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1. Definitions

1.1. "The Agreement" is defined as these General Terms and Conditions and the individual Service Descriptions and Specifications contained in this brochure, and is automatically renewed on 1 April each year, unless

1.2. "The Service Provider" is defined as the part of Bury Council providing the services as described in this brochure.

1.3. "The School" is defined as the Head Teacher and Governing Body.

2. General statement of intent

2.1. This Agreement promotes equal partnership between the School and the service provider, each having both rights and responsibilities.

2.2. The Service Provider will deliver a quality assured service as set out in this brochure, in accordance with these terms and conditions and the individual service specifications contained in it.

2.3. The School will provide information as required and meet required dates.

3. Services to be provided

3.1. The terms and conditions apply to each Service description and specification within this brochure.

3.2. Both the School and the Service Provider agree to treat this agreement as if it were a binding contract.

3.3. In providing the services, the Service Provider will comply with all statutory or other regulations applicable to the provision of the relevant service.

4. Duration

4.1. The agreement will commence on 1 April and continue until 31 March each year, unless otherwise expressly stated.

5. Charges

5.1. The agreement will act as authorisation for payment by journal transfer. This eliminates the need to raise an invoice, arrange financing and reduces paperwork and administration on all sides. There will be a full audit trail and schools will receive a detailed analysis of transactions charged. If schools do not wish to adopt these arrangements there will be an administrative charge applied. Please note this will be £100 per term.

5.1b. For Schools or Academies not maintained by the Authority. Charges will be made by invoice at the frequency indicated in the service description.

5.2. Invoiced fees are payable immediately upon receipt of the invoice, as prescribed on the invoice.

5.3. Any queries regarding invoices must be registered on a standard invoice query form with the Service Provider within two weeks of the invoice date.

5.4. The Service Provider reserves the right to withdraw services in the event of failure to pay the fees due.

5.5. In the event of dissatisfaction with a service provided, the School may withhold payment pending a ruling from an arbitrator (See clause 9.3).

6. Alteration and withdrawal of services by service providers

6.1. The Service Provider, following notice to the School, may modify the whole or any part of a service only if there are matters affecting the delivery of the service outside the control of the service provider, e.g. insufficient demand for that service, although the Service Provider will make its best endeavour to maintain unaltered services throughout the agreement period.

6.2. The School will be consulted of any change in service description and delivery. If the School then wishes to amend or withdraw its agreement it may do so by giving notice in writing.

There are now two notification periods each year:

  • Notice by 31 March to terminate from 31 August
  • Notice by 31 December to terminate from 31 March

Where applicable, Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations (TUPE) arrangements may require an extended notice period (see 6.3).

6.3. It is imperative that schools ensure they comply with the statutory requirements of TUPE, including ensuring the full consultation period is allowed for under any transfer of service provision proposals. Schools must allow for the TUPE timeframe as part of their planning for any change where transfer of staff contracts is required.

7. Variation to level of service indicated by the school

7.1. Additional services, or an increase in service provision, may be requested at any time during the year by contacting the relevant officer of the Service Provider. All requests for additional services are subject to availability, and may incur additional costs.

7.2. Charges cannot be amended for the duration of the Agreement unless clause 6.2 applies.

In respect of requested variations to the Service, please refer to the individual service descriptions and specifications.

8. The school's responsibilities

8.1. If a School chooses to make its own provision for any services described in these pages, it will need to take account of its statutory and specific responsibilities. In particular the School must comply with, including but not limited to the following: Standing Orders for Schools with Delegated Powers, the Financial Regulations for Schools with Delegated Powers, Health and Safety Regulations, insurance requirements, Department of Work and pensions, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) regulations, Construction Industry Scheme (CIS). Some of the above are mandatory and their breach could have serious consequences.

8.2. The Service Provider cannot provide the relevant service if it does not receive the necessary and accurate information from the School.

8.3. Unless the school gives notice of termination, it will be taken that the school is happy with the continuation of services and charges.

8.4. Should the school wish to discontinue with the service it must give at least three month's notice in writing. Where applicable, TUPE arrangements may require an extended notice period (see 6.3).

9. Customer Care - complaints and arbitration

9.1. The Service Provider will exercise all reasonable skill, care and diligence in the performance of its duties as described in the service description and specification.

9.2. The Service Provider will perform the service in a conscientious and timely manner in accordance with specific performance standards set out in the appropriate specification.

9.3. Any complaints, difficulties or suggestions should be directed in the first instance, in writing, to the relevant manger of the service provided.

9.4. All written correspondence will be acknowledged within five working days of receipt.

9.5. If the School is dissatisfied, for any reason, with the response, the complaint should be forwarded to the Executive Director of Children and Young People or Executive Director of Communities and Wellbeing as appropriate, who may refer the matter to an agreed conciliation panel.

9.6. The conciliation panel shall consist of the Executive Member for Children and Young People, the Lead Spokesperson, representatives from Burys Association of Primary and Secondary Headteachers (BAPH and BASH) and an independent Borough Officer or their representatives.

9.7. The decision of the Panel will be final.

9.8. Where there is default in service provision by the Service Provider and the appropriate Conciliation Panel has determined that the School suffered loss, the Service Provider will make no charge for corrective action flowing from the default.

10. Confidentiality

10.1. The Service Provider shall keep confidential all matters pertaining to the business of the school save as may be required to be disclosed by law.

11. Emergency procedure

11.1. The Council operates a 24 hour Emergency Control which activates the initial response to any incident and undertakes the call out of Council officers to provide the appropriate response to the incident.

11.2. A Borough Emergency Control Centre is maintained in one of the Council's Buildings and this would be activated to provide a base from which to coordinate the response. The Centre is provided with telephone and radio communication links.

11.3. During an Incident the Council will initially deploy an Emergency Planning Officer to liaise with the Emergency Services and they will be replaced by a Forward Incident Team who will control the Local Authority response at the incident site.

12. Disclosure and Barring Service Disclosures

12.1. The Service Provider will perform all necessary DBS checks at the correct level of disclosure on those staff with access to children.

13. Accessibility and hours of opening

13.1. In general, all Council Offices are open between the hours of 8.45am and 5.00pm. However, under work-life balance arrangements, many staff are available 7.00am to 7.00pm. For those services that are open outside of these hours, a detail of opening hours is included in their Service Level Agreement.

14. Force Majeure

14.1. Neither Bury Council nor any of its employees shall be under any liability whatsoever for the non provision, part provision, defective provision or delay in provision of any of the services supplied or to be supplied, directly or indirectly caused by or as a result of any Act of God, outbreak of hostilities, riot, civil disturbance, acts of terrorism, regulations of any government, fire, flood, accident, breakdown of equipment, theft, strike, lock out or trade dispute whether at Bury Council, or directly or indirectly caused by or resulting from any other event or circumstances beyond the Authority's control.