Education Funding Agency issues contract notice for first batch of privately-financed schools in Hertfordshire, Luton and Reading

Priority schools

The government’s schools capital agency has fired the starting gun on the procurement of contractors for its first batch of privately-financed schools.

The Education Funding Agency has issued a contract notice for a batch of seven new build secondary schools in the Hertfordshire, Luton and Reading area, worth up to £150m

The EFA previously stated the batch, which is the first private finance batch to come to market through the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP), would be worth £122m.

The news comes after Treasury last week committed £1.3bn of additional capital funding to the PSBP, enabling the delivery of the around 150 schools in the programme that had yet to have their funding confirmed.

The batch of schools is the first of five batches to be procured through the government’s new Pf2 private finance initiative. It will use a version of the PF2 model, called the “aggregator model”, which will use an organisation to provide debt funding for all batches, rather than each batch having to secure its own funding.

The official contract notice issued by the EFA said contractors would be asked to design, build, finance and maintain the new build schools. It said services required are “likely to include hard facilities management services and may also include some soft facilities services”.

It said the term of the contract would include a 24 month construction phase and a 25 year operational term from the service commencement date of the final school to be completed in the batch.

The schools included in the first batch are:

  • Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School, Hatfield, Herts
  • Goffs School, nr Cheshunt, Herts
  • Kings Langley School, Kings Langley, Herts
  • Longdean School, Hemel Hempstead, Herts
  • Reading Girls’ School, Reading, Berks
  • Stopsley High School, Luton, Beds
  • Westfield Community Technology College, Watford, Herts

The remaining four Pf2 batches are expected to be brought to market within the next 12 months. They comprise:

  • North-east (£94m, 12 schools)
  • North-west (£93m, 12 schools)
  • Yorkshire (£97m, seven schools)
  • Midlands (£122m, eight schools)