Wandsworth Council has called for expressions of interest in its £300 million Building Schools for the Future programme.
The London borough placed a notice in the Official Journel of the European Union after receiving official confirmation of Government funding.
It is proposing an initial 10-year commercial partnership to rebuild and update its 16 secondary schools.
More than 100 firms attended a bidders’ open day held by the council last month.
Interested parties have until 3 September to return a pre-qualifying questionnaire, and a shortlist of three will be announced in October.
Final bids will then be due by July 2010, with the investment running in phases from 2011 to 2016.
The programme includes a £22 million investment in ICT for which the council plans a seven-year tie-up with a flexible and innovative partner.
Council leader Edward Lister said: “Today’s decision means we’re now and up running with this hugely ambitious project.
“We want to move quickly so that by the end of the summer we have whittled down the prospective partners to a shortlist of three.
“We’ve been delighted with the interest shown already by the market. There’s a real sense that Wandsworth is going to be an exciting place to work.”