The government's delivery body for schools is working up plans to revamp its National Academies framework for contractors.

Contract Journal (CJ) reports that the number of contractors on the list, being drawn up by Partnerships for Schools (PfS), will be nearly doubled. The framework will be advertised early next year and will be worth £5bn.

Building reports that officials at PfS are currently fleshing out details of the framework, which will be opened up to contractors not on the current four-year framework which expires in 2010.

CJ said PfS is also considering ways to cut bid costs for the new scheme, with one option being to replace mini competitions requiring extensive design work with simple interviews, which would open competition up to smaller contractors. There are also plans to encourage councils to incorporate primary schools into academy schemes and also include larger Building Schools for the Future (BSF) schemes worth up to £200m under the current framework.