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Free schools advisory framework extended

Five firms have had their contracts extended on the Education Funding Agency’s technical adviser framework for free schools.

EC Harris, Gardiner & Theobald, Jacobs, Mace and Turner & Townsend will continue to provide project management and technical advisory services to the free schools programme.

They will deliver support on projects, feasibility studies and provide advice on planning, design, procurement and construction.

The framework has been extended for three years and will be in place through to completion of the current free schools programme, by September 2016.

Commenting on the contract extension, Turner & Townsend director Paul Maitland said: “Our experience on complex education projects, as well as higher education projects, will enable us to meet the challenges required to deliver the specific needs of specialist free schools.

“Providing this kind of full, turnkey service, from planning, procurement, construction management to building handover is hugely rewarding and we look forward to delivering new schools for the UK.”

The firm has delivered more than 30 free schools under the previous two technical adviser frameworks, and has been awarded a further 15 schools to project manage under the extension.

In May, education secretary Michael Gove approved 102 new free school applications to open in September 2014.

Meanwhile chancellor George Osborne outlined plans to fund a further 180 new free schools in his 2015/16 spending review in June.

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