BOUYGUES is targeting Private Finance Initiative schools work after an absence of two years.
The firm's last stab at a PFI schools project was a £25 million scheme at Brent in London when the council pulled the plug on it. It has since concentrated on PFI hospital work instead.
Now it is one of 11 firms to have prequalified for the largest PFI schools project currently under procurement in England.
A Bouygues spokesman said: 'We went for a lot of work a few years ago but have concentrated on health more recently. Now we see private finance education as a growing market and we think we can bring added value to it.'
The French contractor is hoping to win a £70 million deal to rebuild four secondary schools in and around Crawley for West Sussex County Council.
Also in the race for the job are Bovis Lend Lease, Equion, Interserve, Alfred McAlpine, Ballast, Mill Group/Carillion, WS Atkins/Skanska, Balfour Beatty, Mace/Shepherd and Jarvis.