Update: Sept 2022
Another name change. School Supplies Services Limited have now changed their name to “SKY BLUE PURCHASING, DEVELOPMENTS AND DESIGN LIMITED” on 9th August 2022, with a new website skyblueeducation.co.uk
Update: Dec 13th 2021
I have updated this article from October 2017 to add new info that has come to light.
This company is now trading under the name “Educational Hub”
Ironically they have also tried this scam on both myself and my wife again this year.
Scammers have become so ubiquitous thanks to the Internet that we just take them for granted these days, you just cannot get away from them. You are constantly bombarded with scams via email, sms, phone calls, social media, popups on websites, those of us who are savvy do not fall for them, but sadly there are still plenty of people out there who do get scammed and swindled out of their hard-earned cash by these despicable people.
The more of us that document these scams and companies implementing them, the less effective they will be as more people get into the habit of searching online first for reviews, so I do encourage people to post on review sites like reviews.co.uk, SiteJabber, Trustpilot (with caveats, see below) and report them to Action Fraud.
So I had a phone call recently from this chap called Dale at Ed First (aka School Supplies Service aka the Educational Hub aka BlueSky Education), asking me if I did IT support for schools, and how he was looking for providers in my area as currently, they did not have any and the schools were in need of IT providers.
He lamented how his company was the main supplier for schools and involved in all the tenders and how I would be listed as the “go to guy” on the school’s database for my entire area and would make a lot of money as a result. He also made a point of telling me they do not make any money from this and are not allowed to charge anything for this service.
I was still interested and listening at this point, but it all went downhill when he then went on to mention the company he had called before me, and how he had spoken to someone called “Tina”, but she needed to speak with her boss first, so he had called the next person on the list, which was me. He then proceeded to try to play me off against them, stating that the first one to sign-up would be the sole provider for my area, and I really needed to sign up right now or he would then call the next person on the list, and then asked me for a £500 registration fee.
The “this is a scam” alarm bells now started to ring, as any legitimate tendering service does not have any requirement for you sign-up there and then on the spot or lose your chance, that is not how tenders work. Plus, trying to play me off against someone else like that is a very blatant unethical sales practice, plus he had contradicted his earlier statement of them not making any money from this by then asking me for £500. So I made my excuses and asked him to email the details over to me, so I could go and look up this company online.
I then went online and checked out the edFirst.co.uk website and it seemed to be just a simple directory website targeted at schools, who do little more than supplying a printed version of their directory to the schools. After a bit of googling, I found numerous feedback from others that confirmed my suspicions, and those who had paid the fee to be listed had got no work from it.
I also called the IT support company he had tried to play me off against and spoke to Tina, and she confirmed the conversation she had with Dale and that he had tried exactly the same thing on her and tried to play her off on the company he had called prior to calling her.
I was absolutely sure it was a scam at this point, but to determine just how much of a scam, I called a few of my local schools as well. Unsurprisingly none of them had ever heard of this company and have never dealt with them and certainly do not use them to source providers or contractors. It seems even the printed catalog is fake, as nobody I spoke had ever seen that either.
Since I posted this, I have received numerous threats and harassment from Stephen Meredith in his attempts to get me to remove this post. Mr Meredith was one of the many directors at School Supplies Service, although he seems to have retired in October 2019 according to companies house.
If you check the people involved with Schools Supplies Service Limited, they all seem to be involved with several other companies as well. One that specifically stands out as having many of the same directors is Tenders and contracts Ltd. which operates from the website tenders4u.co.uk which is promoted on all their other websites.
Here are all the various trading names and related companies that I am aware.
- School Supplies Service
- The Educational Hub
- TENDERS & CONTRACTS LIMITED aka Tenders4U
- SKY BLUE PURCHASING, DEVELOPMENTS AND DESIGN LIMITED aka SkyBlue Education
Here are the people involved with these scam businesses. Links to public information at companies house.
- BOTTOMLEY, Gemma Louise
- CAP, Martin Trevor
- BRAYBROOKE, Gary William
- DAVIES, Desley Sandra
- MATHIAS, Robin
- MCKENZIE, Mary Diana
- MEREDITH, Stephen William
If you discover any more trading names for these bunch of rogue traders, let me know, and I will add them to the list.
