The short answer: like all of this step they are optional, and they are the categories by which you’ll judge your quotes to make sure the supplier can meet your specification and you get the best value for money for your school’s budget. Examples are 'Quality', 'Whole-life cost', or 'Relevant experience'.
The long answer: the Department for Education’s advice on buying for schools states that you should ‘work out how you’ll decide the best quote by setting ‘award criteria’ such as: price, quality, how suppliers meet your specification, how quickly they can supply’. We’ve included some of these suggestions in Step 3, but also given you the facility for you to create custom criteria so you can be sure you’ve always got your school’s needs in mind.
These will appear in the Evaluation phase of your education.co.uk project as star ratings, which you can easily select to show how each supplier has scored out of five on the categories for comparison that you’ve chosen.
This information will help you ensure you’ve got best value for money – and your ratings, along with all your notes, will be stored in your archive so you can always provide evidence of your decision-making process.
Remember: these are purely to help you compare suppliers by key subjects of interest - if you have questions or specifications for the suppliers, please use the sections above to upload documents or ask additional questions!