Contractors winning sample school deals salvaged from the wreckage of Building Schools for the Future could have a golden ticket to future work for those councils, it has emerged.
H&V News understands that education secretary Michael Gove will shortly approve the use of existing BSF contracts for the remaining sample school awards.
This would mean that - contrary to expectations - winning contractors would be in line for whatever work comes up in their area under the replacement schools capital system.
A senior Whitehall source said: “The secretary of state is pleased with how the industry has responded to his challenge to find ways to develop schools at lower cost.
“He has made it clear that he is minded to allow existing procurement processes to continue.”
It is understood that the sample school contracts would not give exclusivity to contractors in the way old-style BSF deals did. But they would give councils the option of continuing with the sample project builders for jobs created after the Comprehensive Spending Review.
This is likely to be attractive to councils that have spent significant time and money setting up the contracts. The source added: “This is not a way of BSF continuing, but it is a way of existing procurement systems responding to the new agenda.”
In August, Mr Gove approved all 33 sample schemes that have been under review since the £55 billion BSF programme was axed.
The schemes cover 14 local authorities, 11 of which had appointed preferred bidders for their wider BSF schemes. Hertfordshire has since appointed Balfour Beatty to deliver its sample schools.
Join our industry-focused LinkedIn group