Below are screenshots from 3 of their sites, as you can see, same site, same phone number, and different names. Although edfirst no longer seems to exist, I guess they had to shut that one down as it had become too well known. The educational hub seems to the name they are now using in their scam sales calls.
Reviews on Trustpilot
I did post a review on Trustpilot originally, but unsurprisingly, Stephen Meredith had it removed.
I was told by Gemma P from the Trustpilot compliance team that literally every single part of my review was defamatory and had to be removed. I was not allowed to mention the person who called me, or what was said during the phone conversation or mention the other reviews/feedback found publicly online. I was advised by Gemma that I would need to provide police/court evidence to back up everything I have written above, which is obviously quite ludicrous and impossible.
Basically, I was thwarted from posting anything negative, so I can only assume that edFirst aka School Supplies Service are using Trustpilot’s paid service, which allows any business to request the removal of negative reviews and manipulate their ratings.
This has unfortunately been a regular issue with Trustpilot, read my review on Trustpilot for more details on why Trustpilot generally cannot be trusted.
Never go by the score alone, always actually read the reviews, as is it a common practice that if a company is not able to get all the negative reviews removed (presumably because they do not want to pay or it is too time-consuming) then they will instead try to hide them by getting a bunch of fake 5 star positive reviews to push the bad ones off page 1. This can still result in a company having a good score despite lots of bad reviews.
NOTE: Since I originally posted this, they now have loads of negative reviews on trustpilot, I guess since Mr Meredith retired, nobody took over the job of getting them all removed.
Thanks Russ. I was getting suspicious of Ed First as it seemed much too good to be true. A quick Google search found your blog which confirmed my suspicions. I appreciate you taking the time to post and warn the unwary.
Ed First called me as well. I told them call me on Friday. i google their reviews and found your article and found quiet more articles about this company. guy call kirk called i told them you have bad reviews about your company. he said this all non sense.
Sky Blue Education contacted me today. ‘Mitch’ was very friendly and I must be special cos they only wanted £375 😅 Even sent me the email information I requested, lovely chap. What shall I ask for next?…
Save your hard earning money please.
This company has costs us thousands in embarrassment,. they told me they had sudden interest in my postcode for services in the education sector. This instantly worried us about losing these schools & universities we already delt with. we have a government contract already to supply so when the lady at edfirst said there was schools and university’s looking in our area we instantly thought they were putting us on tender again.
After contacting all the establishments we had contracts we found this wasnt true at all.
the Managing director lost sleep over this company and we looked stupid believing what they said.
Scam. 1 company to service an entire postcode exclusively? Utter rubbish. Glad I googled them.
They phoned me too and told me they were called School Supply Services and all the rest of the fanny, I asked if their £500.00 cost included an enhanced background check because I would be entering schools and coming into contact with minors and vulnerble people. And they didn’t know and said it probably wouldn’t matter.
As my company already supply services to schools they said that i would still have to go in their list. I will further verify that it is a scam by asking the head teachers of the schools if they have ever heard of them the next time that I meet with them.
I had a call from this company this morning. The second she mentioned admin fee of £300.00 (PLUS VAT!) I thought ‘that sounds like a scam’. The details all sounded too vague, too ambitious (as mentioned above, one business/person for a whole city postcode? Major firms would think that was too much for an industry like education!)
The arrangments also sounded like a way to deny liability. (the school hires you, but you’re hired through them – who has liability?) it all sounds a bit too MLM.)
There was no asking about my qualifications, my background, my DBS check status, which are all things I’d expect even the most tenuously employed person involved with a school to provide.
I found myself wondering why if these businesses were looking for this work, they wouldn’t be hiring directly, given that freelancers are twice the cost of an employee?
It was definitely a case of ‘if it sounds too good to be true’ it is. I wouldn’t just willingly part with £300.00 (PLUS VAT!) for the promise of work.
Anyone reading this, just go talk to your local recruitment agency. They would never take money up front, and would have more opportunities for work.
Thanks I’ve just done a quick Google search since this was the oddest call I’ve ever had, first they pretended they wanted marketing services and then explained that it would cost £400+ VAT for 12 months exclusively. Trustpiolet does look dodgy since there are a load of positive reviews to go on top of the negative reviews. I’ve then read this with other threads. Glad I didn’t part with any money. Thanks for your blog post.
