Construction News quotes Mike Green, capital programme director for the Education Funding Agency, saying that an announcement was imminent and would “quash” the rumours circulating among contractors.
But Building Design and the BBC news website link the delays to an ongoing a detailed condition survey of every school in the country, which was apparently started in March 2012 and is due to take 18 months to complete. The project was commissioned by the EFA and is being undertaken by Davis Langdon, Capita Symonds and EC Harris, reports BD.
The PSBP was announced in July 2011, with schools invited to bid by October 2011. At the time, education secretary Michael Gove indicated that the successful bidders would be announced by the end of the year. Five months on from this deadline, there is no news on which local authorities will be awarded funding.
Meanwhile, new figures released by the Local Government Association this week suggest the delays are at least in part caused by the programme being three times oversubscribed.
The Department for Education has responded that the ongoing EFA condition survey is separate from the decision-making on the PSB. A spokeswoman said that the survey would be used to help decide future funding priorities, while the priority schools would be decided by the EFA in house.
The BBC report quotes Darren Talbot, head of schools at Davis Langdon, saying the government needs the condition report to compare buildings directly rather than relying on assumptions and data provided by local authorities.
Talbot added that he would expect the department to announce only the first of five waves of building this year, covering about 30-35 secondary schools.