Thirty places up for grabs on Education Funding Agency projects

Small builders have been urged to sign up for a place on a new £6bn school building framework.  

The Education Funding Agency (EFA) is on the verge of publishing a new school building framework, which will be worth around £6bn and include approximately 30 places.

The EFA Construction Framework will be used to deliver free schools, university technical colleges, studio schools, and academies.

Contractors must register their interest online by 6 June in order to be considered for a place on the framework.

The National Federation for Builders (NFB), which represents SME contractors, urged its members to pursue the framework. In a report, published last year, the NFB criticised the EFA for discriminating against SMEs when setting up its existing regional framework.

The NFB said contractors bidding for this framework had to have a minimum financial turnover of £25m in each region they bid for, a threshold that effectively excluded SMEs from the process.

SMEs, which attempted to secure a place on the framework by teaming up with other builders, were further hampered by rules stipulating that individual consortium members had to have an annual turnover of at least £10m.

The NFB said it hoped the EFA would take into account not only firms’ capacity but their ability to deliver cost effectively and the government’s target for SME engagement when weighing up whether to award framework places to companies.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “We are strongly encouraging members with experience in school building to sign up for the EFA construction framework.

“Regional SMEs have local communities at heart because they employ, train, and invest money locally and represent value for money. For every £1 spent with an SME, 90p remains in the local economy.”

Contractors can register their interest at