Thank you for your review. I was also called today though didn’t feel pressured. After receiving their email, I became suspicious of claims such as “As well as the edFirst platform, you also become the only contractors our schools can use in the area.” – what?! They’re “not allowed” to use anyone else?! Sounds ridiculous. Also, the lady on the phone hardly asked anything about my company and didn’t mention checking us out in any way – if not, then how could we be an “approved” supplier? Also, some aspects of the email seemed slightly unprofessional.
Hi Russ …
I have just had a call from this company, 30mins ago … http://www.schoolsuppliesservice.co.uk … and had a conversation with … Sofi Reading | Business Development Executive … there was another website that introduced an ‘Out of Hour’ service at … http://www.edfirst.co.uk … she said that I ‘could be’ the main guy that exclusively controlled the Web Designs for all of the schools, in my area.
I was actually getting excited and weary at the same time … and then she said it! … the fee for this exclusive opportunity would be £400 +VAT! … at that point my heart sank (but that was a given) … so I asked for email details to be sent over, which she did … it was then I started to investigate and came across your post, here … seems very similar to the above comments.
Thanks for this Blog post Russ.
Thanks for writing this post. Confirmed my thinking. Sounds too good to be true.
Similar experience this end, but to supply 12/13 schools with mental health awareness training. It sounded too good to be true, but we were willing to give it a go for the potential return. When circumstances prevented us from calling yesterday with payment details, we received an email threatening to give the work to another supplier. Good luck with that one! Even if it’s true, we wouldn’t want to be associated with an organisation with such unethical practices. BYE!
Thank you for posting this. Just got a call from them today and seemed a bit fishy when I got their e-mail so I decided to google and this was the first thing that came up. They offered £400+vat in the e-mail and was from
Ive just had “The Call” from Sofi Reading, £400 to be the Sole Web Designer for 56 “Private” Schools in the NP Area (Newport) – There aint even 56 Private Schools in the area, unless you include Private Nurseries. Very good sales pitch, i was tempted at first until the £400&VAT punchline! Again, nothing really mentioned about my capabilities, ability to provide the services, DBS Check etc… yet i could be the “Sole Supplier” in the NP Area! However i have JUST completed a website for a Private School, and understand that as Private Schools (basically businesses) they are free to shop around and go where they like, they are not bound to any “list” that they have to purchase from.
I wont be responding, obviously!
Hi All- I can confirm that I have had a call from Edfirst- promising all of the above for a £300 sign up fee which would give me ‘accreditation’ to be able to offer mental health training in Schools within my local area. Initially I felt excited by the opportunity but I also had the gut feeling ‘this is to good to be true’. I decided to call a few of the people listed on the edFirst directory to hear their thoughts/ experiences. They all said that they had been sold they same spiel with no work of the back of it. One person has been signed to the directory for over a year. Happy I have done my research before parting with my money. I thank you immensely for this post.
Thanks for heads up, i got a call offering me the exclusive school work as a photographer, which sounded promising, then asked for £500 + VAT !!! asked for info on email which didnt look very convincing to me then i thankfully discovered your thread.
Hello, I also received a cold call call from Edfirst aka National School supplies trying to con me out of a £300 sign up fee on the promise of work – mental health training in my local area. Of course one should not have to pay to be offered work/a contract. The person who called me, Steve, was also rude and forceful so of course alarm bells started ringing. I too have spoken to several other people who have said they received the same bullying phone call to sign up with Edfirst/National Schools Supplies promising them work but wanting them to part with their money first when the work of course does not exist!!! They also like many others have had their negative reviews removed from Trust Pilot. Surely Trust Pilot should know by now that this company is simply out to defraud the public so should stop removing the negative reviews to prevent other people from falling into Edfirst’s trap and losing money! What is the point of Trust Pilot then?! Hopefully it will just be a matter of time for Edfirst/National Schools Supplies to be investigated by the relevant authorities and then prosecuted.
If it’s any consolation, Steve will a) tell you he’s given the work to someone else, then b) continue to phone you to give you one last chance before c) giving up after a week or so!
Thank you Kevin. I am so glad I was not fooled by them! To try and con people in the name of ‘mental health’ is really disgusting and low down in my opinion especially when there are presently so many people suffering from poor mental health! This is what they are taking advantage of and it is completely wrong. The company does not have any scruples whatsoever.
