Delivering service robustness and mitigating cost pressures for an independent school

Clifton College




Relationship Management



The challenge

Clifton College is an independent boarding and day school in Bristol, founded in 1862. The Deputy Headmaster approached Lifecyle to provide a review and action plan for the school’s bus service provision.

We found that there was no formal contract in place between the College and its current provider. The service was largely based on a long-standing relationship and the goodwill of both parties.

Due to pressures related to the pandemic, a lack of drivers, increased fuel costs and the need to comply with Bristol’s low emissions zone, the service was becoming untenable.

Transport for the school is paramount to its activities and the risk of having a gap in provision was not an option.

The approach

Lifecycle engaged with all school stakeholders including Finance, Transport, teachers and trip organisers. We built a complete picture of future requirements and the operational challenges of scheduling, booking, invoice payment etc.

We then tested the market with alternative suppliers to get a better understanding of the coach travel marketplace. We discovered that alternative providers were at least 60% more expensive than the incumbent who offered by far the best value for the College.

We subsequently engaged with the incumbent provider to better understand their challenges and what they would need from a revised contract.

The outcomes

Having negotiated terms and pricing on behalf of Clifton, Lifecycle was able to remove the risk of the service failing and also mitigate significant cost pressures that the school were facing.

We also put in place a revised booking and invoicing process between the two parties and will continue to work with them to cross-check invoices against journeys made and maintain good working relationships throughout the life of the contract.

Can we help?

If you’d like to discuss how we can help you improve the procurement and whole-life management of your contracts call Jonathan Elsmore-Wickens, on 07979 495986, or complete the form and we will get in touch.