We are pleased to announce two significant updates to our Services for Schools Portal over the summer – the availability of a wide range of training courses to browse and book online, and the introduction of ‘The Store’.
You may have seen that several of our services are offering courses, including Statutory Assessment and Early Years Foundation Stage training, which you can browse and (in most cases) book via the portal. Anyone with a portal user account should be able to see courses and make an initial booking – however the ability to authorise payments continues to be restricted to those with full ‘finance’ access accounts. In most cases, this will be the Head Teacher and Bursar/School Business Manager.
For those with full finance access, when someone in your school has booked onto a course, this will be displayed in the calendar on your home page.
We are also pleased to announce the introduction of ‘The Store’ to Surrey’s Services for Schools Portal. You may see this as a new tab at the top of your screen when you log in to the portal.
The new ‘Store’ menu now provides a more intuitive starting point for buying the contracts, products and services you need. After logging into the portal and landing on your school’s home page, you can click on the Store tab at the top of the screen to see what’s available for you to browse and buy.
Within the store you can see ‘at a glance’ various featured packages and services, browse for particular packages by provider, access selections of featured service teams (providers), contracts and services. Other sections include the opportunity to browse the store by the type of product you’re looking for (whether contracts, services or products). You also have easy access to revisit recently viewed items.
A significant change you will see here is the green ‘Annual Order’ button – this replaces the previous ‘quick buy’ system. In time, this new, simple page will enable you to quickly renew contracts and services, based on your purchases from last year.
Please note; in the short term, not all our current packages are linked to last year’s services – so there may not yet be ‘suggestions’ of this year’s equivalents available to you. However, this does not mean these equivalents don’t exist. You can still access them by clicking on the Store, which will give you prompts of popular services and packages, and /or click on the links to visit each provider’s pages to view all their current contracts and services and add to your basket when you are ready.
‘Item detail’ pages are available for each contract, package and service. If the package you’re looking at displays ‘POA’ - meaning price on application - rather than a specific cost, please click on it to get to the item detail page, where the price will be displayed alongside a comprehensive description of the item, and any accompanying documentation. The system may also offer suggestions of other relevant items for you to consider, such as upgrades, contracts which also include this item, and other offers from this provider.
Two options for searching for services within the Store
Global search: just enter your search term on the Home page or Store Home page and you will see all items that are available to purchase, and also any providers (teams) whose names contain your search term(s). You can further filter the results by the financial year or type of the item you’re seeking. Once you find what you’re looking for just click on it to see more details and add to your ‘basket’.
Browse by provider: If you know the provider team whose offer you want to look at/purchase, you can start by seeing all the items that this team is selling. If they have a large portfolio (i.e. offer lots of different contracts, services and/or products) you can filter the items further by using a text search or filtering by ‘type of item’.
The new Shopping Basket and checkout pages have several new and improved features. There are three main sections: 'Available to buy now', 'Items that require attention before purchase', and 'Saved for later'. These sections now give you more control over the checkout process.
The system will clearly show you which items can be checked out immediately. However, you will also be able to see if they are not available for you to buy right now (for example if they are sold out, paused, or only available to schools who have purchased a particular annual contract). Other items may require further attention before purchase, because they are
- awaiting a quote from the provider
- conflicting purchases – occasionally the selected items cannot be purchased together, e.g. if a provider offers ‘Gold’ and ‘Silver’ versions of a contract and you will only need one or the other, the system may not allow you to purchase both
- awaiting customer input – for example you may need to fill in a pre-purchase form before the item can be purchased
In addition, you can change the quantity of each item you wish to purchase or alternatively choose to cancel it (and remove from your basket) entirely. If any specific terms and conditions apply, these are displayed and must to be accepted prior to purchase. Pre-purchase and / or quote request forms will be available as required.
We hope you will find these updates helpful and easy to use. As always, if you require further support or information please do not hesitate to get in touch. Either:
- contact the specific provider whose services you are seeking via the ‘Contact provider’ link on their portal pages
- make a ‘helpdesk request’ by clicking on the ‘?’ symbol on the top right corner of the portal
- email us; Services for schools
Finally, please do keep us informed if you change role or school, so that we can enable or update portal accounts giving you the appropriate level of access in your current school and role – this is particularly key for current Headteachers and Business Managers/Bursars – please email; Services for schools with any queries or updates.
We look forward to working with you over the coming year.
Services for Schools Team