PfS to draft in agencies for school-build project

Government initiative Partnerships for Schools (PfS) is looking for PR support to promote Whitehall project Building Schools for the Future (BSF).

PfS, a non-departmental public body, is supporting the Government on its BSF programme of capital investment, launched in February after a 12-month pilot.

The programme aims to upgrade or rebuild every secondary school in the UK over the next 15 years.

PR support will be expected for local authorities, school governing bodies and other organisations involved in BSF. Nationally, it will be required for PfS and the Department for Education and Skills (DfES).

PfS will lead PR procurement on behalf of the organisations involved.

Up to ten agencies may be appointed to supply PR consultancy and training services on a three-year contract, with the possibility of a one-year extension.

The brief is similar to services provided by PfS’s former agency Beyond, which worked for the organisation during its 12-month pilot stage prior to its public-body status.

PfS will work with each Local Education Authority and a private sector partner in an effort to establish best practice and to create long-term public-private partnerships to deliver the BSF programme.

PfS operations director Paul Lewis said: ‘We are delivering a construction programme for the DfES. We are looking to procure through local education partnerships that we are setting up.’

The first year of construction will see schools in 16 local authorities tackled between 2006 and 2007.

All local authorities in the UK have submitted applications to PfS in a bid to be selected for the construction programme.

The applications detail the authorities’ educational estates. PfS selects the authorities to be addressed first by prioritising areas of low attainment and high deprivation.

Agencies have until 17 July to submit bids.

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