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drawing closer: the Priority Schools Building Programme

27 September 2012

A distinct air of optimism prevailed yesterday at a conference held in Central London to look at progress so far on the Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP).

Although no firm date has been set, the Education Funding Agency (EFA) confirmed that the first batch of schools receiving direct capital funding for new build work will be released soon and that the programme will “hit the ground running”. The first privately financed schools being expected to start procurement before the end of December.

The capital programme will be centrally procured by the EFA who will also manage the key commercial negotiations with the private contractor, thereby freeing up the school’s senior management team to concentrate on running the school.

But the likely limited involvement of schools in commercial matters is cause for concern. The EFA acknowledge that schools will need a full understanding of the contractual arrangements being entered into. However, schools themselves will need to ensure that their voice is heard.

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