Buckinghamshire Traded Services

Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers


Is the BC Standing orders 2 quotes for £1k-£10k guidance or a requirement?

It is a requirement for all contracts other than employment contracts.

If we go through the Council to procure work, do we still need to get other quotes?

Asking the Council to do work for a maintained school is not a “Contract” for the purposes of either the BC standing orders or the statutory procurement regime.


Can you provide information regarding the support staff pay increase back-dated to April 2022? Will Bucks agree to the £1925 uplift that the rest of the Country is potentially getting? Will support staff receive a comparable rise to teachers?     

Information on the support staff pay increase which was made in April 2022 is available on the schools web/schools bulletin – The £1,925 uplift that some staff in other parts of the country are receiving is due to NJS terms and conditions, which are different terms and conditions to those which Buckinghamshire staff are on. 

Are the online checks mandatory as most schools don't have access to social media and I don't wish to use my personal account at home for this?   

This is a recommendation for schools to consider as part of their safer recruitment practices and something that we would encourage schools to consider. The purpose of carrying out online searches on shortlisted candidates is to explore any incidents or issues that are publicly available online. That could be press releases related to the applicants from abroad where the law is different. Your policy should include information about online searches and whether you will be using google online searches to do that. If information has been discovered, this should be compared with the candidate’s application form, employment history, and criminal/suitability self-disclosure and then discussed with the applicant at the interview – the questions asked and responses provided by the applicant should be recorded on the interview notes.


Is there apprenticeship training for a Head Teacher available?

There is a Level 7 (Masters) Senior Leader in Education apprenticeship that several Bucks HTs are currently doing through a variety of training providers:

Can a school have more than one apprenticeship? Yes. Is there a maximum amount you can use? No

Does payroll control pay rises for apprentice roles that are greater than 12 months?

After 12 months apprentices on the Apprentice NMW must move onto Age Related NMW. This is done automatically by BC payroll.

With regards to the cost of a new apprenticeship, can you put on the advert that an apprenticeship is available, then after a probationary period i.e., 6 months then start the apprenticeship. Would you still have to pay the £616?

You would not be charged the apprentice recruitment fee if you recruited to a ‘normal’ post (even if the person started an apprenticeship at some later stage in their job). But you should bear in mind that a ‘normal’ post could not be paid the apprentice wage or be on a fixed term apprentice contract, so you would have to offer a suitable graded salary on a suitable contract length. What you save on the recruitment fee you may lose on having to offer a higher salary!


Has the price of oil been capped, like electricity?

No unfortunately the energy bill relief scheme only applies to gas and electricity supplies. 

Is there any Government support for Schools that use oil for heating?

We are looking into support available for Alternative Fuel Payments (non-domestic), the eligibility of schools and how its claimed/paid.  

Please can you let us know the unit price for gas and electric?

Billing has been delayed quite severely due to complications around applying the energy bill relief, billing is now coming in and we will be able to provide unit rates shortly.

Is there a model energy/green policy?

After discussions following the latest trading services forum we are producing a template that can be modified and made site/school specific. 

We are a non-cheque book school so cannot pay our utility charges by DD. I understand that we will be charged through Bucks. Is this charge going to be declared to us prior to it coming out?

Yes billing would normally be provided via email or portal in advance of DD.  

When will Schools receive a copy of their October gas and electric invoices?

Invoicing/billing would typically be expected second week of the month, suppliers have struggled with application of the energy relief scheme which has caused delays of approximately a month to October billing. 

How can Schools without smart meters submit meter readings please?

Meter readings can be submitted for:

Corona Energy (Gas) via their website portal https://mycorona.coronaenergy.co.uk/Account/LogOn this requires a log in. If you do not have a log in please contact Onboarding@coronaenergy.co.uk to set one up.

Drax (Electricity) via email meterread@drax.com  or eform https://energy.drax.com/submit-a-meter-reading/

Should we be sending meter readings for gas and electric and if so, who to?

Meter readings is very helpful if the meter does not have AMR (automatic meter reading) or if you have a concern or query over your usage.

Property (Coming soon)

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