Following the demise of Building Schools for the Future programme in July 2010, the Department for Education launched a new programme to provide school facilities in July 2011.
The Priority School Building Programme is intended to address those schools in the worst condition. The allocated funding will be £2bn over 5 years for new schools and maintenance. Applications for funding may be made by LEAs, academy trusts, school governing bodies or sponsoring dioceses. The first application window opened on 3 October 2011 and applicants were informed of the outcome in Summer 2012. As part of the Autumn Statement in December 2012, the Treasury announced that some of these projects will be taken forward under the new PF2 financing arrangements (which replace PFI).
Ministers have said they will take into account pressing cases of basic need (the requirement for additional school places) and other ministerial priorities. The programme includes a mix of primary schools, secondary schools, special schools, sixth form colleges and alternative provision, which are ‘batched’ into regional procurements. The procurement process and model contracts have been developed by the Education Funding Agency. With our extensive experience of PFI and PPP projects for schools, we are ideally placed to assist Local Authorities, schools and service providers in taking forward projects under this design and build or the PF2 procurement route.