The Co-operative Academies Trust

By Juliet Caunt - Head of HR, Co-operative Academies Trust

Central access to payroll and pension data across eight academies.

The Challenge

In September 2014, the Co-operative Academies Trust was formed, bringing together six academies sponsored by the Co-operative Group in Manchester, Stoke and Leeds. There were three payroll and pension administration providers across the individual academies, each providing a different service in terms of both composition and quality.

The Solution

Eight companies were invited to tender with two invited to interview. The panel at interview included representatives from different parts of the MAT, and from the sponsor's payroll team.

Strictly Education were chosen as our new payroll and pension provider because of their depth of education payroll expertise. They were familiar with operating a single online payroll and pension administration service across multiple local authority areas and offered an online portal and on-going support and training capability. The fact their price was competitive also helped!

The Result

We did have some teething problems at the beginning but I have been consistently impressed by how the Strictly Education team have worked to overcome challenges as they presented.

One of their key strengths has been their ability to listen and learn and continually improve the service they provide. Their account management team is very responsive and they are able to produce bespoke reports in a very timely and efficient manner. Since forming the MAT we have grown to 8 academies and the integration was smooth with everyone getting paid!"

On a final note, it is good to have a partner that is investing in innovation and development into services such as the newly launched absence monitoring tool which I can already see as being of great benefit to the trust.

“One of Strictly Education's key strengths has been their ability to listen and learn and continually improve the service they provide.”
Juliet Caunt, Head of HR, Co-operative Academies Trust