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Jarvis to revamp Norfolk schools

The controversial construction company criticised for its role in the Potters Bar rail crash has won its second multi-million schools' contract in the space of a week.

Jarvis has been appointed the preferred bidder for a pound;263 million private finance initiative scheme to refurbish and upgrade 39 schools in Norfolk.

Last week it was announced that the company had won a pound;65m deal to build four new special schools in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, despite criticism of its performance in delivering a previous PFI contract in the county.

Teachers accused Jarvis of damaging pupils' education after delays in building work disrupted classes.

This year, Jarvis is involved in work at more than 70 schools affecting 50,000 pupils.

The company faced renewed criticism this autumn after delays to building work being carried out at schools in the Wirral, Merseyside.

It is also still under investigation over the fatal derailment at Potters Bar and was recently forced to admit responsibility for faulty track work which led to a derailment outside Kings Cross.

Last month, Stephen Norris, former Conservative London mayoral candidate and minister, became chairman of Jarvis group and promised to restore its reputation by tackling critics head on.

Alec Byrne, Norfolk cabinet member for education, said: "Jarvis has a wealth of experience to offer and we look forward to a fruitful relationship with the company."

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