I agree – you and I had the exact same call! Mine was for Kent, yours?
This is still going on. I have just received a call from Charlotte Matthews asking for £400 +VAT to join.
To work in the London area! There are definitely no such jobs/positions/contracts of that nature in existence in London as confirmed by many including some Schools too!
Exactly – between the Anna Freud national contract and the new SMHL £30M tender, I reckon schools have it covered!
Im so ashamed to say I fell for this scam. I was really in need of the work and they didnt pressure me and I thought it was legit. £300 later and I have had nothing in 3 months. I have asked for a refund and obviously they have refused. Thinking of going to trading standards but I honestly dont know if it will go anywhere.
don’t forget to leave them a nice review on google.
I have worked for them. The job is advertised as a telesales operator, when you have your training (which is only a couple of hours on your first day) you are put on a phone with a list. Your job is to ring through the list and try and sell advertising space in a brochure. You are told what sector you are working on, and what part of the country, then just phone one company after another. You have a script to introduce yourself (which gets so ingrained that i was saying it in my sleep) You are not told how to sell said space, but bullshitting is actively encouraged. This is something I refused to do. I’d say 90% of the other sales force do spin the line that you will be the only supplier in that area, etc. This is totally untrue, your name just goes into a brochure that is only sent to people that ask for a copy to prove it exists. This is how they skirt round the law regarding false advertising. They are unscrupulous. I, after a few weeks couldn’t take any more and walked out mid shift. I had to fight for my wages (I was not on commission, just minimum wage) and had to involve ACAS and threats of court action, which they also threatened me with. If you have any questions then feel free to contact me on my email,
You have to love how almost all of the 5 star reviewers there have only ever, in their whole lives, left this one review……!
lol yes, obviously fake reviews, I may have to add that to my article as well 🙂
We have been contacted today by Jack who claimed we could for £500 per post code area have exclusivity due to the current contractor doing a poor job.
Being a service based company they provided us with a list of the postcode areas and the amount of calls in those areas that they received but when questioned how service calls are placed they said the schools would call us directly once we had paid the fee?? How would they know how many service calls are placed when the schools call the contractor directly. At this point it was obvious this was a scam.
The thing I found most concerning though was that they had actually researched us and local competitors and tried to make out that our competitors were buying all the other areas. I called one company and they had never heard of them.
Be aware these people have no morals and are no better than thieves.
They are still at it. Just had a call from Stephen Waring, he said word for word what Russ said, thank you for taking the time to put this site up.
I’ve just had a call from Stephen Waring as well. I’m guessing from what I’ve read here, I’d be better holding on to my hard earned money and finding work through another route?
You’ve got it in one John!
Now get ready for the follow-up calls!
Hey all – please can someone who has been through this absolute scam help with regards to an outcome? Has anybody got their money back?
This company is incredibly clever and my partner has fallen for the scam back in october 2019, 4 months into the scam and not one phone call about work.
Does anyone know if they are actually registered with any schools?
I’m looking to investigate them fully as i cant quite believe this was written in 2017 and this company is still aloud to cold call and sell a false misleading product to businesses. Its awful.
So yes where have you got with these complaints? Did anyone manage to get anywhere and if so please get in contact!
Hey paige, as I have mentioned in my original article, I contacted several schools and they had never even heard of EdFirst.
I would suggest you do the same, in writing, if you want evidence of the fact.
I presume you paid by card, so you can simply contact your card company and explain the situation and request a chargeback. If not then your only recource is going to be small claims court.
If enough people report them to trading standards, then they will eventually do something, but I believe they require a minimum number of complaints before they do anything.
I got ripped off by a dodgy driveway company over 10 years ago, and that guy was well known to trading standards and the police, not just for ripping people off but for threats and aggressive behaviour as well. He is in prison now, but it took a very long time for trading standards to stop him. He bragged to me how he had been doing it for 20 years and nobody could stop him.
We tried the credit card chargeback but they found against us. Essentially, lies and false promises weren’t enough sadly.
Perhaps you should print out this article and all the comments and send to your credit card company as evidence. I’m sure you will find that several of the commentors here would be happy to give you a citation.
I’m sure Trading standards must have a record on them as well.
