Laing O’Rourke, Morgan Sindall and ISG among contractors to miss out on EFA framework shortlist

Schoold design

Major contractors, including Morgan Sindall, ISG, and Laing O’Rourke, have missed out on the possibility of bidding for up to £4bn of schools work over the next four years, after they failed to make the shortlist for the schools capital agency’s new contractors’ framework.

The Education Funding Agency revealed the shortlist for the new contractors’ framework this week, with 15 separate contractors now invited to tender for a place on the two lots, which cover the north and south of England (see box below).

In all, 13 contractors have been shortlisted for each lot, with 11 firms invited to bid for a place on both lots.

It is understood that Laing O’Rourke, Morgan Sindall and ISG, which are not on the existing framework, all bid for a place on the new framework, but did not make the cut.

This means the firms will miss out on the EFA’s £4bn programme of schools work over the next four years, including free schools, academies, university technical colleges (UTCs), sixth form colleges, further education colleges and other educational facilities - although the firms will be able to bid for privately-financed schools work, under PF2, which is procured separately.

Morgan Sindall confirmed it bid for a place, but declined to comment further. Laing O’Rourke declined to comment and ISG was unavailable for comment.

Other firms on the existing framework that have not made the shortlist include Lend Lease, Leadbitter, Rydon and Apollo, although it is not clear if those firms bid for the new framework.

It is understood that in all around 31 firms bid for a place on the framework.

The firms selected include four not on the existing framework: Mace, Bowmer & Kirkland, Galliford Try, and Thomas Vale – a subsidiary of Bouygues.

No small firms made the cut, with £108m-turnover Clugston the only independent medium-sized firm selected.

One source close to the process said: “The EFA were quite happy for SMEs to be selected, but if they couldn’t meet the quality criteria they weren’t going to go out of their way to get them on the list.”

Firms on the shortlist now enter into a two-month ITT stage, with nine winning bidders for each lot expected to be confirmed by November, when the existing framework will expire.

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