Helping you understand PFI arrangements and how to achieve best value

Do you understand how PFI operates and the implications they have for Academies?

Are you concerned about future risks and the impact on your budget?

How can you ensure value for money for the services provided?

How we can help

If you are considering sponsoring a school within a PFI scheme it is important that you understand how PFI contracts operate and the risks for the Academy going forward.

If you already have a PFI scheme operating in your Academy or MAT you may have concerns that you are not currently getting good value for money.

Whatever your situation our specialist team can help.

Sponsoring a school with a PFI

For those considering the implications of taking on a PFI school, we can :

  • Undertake commercial due diligence on PFI contracts prior to conversion
  • Advise on funding negotiations with DfE and the Local Authority as part of the conversion process
  • Provide staff and governors with training on PFI contracts and associated risks.

Academies with a PFI scheme

For those Academies with

  • Advise on the short and long term budgetary implications of the scheme
  • Support you during benchmarking negotiations
  • Assist in resolving disputes with the PFI Contractor or Local Authority
  • Support you with negotiations in relation to post contract variations.

What are the risks for Academies?

Our experience tells us that Academies and schools can lose knowledge and understanding of their PFI contract as a result of changes in key staff.

This can affect the Academy’s ability to address concerns regarding the operation of the contract such as:

  • Changes in the Unitary Charge payments as a result indexation or variations in the local authority’s contribution
  • The way variations are costed
  • The benchmarking process
  • The quality of cleaning and catering
  • Deterioration in the general appearance of the building fabric over time.

We can help your understanding of the PFI scheme, the Academy’s responsibilities under the contract and how the payment mechanism works.

We can support with practical arrangements such as how to manage the relationship with the PFI provider and finding the right person to contact to ensure that your concerns are listened to.

EBM – Our Credentials

EBM, through our team members significant experience and our association with BDO, is one of the UK’s leading groups of advisers to the education sector.

EBM in its association with BDO is a leading firm on the DfE’s Project Management and Educational Services Framework for Academies and Free Schools.

Our dedicated education consultants have a successful track record of delivering more than 200 Academies and Free Schools across the country. many of them of a complex nature in short timescales. Our extensive track record has ensured that we are the team of choice for a number of multi-sponsor organisations throughout the country.

Why choose our support with PFI schemes?

  • BDO have successfully advised a significant number of schools and Academies with issues regarding their PFI contract
  • As well as experts in academies finance, we have a specialist PFI team who have supported both public authorities and contractors on a range of schemes including setting-up PFI for schools
  • We aim to provide service excellence at realistic rates.