the new regime, from 1 January 2022, the threshold under the PCR increased to £213,477, however, this figure is now inclusive of VAT.

Ultimately, the threshold value has decreased when VAT is deducted and is now £177,897 exclusive of VAT. More contracts will therefore ultimately be caught under the procurement regime.

Graham says:

“Due to the effective lowering of the threshold value, we are already seeing trusts seek legal advice on how to proceed with contracts, particularly given the length of time it takes to run a compliant tender process and the notice requirements under their current contracts, which would not allow enough time for a fully compliant tender process.”

To read the full article, which includes guidance on how schools should proceed and on contracts that fall below the threshold, please click here.