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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 or MultiAcademy Trust 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, local travel and subsistence costs. Third party costs, such as purchasing additional goods and services from other providers on your behalf are charged extra.  Travel and subsistence costs for working with clients more than 70 miles from our base will be negotiated.


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?



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 Idon'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 tore-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?



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



As a multi academy trust, 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?



If I have pre-paid for a number of hours of continuous service how will I know how many hours I have used up?

Each month we will send you a “statement” showing the number of hours used. If we think you may run out before the end of the year, we will send you an appropriate “alert”.


What do you count as time spent?

Any work that is singularly dedicated to meeting your contract. This includes work back at our office, telephone calls, meetings at your setting, school or college or meetings elsewhere on your behalf.


Can I choose to “pay as I go”?

Yes. But remember that this does not qualify you for the up-front 5% discount.


I want to buy a number of ECARDA projects and resources. Is there discount for bulk buying?

Yes, large orders are always negotiable.


What happens if I contract with ECARDA and I am dissatisfied with the service?

See our complaints policy on


Are you able to discuss your services with my governing body?

Yes. Get in touch with us to fix a time. There is no charge for time spent discussing and setting up contracts.


Can we enter into a contract with you after the financial year end?

Yes. But if you are switching your provider you will need to check their contract conditions.


Why should we consider ECARDA?

ECARDA is committed to providing a choice to schools. We welcome the creation of a market place that allows schools to choose and prove value for money. We believe that managers and governors should be able to outsource with confidence a range of management and administrative tasks, freeing them up to focus on the core business of improving outcomes for children and young people.


What is distinctive about ECARDA?

Management support services are our only business. We are an association of consultants who work to a set of shared values and quality standards (see our website). Our interest is in improved life -chances for young people. Our expertise is in helping schools focus on this core business. Our corporate breadth and depth of experience enable us to deliver the highest quality of service.


How can I find out more about ECARDA?

Go to our website at if you want to find out more then get in touch


How do I contact ECARDA ?

By telephone – (01472) 500643,  (01652) 636124
By email –