The government’s flagship school building programme will only succeed if Tim Byles, the new chief executive of Partnerships for Schools (PfS), ensures collaboration between the public and private sector, a schools watchdog cautioned last week.

Ty Goddard, director of the British Council for School Environments (BCSE), said that delays in the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme were “understandable but unacceptable” and that agencies involved need to make sure that money was well spent.

Goddard welcomed the review of the BSF procurement process, but asked for it to be simplified. He charged Byles with ensuring the review heard from ”people involved in the process”.

He also suggested a reassessment of design quality indicators, with an emphasis on making them more straightforward.

Meanwhile, this week, Interserve beat a consortium of Amey and Land Securities Trillium to become the preferred bidder on Leeds council’s BSF programme.

Interserve, in a joint venture with Mott MacDonald and Barclays Capital, will build 14 schools over 10 years in a project worth £220m.

The appointment is a blow for Trillium, which was bidding for its first ever BSF scheme as part of a diversification of its business.

Waltham Forest council in north-east London has revealed that it had chosen a Bouygues-led consortium as the preferred bidder for its £200m BSF scheme. The consortium will refurbish and rebuild seven secondary schools in the first wave.