Partnerships for Schools will take on up to 40 members of staff to help it deal with its expanded role, chief executive Tim Byles has revealed.
The workers will transfer from the Department for Children, Schools and Families when PfS takes responsibility for all school construction programmes from 1 October.
PfS will deliver the Primary Capital Programme, the Devolved Formula Capital scheme and the Targeted Capital Programmes on top of its existing duties with the £55bn BSF scheme, the £4 billion academies framework and the £200 million co-location fund.
Mr Byles dismissed suggestions that the body risked overloading itself.
“BSF is very complex, and resources will continue to be dedicated to it,” he said. “We will take on resources – including about 40 people – from the Department for Children, Schools and Families to help manage these new programmes.”
Mr Byles hinted that the hotly-contested academies framework could be used to procure work for the other schemes such as the PCP.
He said: “I’m expecting to use a variety of processes to procure for these programmes. I do not rule out the use of our frameworks to deliver work through the PCP.”
Contractors welcomed PfS’ expanded role.
Interserve Project Services director Bob Vince said: “We should see more structured, sensible processes, and be more easily able to identify what we need to do to add value.”
UK Contractors Group director Stephen Ratcliffe added: “It should make bidding for schools projects more efficient.
“Tim Byles is well respected in the industry and contractors will generally see this expansion as good news.”
- The Primary Capital Programme channels funding for national primary school building programmes in every local authority and is worth £1.6 billion to 2011.
- The Devolved Formula Capital scheme – also worth £1.6 billion to 2011 – prioritises funding for local authorities to spend on locally decided projects.
- Targeted Capital Programmes allocate funding for a wide range of targeted projects aligned to specific policies including zero-carbon exemplar schools and school kitchens. They are worth £1.8 billion to 2011.