First appointments made through academies framework run by Partnerships for Schools

Balfour Beatty and Kier have been chosen as the first selected bidders for two local authority projects appointed through the Partnerships for Schools (PfS) National Framework.

Kier will build the Milton Keynes Academy and Balfour Beatty will work on Sunderland’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) projects, including three academies worth about £100m.

They are the first projects to reach this stage since PfS launched its Design and Build National Framework in January.

The framework aims to provide local authorities and sponsors with procurement and project management knowledge gained from the BSF programme.

Tim Byles, chief executive of PfS, said: "I congratulate all those involved with these academy projects for reaching this important milestone. The new academies are excellent news for Milton Keynes and for Sunderland, providing facilities and resources which students, teachers and the local community deserve, and helping to improve the life chances for young people in these areas for generations to come.

"The PfS National Framework was created to help local authorities and sponsors to design and deliver their academies in the most cost-effective and efficient way, providing best value for money for taxpayers and educational transformation for communities. I look forward to more projects coming through this process in the coming months."

The 1,550-pupil Milton Keynes academy will specialise in business and enterprise and is sponsored by educational foundation Edge. It is due to open in September 2009.

Sunderland will have an all-age academy sponsored by housing group Gentoo and another sponsored by Northumbrian water – both specialising in business and enterprise. A third academy sponsored by the IT company Leighton Group will specialise engineering. Sunderland City Council is co-sponsor for all the academies. They are due to open between September 2008 and December 2009.

PfS delivers the national BSF programme and take on responsibility for the academies programmes in 2006.

Under the academies programme 400 academies will be built. Of this total, 137 academies will be delivered under the Local Education Partnership (LEP) procurement model and 134 will be delivered through the new academies National Framework.