Three contractors vie for £150m budget for private finance schools
Posted on: 07/10/2013

Contractors competing for the first set of private finance schools for the Education Funding Agency have been whittled down to a shortlist of three. It is believed that between 10 and12 companies put in a bid for the £150m set of schools in the areas of Hertfordshire, Luton and Reading. A contract notice for the seven new build secondary schools was issued by the government’s schools capital agency and the three contractors that have been selected now qualify to go through to the next stage. Wates, Morgan Sindall and a partnership between Interserve and Kajima have been successful in winning through to the penultimate bid for the winner. It is expected that the preferred bidder will only be appointed in February next year.

A total of five sets of schools are to be acquired via the government’s new Pf2 private finance project and the above are the first of these that will be launched.  Instead of each school batch having to obtain individual finance, a type of PF2 model, named the ‘aggregator model’, will be utilised. This is where an organisation will become involved to provide debt funding for all school sets. In terms of the contract issued by the EFA, contractors involved in the project will be responsible for the design, construction, finance and maintenance of the new build schools. It will include a 24 month phase for building and a 25 year term of operational service, which will become effective from the date that service starts on the final school that is completed in the batch.
The seven schools that make up the first set are:-

  • Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School, Hatfield, Herts.
  • Goffs School, Cheshunt, Herts.
  • Kings Langley School, Kings Langley, Herts.
  • Longdean School, Hemel Hempstead, Herts.
  • Reading Girls’ School, Reading, Berks.
  • Stopsley High School, Luton, Beds.
  • Westfield Community Technology College, Watford, Herts.

The EFA has recently put out to tender for the £120m second set of schools in North East England. Within the next twelve months the three remaining Pf2 sets are expected to be advertised. They are:-

  • North West – 12 schools - £93m
  • Yorkshire – 7 schools - £97m
  • Midlands – 8 schools - £122m

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