That’s a fair idea, thanks Russ
Just had a call from Mitch, promising me exclusivity in the delivery of Leadership Coaching in the CA area – for £500… He didn’t sound too pleased when I asked him for the company name (which, strangely, had been glossed over) and said naturally I’d want to do due diligence. It was a good pitch though: started by saying that his researchers had identified and pre-qualified me – they’ve obviously added something to the script, based on people saying here how they’ve been unconcerned re quality – and of course flattery is always a good strategy…. Somehow I don’t think I’ll be taking up this exclusive offer…
Hey all, further to my post above, I am going to post reviews on every page possible. i’ve contacted news companies and people i know within these companies to see if we can get anything published. i’ve started a case with trading standards, i’ve also contacted the site they are getting the tradesmens details from as this is very damaging for them. If you all want to help take this company down once and for all, i suggest you also start a case with trading standards if not done so already, post your reviews everywhere you can! i’ll even post one once a week every week if i can! I’m seriously disgusted by the new reviews i see everyday and people being scammed like this, its awful!
Just found this, wish I had before we paid out £500 to them. I even told them I thought they were a scam on the rare occasion I was able to actually speak to someone. Just posted a review on trustpilot (before seeing this) so will be interested to see if it is removed. I will reiterate everything everyone has said. I’ve learnt my lesson. Will only take up sales leads if I have researched properly. Disgusted with myself that I got caught. Wish I’d given money to the dog’s home, homeless charity, flooding relief, cancer research and another charity – at least some good would have come from the £500.
Probably better off to spend the money on SEO for your website to generate more visitors/sales. Which is a service I offer BTW 🙂
contact your creditcard company, tell them its a scam and they will do a chargeback
I wish we’d seen this before paying £450 to them in May 2019 to be the exclusive provider of video production services in our postcode area. “In the last four weeks we have received 14 enquiries in your postcode area. These are for telephone enquiries and online hits, for an company that can provide Video Production in this area.” they said in the email confirming what had been said in their initial phone call. Our membership was extended by 3 months for posting a TrustPilot review and by another 6 months for putting their logo on our website, so we still have 5 months left. But what can I say? Only that we have NOT HAD ONE SINGLE CONTACT IN ALL THAT TIME!
And sadly, we did what Russ Michaels in the previous comment suggested – we did a credit card chargeback, jumped through all the hoops, but the answer in the end was “Your claim has been reviewed under the Visa claims resolution service. Having looked at the information provided we’re sorry to say that there is no basis for us to raise a claim against the merchant. This is because the service that was paid for was received. Unless conclusive evidence is provided that the service was either not as described as per invoice or the service was not received, we are not in a position to raise a claim and hold no chargeback rights.” That they made totally misleading promises is unfortunately not enough.
Interestingly, my 1 star TrustPilot review from December 2019 is still there, and there are now a whole string of 1 star reviews, all of the latest reviews essentially. It would appear that they’ve stopped having them removed, or have they finally gone out of business? edfirst.co.uk is no longer there, although https://www.schoolsuppliesservice.co.uk/ is still up.
Either way, STAY WELL AWAY!
IT seems as though they have shut down EdFirst website due to all the negative reviews and are just using the School Supplies Service name.
According to companies house, Stephen Meredith has resigned from School Supplies Service back in October 2019, and he was the one getting the negative reviews removed and doing all the threats and harassment. Although the company has a ridiculous number of directors.
Hey all, i got to the end of my dispute with them and scam! Threaten to do reviews about them every day on everything. Say you have friends in the media industry that are going to post about them. Tell them you will not give up with the reviews, emails and phonecalls until they give you there money back. Its time and effort but believe me threaten these things and it does work ! Good luck everybody!!!
Thanks for that Paige, that’s encouraging!
Thanks for this information I also had a call from a lady saying they were looking for a recruiter for the so post code. I had to pay £500 to secure I was the only supplier. I asked for info to be sent as sound too good to be true. I received nothing and then looked them up.
