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About Minerva

As procurement specialists in the schools sector Minerva offers a unique service to academies, maintained and independent schools.  We understand that schools have their own distinctive characteristics and challenges and use our knowledge to meet your specific needs.

Our audit process combines information on cost reduction opportunities together with advice on improving your school's purchasing practices.

With a ‘no savings, no fee’ guarantee Minerva can give you peace of mind that engaging us is financially risk free.

At Minerva we stand for the traditional values of openness, honesty and integrity.  Our aim is to provide you with a commercial solution whilst maintaining a personal relationship enhanced with a large dose of enthusiasm for what we do!

We really are passionate about helping you to save money and develop robust purchasing strategies for your school.

Contact us today to see how we can help you.

Our Main Contacts

Lorraine Ashover, Director

Lorraine Ashover is Managing Director of Minerva Procurement Consultancy Services Limited.  Fulfilling a long-standing ambition to be her own boss Lorraine set up Minerva in 2010 in direct response to feedback from the school bursar community and helps schools reduce cost, streamline procurement practices and save time. 

The company looks after many independent and academy schools and manages significant spend on behalf of clients.  Prior to setting up Minerva, Lorraine worked for Barclays Commercial for 20 years, the last seven of which were as an Industry Specialist in the education sector.  When not working Lorraine runs after her daughter Maisie, escapes into a good crime novel and bemoans the demise of her beloved Nottingham Forest!

Nathan Whittaker, Tender and Compliance Manager

Nathan joined Minerva in May 2016.  Nathan possesses six years of procurement experience in a number of sectors including education, healthcare, social housing and the private sector.

From his previous roles Nathan has worked with schools on procurement projects covering many different categories from small purchases all the way up to large OJEU tenders for school consortiums.

When not at work Nathan can most likely be found in the outdoors travelling or hiking in one mountain or another both in the UK and abroad.

Donna Purton, Tender and Compliance Officer

Donna joined Minerva in 2018. Donna’s private and public procurement experience has been gained working for a multi-disciplinary consultancy for the oil and gas industry. Her early career provided experience of Facility Management within the educational sector.

When not at work Donna can be found on very long walks with her four legged friends or watching wildlife programs or watching her favourite sports: rugby, football and tennis.

Plum Garland, Executive Assistant

Plum joined Minerva in May 2015. Previously Plum worked at a London University and, prior to that, at a Local Authority. From her previous roles, Plum brings experience of supporting busy people with busy calendars, whilst trying to keep the office running smoothly.

When not at work, Plum can usually be found watching rugby, covered in paint and glue making something crafty, or clutching her Kindle.

Maisie Simper, Work Experience Girl

Maisie joined Minerva in 2016. Maisie has lots of knowledge and can work under pressure. She is ready to help in all situations. Whether the work is hard or easy she pushes though to find a solution. Maisie is there to help the business. She is part time and when she is off she reads, does Sudoku and word searches and also does arts and crafts.

Work for us!

Interested in what we do and want to join in?  Find out more about working at Minerva.


