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Priority schools set to roll…

4 February 2013

The wheels of the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) have been set in motion for schools in the north of England and Coventry as the Department for Education names building firms McAlpine and Wates as contractors under the first wave of multi-million pound capital funded contracts to be awarded.

The PSBP initiative was introduced in July 2011 as the original Building Schools for the Future scheme (BSF) was overhauled for being “too bureaucratic”. It will be centrally procured by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) on behalf of the Department of Education and is set to offer greater value for money.

The contracts, worth about £100m, are set to begin in the Spring. The news offers schools a great sense of relief as hundreds of projects that were originally shelved under BSF begin to take shape. Let’s hope the privately financed projects, which form the bulk of the scheme, will similarly start procurement very soon now that the Government’s revamped PFI model, PF2, has been announced.

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