Hi Folks these guys are taking me to small claims court and I think its time we put a stop to their behaviour. I agreed and signed the document but then did not make payment as a result of the research of what you guys have put on line and high pressure telesales tactics they were using I thought it was miss-selling. Please get in touch as I would like to counter claim against them. [email protected]
I too got duped by their ‘to good to be true’ offering and went for it. As soon as I got access to their magic database I was horrified by the considerably less-than relevant system that completely contradicted their pitch. Their Complaints department leant heavily on ‘no refund as it’s B2B service’. However, after many emails, phone calls and a report of fraudulent activity to my bank, I received not only a full refund, but an aggressive and threatening email from the MD, Steve Meredith (whose LinkedIn avatar is a gorilla). Lol how apt. Please file for fraud on this unethical company with your bank, using the fact that terms and conditions are not disclosed formally until after payment has been made as well as their service, which is not fit for purpose and not at all as they describe.
Glad you got your money back James, most people have not been that lucky it seems.
Steve Meredith tried to get threatening with me, he got quite upset when I laughed at him and told him how pathetic he was 🙂
Hi James, I’ve unfortunately fell victim to this company a couple weeks ago and just found this article a few days ago, I’ve tried to get the money back from the bank but having no luck, how exactly did you get your money back?
I would suggest you contact your bank, tell them it was a known scam and ask for a charge back.
Just send them links to all the evidence.
If the bank won’t help then go to the financial ombudsmen.
Also report them to trading standards and fraud alert.
Now they are called theeducationalhub.co.uk . Just had as well a call from Stephen Warring. Looking for Leadership Coaches to teach at Schools. Of course registration fee , only £500 which is normally £1000. Simple research on google and I landed here.
Make me laugh if you don’t know your own companies name …
Following up on the above comment from chris, I have done some checking.
there is no address on theeducationalhub.co.uk to identify who they are, how they do have a link to their portal
Which surprise surprise, looks exactly like their schools supply service website
and also has the exact same phone number
So yes it is clearly is yet another pseudonym for the this company.
I will be updating my blog post with these details.
Thanks for the review and comments. They called me today and sounded the same as a few that have called before and thus suspect. Did some digging, no sign of any of the names on Companies House, no VAT number on the website and a few other things that raised flags. Then I found your site and everything was confirmed.
Thank you for this information and helped me save £375 plus VAT as I was just about to give them a try. It was the same speech as you described above in your article.
What is new now and I didn’t see in any of the comments is that Lousie the person I spoke to said that if I am not happy with the service I will get a full refund after 12 months but this will not happen as they already have the contracts with the schools in my area.
Thanks this information… I received a call from them yesterday and was just about to make a payment of £320+ VAT. The initial amount was £500+vat. Just decided to check their profile online and then found this. Thank God I didn’t have my credit card with me at that time.
glad I was able to save you, and the others who have read this from getting scammed.
Thank God, almost paid
I received a call this morning from Cheri Wolsey at Sky Blue Education, only wanted to know if I provided secretarial services and if I had capacity to take on new ad-hoc work and said that they had need of my services in my postcode. It was sounding very good until she mentions the £350 + VAT payment. She even said she’d send me and email with all the details so I could check out the company. After I got it I went searching (I am always skeptical with random phone calls!) So thank you for confirming my suspicions!
This is the email I got:
Thank you so much for speaking with me just now with regards to joining our school procurement service. Here is some more information about who we are and what we’re looking for.
We at Sky Blue Education are one of the UK’s leading providers of education procurement support, offering a range of services which help schools to buy the products and provide the services they need. We have been running for 23 years now and have thousands of schools registered with us across the UK.
We are looking to work with a Secretarial Service Provider that can provide a range of services to each of our schools and do so with a personalised experience.
There are 219 schools and nurseries that we look after in and around the NG postcode. They range from very small nurseries and childcare settings all the way up to large secondary schools, colleges and academies. This shows the range of how the jobs will differ in terms of size and scale.
All enquiries for Secretarial services will come from the schools directly for you to price the work up and decide if you want to take it on. You are not obliged to take everything on, if the job is too big, too small or you are just too busy with existing clients then it will bounce back to us for us to find the next closest company. However, if you do accept the work there are no pricing structures or frameworks for you to adhere to, you price it up just as you usually would, invoice the schools and they will pay you directly.
We are not an advertising company or agency so we do not take a cut or commission from any of the work you take on from the schools.
Companies do however cover their own administration fee to certify with the schools for 12 months, the same as any other framework.
