Press release

Private finance to fund rebuilding of 46 schools under the next steps of the Priority School Building Programme

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Education Funding Agency announces 46 schools are to be rebuilt using private finance under the next steps of the Priority School Building Programme.

The Education Funding Agency (EFA) today announced 46 schools will be rebuilt using private finance under the next steps of the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP).

46 schools in 5 batches will be rebuilt under the government’s new approach to public private partnerships, known as PF2. These schools have a total funding requirement of approximately £700 million.

The funding is set to be raised using an innovative new ‘aggregator’ model. The ‘aggregator’ will be able to access both the bank debt and capital markets in order to secure the best deals for the taxpayer.

The Hertfordshire, Luton and Reading batch will be launched at a bidders day due to be held by the EFA on 28 May 2013. A notice inviting bids from firms interested in constructing and maintaining the schools will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union in June.

The other batches, to be released to the market over the next 12 months, are:

  • the North East
  • the North West
  • Yorkshire
  • the Midlands

The announcement underlines the government’s commitment to using public private partnerships to deliver investment in new public infrastructure and assets.

The government is determined to raise the standard of schools and the education they provide to help those who want to work hard and ensure the country can compete in the global race.

The performance of the ‘aggregator’ model will be assessed to inform future investment in the education estate which will be identified by the property data survey programme, due to report in October this year. This is the first centrally collated information of the condition of all schools since 2005.

Ministers are also announcing the allocation of a further £300 million of capital funding in the current spending review period to enable an early start for 27 further schools in the programme. These schools will be procured in 4 batches.

The investment is part of the government’s commitment to give children the best possible start in life and to make sure schools are a place where children can fulfil their aspirations.

The remaining schools in the programme are intended to be delivered using capital funding, subject to the next spending review settlement. The timetable for the remaining schools in the programme will be announced after the settlement is made in June.

Peter Lauener, Chief Executive of the EFA, said:

I am delighted we can confirm the schools to be rebuilt through private finance. The government’s new approach to public private partnerships provides a great opportunity for industry to step up to the mark and I am looking forward to seeing innovative and cost-effective proposals.

These 5 privately-financed batches, plus the additional 4 capital-funded batches also announced today, will help us overhaul the schools with the greatest need, ensuring young people can learn in buildings that are up to scratch.

Today’s announcement builds on the excellent progress being made on the original 8 batches of capital-funded schools. The first schools will be delivered ahead of the original timetable. The first capital project was procured in just 26 weeks. The first spade will hit the ground later this month at Whitmore Park School in Coventry.

All schools and local authorities within the programme will be contacted today with further details relevant to them.

Notes to editors

  1. On 5 December 2012, the Government concluded its review of PFI and published full details of a new approach to public private partnerships, PF2. Further information can be found on the HM Treasury website

  2. The Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) is a centrally managed programme set up to address the condition of the schools most in need of urgent repair. Through the PSBP, 261 schools will be rebuilt or have their condition needs met. The first school will be completed in 2014.

  3. Good progress is being made on the delivery of the 51 schools already being taken forward using capital grant. Contractors have been appointed to build the first three batches of schools (North East, Midlands 1, and Midlands 2 batches) and construction work is expected to start in May. Contractors for the other 5 capital batches of schools will be announced before the end of May.

  4. We are currently working with 4 private finance batches and work with a 5th will start imminently.

  5. Since 2010 this government has allocated £2.7 billion to local authorities to support the provision of new school places and £2.8 billion for the maintenance of the school estate to meet the needs of maintained schools and academies. Over the spending review period, the total capital made available for investment in schools in England will be about £18 billion.

  6. In order to ascertain the renovation needs of the schools estate in England, the Department for Education has been conducting a national programme of surveys, which should be available by autumn 2013. Information on the condition of all schools was last collated centrally in 2005.

DfE enquiries