The DfES's Centre for Procurement Performance wants to spread "better knowledge for smarter spending".
It says heads should not just seek to cut back on budgets, but also to get better value for the same money, perhaps by renegotiating contracts.
Ian Taylor, 49, is the director of the centre. He was previously head of procurement at HBOS bank, created by the merger of Halifax and Bank of Scotland.
www.nfer.ac.uk More on procurement at www.dfes.gov.ukcpp