Kier and Balfour Beatty have been appointed to the first city academies procured through 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.

PfS, which delivers the BSF programme, took on responsibility for the academies programmes in 2006. The framework, launched in January, aims to procure academies on a similar basis to BSF, providing local authorities and sponsors with procurement and project management expertise gained from previous projects.

Tim Byles, chief executive of PfS, said the academies projects were an “important milestone” for the framework.

News of the appointments comes as BSF faces mounting criticism.

The framework, which has been plagued by delays, will only complete 12 schools by the end of the financial year, compared with an original target of 100.