Sir Robert McAlpine, Bam and Laing O'Rourke in the running to deliver 20-school new-build and refurbishment programme

Sir Robert McAlpine, BAM and Laing O'Rourke have been shortlisted to deliver Coventry council's £355m Building Schools for the Future programme.

Nine new schools will be built and 11 refurbished, ready to open in 2012. The programme will also provide £30m of ICT funding for 22 existing schools.

The Sir Robert McAlpine-led bidder is called Aura, whereas Laing O'Rourke are bidding under the title Coventry Partnership for Learning.

The decision sees Bouygues and Wates lose out after being initially shortlisted for the plans. The list will be further brought down to two in January, with a winner announced at the end of next summer.

The first 'sample school' to benefit will be the new build President Kennedy School in Holbrooks, which will have a special school built on the same site.

As part of the European Union competitive dialogue process, the three bidders will now start to work with the sample schools to gather ideas, before one is chosen to present the programme next summer.

Mark Fenton, programme director for Coventry council's BSF initiative, says "It is a long process but it is important that we take the time to appoint the right partner to ensure that we seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the way secondary education is delivered in Coventry."