The Education Funding Agency will invite bids next month for a £5Bn regional framework for smaller value upgrades to schools in England.
The four year framework will start in July next year. Full details of the plans will be unveiled at a suppliers day to be held in Sheffield later this month. Contracts will be mainly for refurbishment and remodelling of existing schools rather than new builds, and will be mostly valued at between around £3 million and £5 million, but could be as big as £10 million or as low as £200,000.
The agency has said however that companies with turnover below £25 million in each region that they bid for will not be invited to tender, which excludes most regional contractors and is likely to prove controversial as it goes against government commitments to supporting smaller contractors and suppliers.
England will be divided up into five funding regions, with seven firms admitted to the framework in each region, eight in the south east. The most money, £1.75Bn, will be allocated to London and the South East with £1Bn earmarked for the Midlands. The North East, North West and South West will each receive £750 million.
The frameworks will the whole range of educational establishments, including the Conservatives’ flagship free schools to university technical colleges, studio schools and Academies’ Capital Maintenance Funded schemes.
Bids will be invited on 25th November with the winning contractors to be announced in the New Year. The schemes are expected to run up until summer 2018