So the administration fee for this is a one-off payment of £350+VAT
What this gives you is:
A 12 month registration with Sky Blue Education
Guaranteed exclusivity to the NG postcode
A 2-Page profile on our online portal, which I will personally create and host for you
A written service agreement stating your legal exclusivity
Registration to our sister company Tenders4U (Tenders from; NHS, MOD and Local Authorities) https://www.tenders4u.co.uk/
Tenders4U is a tender sourcing and alert service providing you with relevant business opportunities from the public and private sector.
Just to confirm, there is only the administration fee that we require from you. You will invoice the schools directly and they will pay you directly. You are able to invoice anything up to 50% upfront of materials or as a deposit.
As the certified catchment contractor, you will be the first point of contact for all of the schools in your catchment however it is down to you to cherry pick the jobs you can fit into your schedule.
As we are not an agency, we do not get informed of every job our suppliers take on. We catch up with our contractors on a yearly basis to discuss the possibility of renewal and we have a 98% renewal rate across the board. There is no way for me to guarantee a certain amount of monetary return for you or a certain amount of jobs but I can guarantee that I will only ever register one contractor within your area to work with your local schools.
The registration process is done with myself and entails confirming all of your basic company information and contact details and processing your admin fee via card. You will have a service agreement which states your legal exclusivity to the area as well as allowing us to give your details to our schools. This will require a signature from yourself and it will then guarantee your position for the next 12 months.
If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
Here are some links to our website and portal;
WEBSITE – https://skyblueeducation.co.uk/
TENDERS4YOU – https://www.tenders4u.co.uk/
PORTAL (Password protected) – https://members.skyblueeducation.co.uk/
I received a call from Jo Day 1 week ago and she sent me the details and followed up her call after calling a few friends who are teachers nobody has heard or used Sky Blue education before…I agree its a total scam stay away from them
Recieved a call this morning – glad to have done my homework on this company!!
Thank you for posting this and saving me £500 + VAT!!
As they say… If it sounds too good yo be true, it probably is!!
Glad that I googled them as they just contacted me under SkyBlue Education saying they would sign me up as the preferred counsellor for schools in the Manchester area. I baulked as soon as they mentioned the ‘admin’ fee of £495.
I just had a call, I am a relatively new business and still finding my feet, these guys called and offered what could only be classed as a literal gold mine full of work offering me the sole deal for exterior cleaning work eg Gutters roofs etc luckily for me I spend a lot of time advising the elderly people in my local town on ways to not get scammed, in this instance you and I did the right thing and asked for them to send over an email for me to look over.
sadly like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, this was another one of those too-good-to-be-true moments.
Remember guys lucky breaks don’t tend to ring you and ask for money to make money
Thanks so much for raising awareness about this company. I got a call from them a couple of days ago and very nearly fell for it. Fortunately I did a quick web search and found out the truth about them. I’m wondering what legal action can be taken against such scammers to prevent them from simply changing the company name and carrying on?
Thank you for this. A guy called Mitch Bowen called me yesterday offering me the chance to be Blue Sky Education’s exclusive provider for First Aid for Mental Health courses in the South East. I’m just starting out. It sounded amazing. They were desparate to sign me up I made excuses about meetings and called my husband. They wanted me to sign the contract within 5 mins and emailed me what can only be a basic email. My husband and I decided to write a polite email back explaining we could not afford the £1k admin fee. They came back to us saying that the director had authorised a half price fee option of £500 and a money back guarantee. We won’t be replying again having done our research. Thank you so much.
Hi Russ, thank you for posting this blog post. Just saved my bacon today! I’m good with these things, but this one seemed so legitimate, until I start researching further online.
This is clearly of interest to small businesses like our own, perhaps we should band together and create our own education directory service!
I got a call from these guys today. It sounded like a great opportunity up until the point Lisa mentioned the registration fee £500 + VAT. My spidey sense said scam. I’m glad a googled at found this page. I sympathise with those have been caught out on this. It’s a sophisticated and well rehearsed scam that has tripped up many people. For honest and hardworking people who want to good work and help schools, teachers, leaders families and kids. You don’t expect people to be out there looking to abuse your trust and steal your hard earned money!!
Missed a call from this lot and smelt a rat from the message – looking here glad I didn’t call them back… thanks so much for posting this, don’t know how these scum sleep at night!
