Contractors Alfred McAlpine, HBG and Kier are among the construction companies that have made it on to a shortlist of bidders for the city academies framework.

The framework, organised by school delivery agency Partnerships for Schools, will build academies and other educational facilities on behalf of local authorities not yet engaged with the Building Schools for the Future programme.

Other companies on the framework are: Amec, Balfour Beatty, Carillion, EC Harris, Interserve, Laing O'Rourke, Mace, Skanska, Taylor Woodrow, Vinci trading as Norwest Holst and Willmott Dixon.

Local authorities already engaged with BSF will deliver academies through their local education partnerships.

Meanwhile, Partnerships for Schools has lent its support to a new body launched last week, the British Council for School Environments.

The new membership organisation, established by Schoolworks and the Rayne Foundation, will focus specifically on issues around the design-and-build process in the education sector.

The framework will build academies and other facilities

Its aim is to attract anyone interested in learning environments including policy-makers, managers, contractors and designers.

Founding members include Bovis Lend Lease, Amec, Wates and Carillion as well as designers Feilden Clegg Bradley, Ryder HKS and Nightingale Associates.

Issues that the British Council for School Environments will tackle include:

  • Making the procurement process simpler
  • Clarifying the Building Bulletins which provide regulations for works on schools
  • Achieving high standards of sustainability and
  • Ensuring furniture and equipment including ICT are up to scratch.
There will also be a not-for-profit trading arm of the charity that will deliver training.