We help education include social value in the tender process.

Social value

Why is it important?

Though it is not a legal requirement to include Social Value criteria in tenders, education is encouraged to use procurement to achieve wider financial and non-financial outcomes, including improving wellbeing of individuals, communities and the environment by making social value a decision-making criterion when awarding contracts.

If done well, social value can:

  • lead to cost savings
  • challenge suppliers and drive change for the benefit of the wider community

Our aim is for all of our frameworks to deliver meaningful and community level outcomes. We have successfully launched several public sector frameworks for education which have a very real social value benefit to individual schools and the communities they serve.


Social value can present itself in many ways.

Every procurement process is unique, but the social value should be relevant to the contract. Here are some social value themes that you may typically see:


How can social value be included in tenders?

When a school signs a new contract, they can ask prospective suppliers to consider what they would be able to offer in support of the local community.

Social value should be included as part of the assessed award criteria when running a Further Competition.

Education Buying’s Further Competition templates have this included. There is a question that asks suppliers to detail how they intend on delivering social value to the area of the schools included in the contract.

Including social value when assessing the award criteria allows you to have an ‘output’ specification.

It offers an opportunity for suppliers to suggest outcomes that will be innovative, flexible and proportionate to the contract.


Types of social value that can be included in your tenders.


  • Business skills for kids
  • Work experience
  • Local recruitment
  • Support local supplier
  • Staff training
  • Pay the Living Wage


  • Community engagement
  • Facilitation of gardens
  • Cooking/health promotion
  • Charitable initiatives


  • Recycling
  • Energy reduction
  • Minimise waste

Education Buying can help

As part of our category management services, we can help you identify, specify and deliver social value outcomes across three key areas of social, environmental and economic opportunities.

Social Value considerations are built into each stage of the category management process. It forms part of supplier and customer engagement strategy at pre-procurement stage, and forms part of our award criteria as proportionate and relevant to do so.

This is then monitored as part of the contract/supplier management process, and we work alongside suppliers to encourage and innovate on how social value benefits can be delivered and grown.

Including Social Value outcomes in your tendering has a huge positive impact on the school, pupils, and local area. If you want to include social value in your school tenders, get in touch with our procurement experts below.

Your next steps

Your key contact:

Victoria Lawson - Education Business Manager

Victoria Lawson

Education Business Manager

Victoria has a passion for helping MATs and schools achieve their goals of cost savings and compliance.

Start including social value in your specifications

Your first step along the social value journey is to fill out the form below. 

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