Frequently Asked Questions

What are the advantages of buying from ECARDA ?

ECARDA is committed to providing a quality service, tailored to meet the needs of your school. We use high quality consultants who have considerable experience in working with schools and understand the issues facing school managers. As a matter of principle, we will not contract with an unlimited number of schools but will maintain support at a level where we can always be responsive to your needs.

Our support is not defined by professional boundaries and so where matters have, for example, both personnel and finance implications, you will be supported with the expertise required to do the job!

 

If I contract with ECARDA what are the safeguards?

We only take work where we can offer properly qualified and experienced staff. For example, our finance advice is given by staff with finance qualifications and personnel advice is given by people who are Institute of Personnel qualified. ECARDA is a bona fide registered company and has full professional indemnity and public liability insurance. Any information required by your Local Authority in order for it to discharge its legal responsibilities will be provided fully and promptly by ECARDA.

 

What happens if I want to buy ECARDA services?

We will discuss any specific needs that your school may have and estimate the number of hours to supply before drawing up a mutually agreed contract for services.

 

What happens if I don't want every element of the service?

You can contract with ECARDA for a number of hours per year. The website gives examples of the areas in which we can support you but the needs of your school may be for specific services. You utilise the hours in the way that suits your school.

 

Do you offer discounts?

For pre-purchasing multiples of ten hours we discount our charge-out rate by 2.5%. For annual contracts of over 100 hours we discount our charge-out rate by 5%.

 

What is included in your charge-out rate?

Our quoted rate is what you pay and includes all ECARDA consultants’ fees, travel and subsistence costs. Third party costs, such as purchasing additional goods and services from other providers on your behalf are charged extra.

 

What happens if I use my hours before the end of the year?

You can purchase additional hours during the year.

 

What happens if I don't use up all of my hours?

Unused hours do not normally carry forward to future years.

 

Can I contract with more than one provider?

Yes.

 

Do I need a separate contract if I am buying more than one service?

The contract will be drawn up as you request. Either individual contracts for each service or one contract encompassing all services purchased.

 

Can I mix and match?

Yes. If you do not want to purchase a particular area of expertise, you may pre-purchase ECARDA hours at a discounted rate and then utilise them across a range of services over the year.

 

I am thinking of switching from my current providers of HR and Finance. Has ECARDA got the necessary expertise?

Yes. ECARDA will not take on work in areas where it believes others can do it better. Our core business is to ensure the best support to school managers and not to maximise the number of contracts. Nor will ECARDA bite off more than it can chew. If we believe we have used up all our available expertise we will decline any further contracts.

 

I don't want to switch from my current providers of continuous services but I want to contract with ECARDA to enhance what I have. Is that O.K.?

Yes. But we would advise you to think carefully about value for money. If we are to work “in parallel” with another provider then we would need to know in advance and meet with you and the other provider to make sure we are adding value rather than getting in the way.

 

I want to contract with ECARDA for one or more of your continuous services but I don't agree with your estimated number of hours. Can we negotiate?

Yes. But you need to know that if we contract for fewer than the estimated hours we may need to re-contract during the year. If you contract for more than the estimated hours you may end up paying for time not used as hours cannot normally be carried forward into the next year.

 

Can I contract with you for a multiple of ten hours across a mix of continuous services?

Yes.

 

Can I contract with you for a multiple of ten hours across a mix of continuous services and specific projects?

Yes.

 

As a federation, cluster or group of schools we are looking to procure services jointly. Is there an opportunity to negotiate a cheaper rate?

Yes. But we will need to know exactly with whom we are contracting in this circumstance.

 

Can I use any under-spend on a continuous service to buy some of your resources?

No.

 

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Services

 

Client feedback

Your analyses of data linking directly to the SEF and through to the improvement plan were significant management tools which we used to prove ourselves as an outstanding school (Headteacher)

Thank you ECARDA for publishing your model vision for the school of the future on your web-site. It has prompted our own thinking as a school and I am strongly recommending it to my colleagues. (Governor)

Your publication “2020 Vision” on the ECARDA web-site challenged us to deliver that vision now. Not only did we receive government grant funding to help us but also the evaluation of our work has been published in a national journal. Thank you ECARDA. (Principal)

We have been using your publication “Inspiration and Aspiration” for three years now as the basis of our induction programme for new teachers. ECARDA has the ability to challenge and extend our thinking. We look forward to your next publication. (Deputy Headteacher)

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