So glad I searched out the company Sky Blue Education on LinkedIn before I responded to the email. Lisa called me mid-October whilst I was away on business.
I returned the call at the end of last month, Lisa shared the exact same “too good to be true” opportunity that has been shared above…Sounded great, and I asked a lot of questions, then learnt of the £500 fee + VAT for the privilege of a website listing. Something didnt feel quite right, and now having read through all the above comments, I am so grateful for not falling for this! I did ask how they identified me as a suitable candidate and she replied that they have a research team who pre-qualify…[email protected] Michaels – THANK YOU for sharing this warning!!
I’m glad I am IT Savvy; I just had a missed call from Mitch from SkyBlue Education about schools in my local area looking for Aerial Photography. I’m sure I have had a similar call before and just ignored it, but I’m glad I found this post and went through the comments.
Worth mentioning that TrustPilot isn’t worth the reviews usually as Companies pay them to host the reviews, so if someone leaves a bad review, the owner can ask them to take it down and they will because they are the ones paying for the service, so I’m always sceptical about trusting any positive reviews on the site.
I have written this article about how untrustworthy trustpilot is too.
We received a phone call today from somebody called Dale from Sky Blue Education. We were offered to provide accountancy services to privately run schools. Glad I found this website before falling for a potential scam.
They are still at it – just received a call from Lisa Price at Sky Blue Education – sounded quite plausible until the mention of a £500 registration key – I ended the call pretty quick after that! Thankful for sites like this as I immediately did a search on them.
Had a call literally just this second from Lisa at Sky Blue…..sounded too good to be true, and coming across this and other such sites I find it is…
I guess the alarm bells started ringing when she said they had 65 Academy schools who were looking for leadership coaching and personal development coaching, and decided I would be the person for them, when I don’t even have a coaching website – I haven’t done anything with my coaching business except ad-hoc clients via word of mouth….why on earth would schools pay me £800 to £1600 a day with 0 references and no website LOL.
A good scam (sadly as there are those who wont see through it), but if you look hard enough you can always find the gaps…and sites like this are absolutely brilliant to help those who need help identifying scams…good work Russ!
I realised alarm bells should’ve rang. If they’re really selecting preferred providers for their schools, then they should be screening those providers through a proper tendering process. (I used to be on the other side of tenders working for a council). Of course they’re not legit if they’re just picking me randomly from companies house or google or something, and not even looking at my reviews (of which I have about 5). I know I’m good, but they don’t know that.
I thought that was weird at the time, but I just thought that the universe was finally throwing me a break after covid. Stupid universe.
Oh, and their testimonials are something else…I wonder if anyone who posted here is supposedly one of their testimonial customers which they have clearly invented/written and put on without permission, as you cannot access these from the main website.
im sure they are all fake.
off you see fake reviews on google or other listing sites then you can report them.
Well we just have call from them!!!!
Thank you for sharing!!!
Mitch is still there. They got me hook line and sinker. He did the old ‘I’ve spoken to several people this morning, and it’s first come first serve’ trick. Thing is, he caught me at just the right moment. Our business had been struggling to get off the ground, and I was starting to panic that we were going to have to wrap up. Praying for a miracle and up steps Mitch promising us exclusive access to thousands of schools. We provide first aid courses, so of course we’ll get bookings, statistically at least half of these schools will need to renew their first aid quals within the next 12 months. I was too excited by the possibilities to do my due diligence. This was the miracle I needed. They let us pay half up front, and half in a month.
I paid £600 up front. And prepared to Barton down the hatches for the hundreds of phone calls a day we were about to receive.
A month later, and we’d not received one phone call. I didn’t pay the remaining £600.
A month or so after that, and Mitch called back to find out why we’d not been paid. I’d forgotten all about it at that point. I said I wasn’t going to pay a penny more until we get a booking. Quite frankly, we didn’t have a penny more until we made a booking.
He said he’d send an email to all the schools and see where we were after that. Still nothing, but forgot about it again.
4 months later, he’s calling back, and now he’s saying if we don’t pay they will start ‘legal proceedings’.
Now I’m wondering what ‘legal proceedings’ can they start. And will they really take this to court given their very dubious track record, so they really want that dragged up in court.
Has anyone else gone this far with them?