Exclusive: Kier and Wates have been shortlisted to build new schools in the East of England under the Priority School Building Programme.
The two contractors have both been shortlisted previously, with Kier currently battling Bam Construct for batches of schools in London, worth up to £54m, and the Midlands under which a preferred bidder will be appointed next month.
The East batch incorporates new schools in Cambridgeshire, Essex and Hertfordshire and is believed to be worth around £22 million.
Bam Construct and Willmott Dixon have been shortlisted for the second North-west batch of schools in Liverpool, St Helens and Wirral, while Interserve and Kier will do battle for the South batch of schools.
Bam Construct and Carillion have also been shortlisted to contest the first batch of North-west schools in Blackpool, Cheshire West, Halton, Manchester, Tameside.
This means all eight batches are not either at ITT stage or have a contractor appointed, with decisions due next month on preferred contractors in London and the second Midlands batch under the £400m capitally funded part of the £2.4bn priority schools programme.
The privately financed side of the programme came under further pressure this week after the Local Government Association released a survey and statement saying “many” of the 261 schools in the overall programme had been told that contracts for building work are unlikely to be awarded until 2015.
That would mean work is unlikely to be completed until at least 2016.
However the Department for Education insisted that while they are still working out how to batch the 219 schools under the £2bn privately financed side of the programme, they expect all school work to be completed in 2015.
The DfE said the first privately financed projects will be released to market “shortly” but that timescales for procurement and construction “will depend on the specifics of each project”.