The Amey-led consortium, Integrated Bradford, has been announced as preferred bidder for the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme in Bradford.
The £400 million, 30-year project with Bradford Council is designed to transform education in the city, delivering 21st century learning environments that will raise attainment, create a high-tech workforce and extend learning opportunities to the whole community.
BSF is the government’s biggest investment in education for half a century, intended to promote a new approach to the design, construction and operation of secondary schools. During the next 10-15 years, the programme will renew and rebuild all the secondary schools in England, creating learning facilities that exploit information and communications technology, supported by operational services that allow teachers to focus on teaching.
In Bradford, the first phase of BSF will deliver three fully operational new schools by 2008, with a second phase creating further new schools that integrate special needs facilities with mainstream secondary education.
Following the construction phases of the contract, Integrated Bradford will take responsibility for the facilities management of the schools. This will incorporate services from caretaking through to cleaning, ground maintenance and security.
Each school will also be equipped with integrated IT systems providing every pupil with access to wireless laptops. This will allow teachers to offer personalised learning tailored to meet the individual needs, interests and aptitudes of pupils.
According to the council’s director of education and life skills, Phil Green, Integrated Bradford’s success was the result of strong alignment between its proposals and the council’s educational aspirations. He said: “The BSF programme gives us a one-off opportunity to transform our secondary school provision. It is both an exciting opportunity and a major challenge, and we have involved the first three schools extensively in the development of their new schools.
“We believe that Integrated Bradford’s holistic and education-led proposals offer a solution designed to deliver our vision of education as a vital part of Bradford’s regeneration over the coming decades.”
Mel Ewell, CEO of Amey, on behalf of Integrated Bradford added: “This programme is designed to produce a step change in Bradford’s educational facilities, through iconic buildings, the latest technology and facilities designed for use by the whole community. As part of Bradford’s Local Education Partnership, we will create a 21st century educational environment that will help raise the performance of future generations of children in this part of Yorkshire, supporting the city in its drive to create a skilled and competitive workforce. We are delighted to have been awarded this prestigious contract.”
Bradford is only the second BSF authority in the UK to select its preferred bidder. Once negotiations are complete, the council, Integrated Bradford and Partnerships for Schools, the Government’s Non-Departmental Public Body established to deliver the BSF programme, will form and jointly own a Local Education Partnership (LEP), which will plan and implement the Council’s education transformation programme.