The EFA will appoint one firm to deliver the £95m clutch of schools as an offsite building pilot before extending the approach to a further tranche of primary school projects as it seeks to find more cost effective delivery in the face of rising construction costs.
Two other builders will be selected as reserve contractors on the panel.
The solution developed for the programme will then be rolled out for use on further frameworks covering primary and secondary school blocks in the second wave of the priority school building programme.
Firms making it through prequalification will be invited to tender in October.
A previous Government Procurement Services framework covering a range of building types from catering facilities to health and education included firms like Elite Systems, Elliott Group, Portakabin, Premier Interlink Waco and the McAvoy Group.
Since the panel was established five years ago several builders like Wates and Willmott Dixon have also developed specific modular designs for the schools market.