At first I thought it was a misprint – but no, it was correct.

Essex have issued their tender notice for the £1,000,000,000 (Billion pound!) contract for their Local Education Partnership (LEP) – which will be responsible for building and running their first waves of BSF schools and the Primary Capital Programme, with options for it to be extended to all of their BSF schools, new Acadamies and the full  Primary Capital Programme.

For all BSF schools in Waves 4, 5 and 6, the contract covers construction, managed ICT services, facilities management (described as “soft” and “hard”, which I guess covers buildings management as well as services such as catering etc). And it seems to cover the same for the Primary Capital Programme (which has just had its first wave of funding announced).

The potential additional components described are Waves 7, 8 and 9 of the Essex BSF programme, Academies, future Primary Capital Programme Design and Build projects, managed ICT services for secondary schools not in Wave 4, 5 and 6, managed ICT services for primary schools, other Children and Young Peoples services, build & run buildings delivering Local Authority services and school improvement related services. All for the next 15 years.

What this means is that if you are in an Essex school, the local authority is starting the process to find a partner to deliver all of the buildings and ICT services for all of the schools.

This same pattern is happening all across England, but this is the first £1BN contract announcement that I’ve seen.

If you’re sitting in a school today, running or using an ICT service, it’s worth keeping up with these developments, as they could fundamentally change your role. You can see the full Essex tender notice here