Building understands the £600m spend will be channelled through the academies framework

The 100 extra free schools announced by the government this week are set to be procured through the academies framework, Building understands.

Chancellor George Osborne announced this week that the Treasury would make available £600m to fund around 100 free schools by the end of the current parliament. The move was part of a £1.2bn funding boost for education, alongside an extra £600m to address the urgent shortfall of school places.

Building understands that the £600m free schools spend will be channelled through the academies framework, although no procurement route has officially been announced. The framework is already being used to cover a wide range of education projects, including some of the first free schools. Delivery agency Partnerships for Schools is on the verge of awarding the first University Technical College through the framework, in Hackney, which Bam Construct is believed to have won.

Tim Byles, chief executive of Cornerstone and former head of PFS, said the schools spend was “most welcome”, a view echoed by contractors. However, some expressed frustration at the piecemeal approach to announcing funding.