The Department for Education (DfE) has announced that more than 200 schools are to be included within the PFI element of the £2bn Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP) would be tendered through 20 batches, four each year, for the next five years.

A report in Building believed that each batch was likely to include between five and 16 schools, with a mix of primary and secondary schools, and would range in value from around £50m to over £100m, depending on the size and nature of the schools.

Documents published by DfE suggest the first schools in the programme will be opening in the academic year 2014/15. It said for each batch three bidders would be taken through to the dialogue stage, with one successful bidder then chosen.

It added that the selected bidders would be asked to design one primary and one secondary school. The designs should be capable of being rolled out across a number of schools in each batch.

The DfE expect to appoint a legal adviser for the PFI by October this year, which implys that the PFI schools could come out to bid early next year. Initially PSBP tenders were expect during the spring so construction could begin in 2012.