Swedish contractor Skanska and the world's sixth-largest architect, Aedas, are to help create an organisation to tackle problems arising from the government's schoolbuilding programme.
The British Council for School Environments will be launched in June with 35 founder members, including contractors, architects, local education authorities and quantity surveyors.
The aim is to work out the best way of delivering the government's £5.2bn-a-year Building Schools for the Future programme and its city academies.
The BCSE's five-year plan includes producing best practice guides for contractors and education clients, as well as commissioning research into areas such as sustainability and procurement.
The BCSE has a shadow board that includes representatives from the RIBA, charity funder the Rayne Foundation and research group BRE. Not-for-profit design organisation School Works is also on the shadow board, and will make up the nucleus of the BCSE. The Department for Education and Skills has observer status.
Ty Goddard, School Works managing director, said: "I see this body as very much strengthening the client side in terms of education policy.
"At the moment we are not talking a common language, we are all talking in our own business languages. I think that contractors want to understand schools and the clients, but not in the frenzy of a bid process."
He added: "It seemed that what the British Council for Offices has achieved for the commercial world should be achieved in the education arena.
"There is a need for the market to respond to the most key moment in school investment in our history."
The BCSE has signed up almost all 35 founder members it identified. Each member from the construction industry has paid £10,000 to join. Local education authorities do not have to pay.
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