BFE latest: EFA director says fourth batch to be procured “soon”

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The Education Funding Agency has revealed further details of the first batches of privately financed schools that will be tendered under the £2.4bn priority schools building programme.

Speaking at the Building Future Education conference this morning, priority schools programme director Rachel Stephenson said that Bradford and Kirklees would be the fourth privately financed batch to be procured under the scheme.

As reported in Builidng last month, the first batch will be Hertfordshire, Luton and Reading, followed by a batch of schools in the north east and one in the north west. She said that the EFA would start work with a further three batches this year.

Stephenson said that Treasury was currently reviewing the business case for the first batch of schools. However, she would not give a firm date for release to market, saying only that it would be “soon”.

She added, however, that the PF2 model that will be used to fund the schools “has been developed” - and that an OJEU for the financing, widely expected to be in the form of a pooled debt facility, would follow “shortly after” an OJEU for the first batch of schools.