Below are just some of the awards we have won. Click here to view more

Stevie Award Winner 2012    Best of Best 2014.jpg      Awards2016FINALIST-01.jpg   

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  • Minerva understood the requirements of the Aylesbury Vale Academy very clearly and completed the exercise in a very objective and professional manner. Because they understood our needs, the specification was as relevant as possible and we believe that the process has delivered the most optimum outcome in terms of selected providers of our services.
    – Hans Copas, Finance Director, Aylesbury Vale Academy
  • “…the procurement exercise has generated significant savings for the College.
    The College obviously has to ensure that all suppliers are covered to work with children and Minerva was able to ensure the suppliers have relevant cover. Minerva provided support throughout the process and was available for interviews and meetings to ensure the decision making process was made simpler.
    The work Minerva completed for the College enabled us to review all proposals in a very clear manner and was instrumental in making sensible decisions on the projects. I would have no hesitation in recommending the services of Minerva for future procurement in the College or for other businesses.”
    – Derek Fargher, Financial Controller, Bradfield College
  • Above and beyond our expectations! When Oxfordshire academies’ business managers engaged Minerva to procure a new payroll provider, we did not expect that this would be the beginning of a strong on-going partnership. In fact the service from Minerva has been well above and beyond our expectations. It has undoubtedly been the best decision the group has made. Lorraine and her team are extremely responsive, months after the procurement element of a project has been concluded they are always happy to support us if an issue arises or to provide assistance or advice on a particular aspect of the contract or service provision. In an era of sales people who ‘over promise and under deliver’ it is refreshing to deal with an organisation with integrity and commitment that genuinely puts the customer first. I cannot recommend Minerva highly enough.
    – Alan Lane, Strategic Finance Consultant, John Mason Academy Trust
  • I have worked with Minerva for a number of years because they provide procurement expertise and focus that enable our school to achieve higher quality results at a better price. The recent catering tender achieved an initial investment into the school of £50,000; a contract with Chartwell's that will achieve a profit share within one year; and a much better range and quality of food. Minerva manage the whole process to remove the pressure from the school; they ensure that the tender sticks to a tight timeline; and enable full compliance with procurement legislation. I would strongly recommend Minerva and we are already working together on our next tender.
    – Dave Cobb, Business & Development Manager, Saint Cecilia's Church of England School
  • I would like to express our gratitude for all the work that your colleague, Lucy Smith, has done on the grounds maintenance tender at Chipping Norton School. She advised and guided us throughout the tender process, updating us when required, and ensuring that all steps were taken in a timely and efficient manner. She worked closely with our Site Manager, Steve Edwards, to produce a detailed specification of the work to ensure the tender documents covered all our operational needs a well as regulatory requirements. Lucy also arranged and conducted a site visit for a number of suppliers. The tendering process was well documented and the detailed report produced by Minerva should satisfy external auditors during the annual review of accounts and has enabled us to make an informed decision of the best company to meet our grounds maintenance needs.

    The savings by re-tendering the contract will more than offset the procurement fee paid to Minerva resulting in an overall projected savings of more than £750 over the three year period of the contract.

    We are very pleased with the experience we have had with Minerva in facilitating this important procurement process and for all the work done by Lucy to produce a successful outcome. I would happily recommend Lucy for similar procurement projects and look forward to working with her and the rest of the Minerva team in the future.

    Thank you again for providing a high standard of service.
    – Gary Kelly, Business Manger, Chipping Norton School
  • It has been a pleasure to work with Lorraine at Minerva on the Telephony services lines and calls project. The level of detail supplied in the report was excellent; the report explained the procurement process, the details of the proposals received and a summary of the findings. A beneficial saving was made with a minimal amount of time and input from myself i.e. only a few telephone bills and a copy of the contract. Although there is no obligation to take up the findings and recommendations I felt confident and reassured by Minerva’s in depth expert advice and research to follow their recommendation and achieve best value for the school.
    In addition, Lorraine carried out a comprehensive quick ‘sense check’ of the proposed Reprographic contract, accessing a network of internal and external resources she was able to provide me with a very useful detailed response.
    So thank you Minerva, I am grateful for being able to tap into your expertise and to receive such a responsive service.
    – Gill Taylor, Business Manager, Barnwood Park Arts College
  • This was our first experience working with Minerva and I've been very impressed and I know that other SBMs in Gloucestershire who were involved have also been very pleased with the outcome of the tender exercise. There was very little work required of us and Lorraine and her team have clearly spent a lot of time on the exercise and produced a very detailed report for each school involved, with some very positive outcomes.
    – Martin Doidge, Director of Finance and Administration, Cirencester Deer Park School
  • We engaged Minerva to assist the four schools in our Trust with the procurement of cleaning and catering services across all four sites. Minerva have shown a high degree of professionalism and knowledge during the running of the OJEU tender for the Trust. The process has been handled smoothly from the beginning, keeping to the agreed schedule. Minerva visited each school to fully understand all our requirements.

    The contact and communication from Minerva has been clear and comprehensive making the process easy to understand and allowing each school to feel confident in the outcome of each stage. I am very happy with the work and support from Minerva and have no hesitation in recommending them.
    – Dr Sarah Scott, Director of Finance, Anglian Learning
  • Nathan was very responsive to our needs and kept us informed throughout the process. Communication was timely and professional, and Minerva obviously has an excellent knowledge of statutory tender requirements for public bodies. We were impressed with the service and the support provided.
    – Sally Hunston, Business Manager, The Iffley Academy
  • I cant thank you enough for the the professionalism of Lorraine and Nathan. Given the extremely tight time schedule to complete the cleaning procurement, the whole process was handled brilliantly from start to finish. Thanks again.
    – Glynn Porter, Estates and Assets Manager, Swindon Academy

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