Last updated: November 2020
Why Work With Barker?
Barker has an outstanding track record of successful CIF applications with millions of pounds secured for our clients.
We have an unrivalled knowledge of how to put together successful applications. We also know how difficult and time-consuming this can be for individual academies and Business Managers. At Barker we take responsibility for putting together the applications, leaving academies to concentrate on their core activities.
“We got BOTH bids! That is amazing such a boost for our school thank you so much for all your help! – Bungay High School, Suffolk"
Barker will consult with you to assess your site and discuss the priority works. We can advise you on the best projects to bid for and guide you on the best strategy for submission. The CIF guidelines are very clear about the amount and level of detail required and this can seem daunting to academies. We will guide you through this process and submit comprehensive bids carefully targeting the ESFA guidelines ensuring the best possible outcome.
Much of our bid writing is done FREE OF CHARGE giving a very low risk solution to academies who want to apply for funding but do not have the time or technical knowledge to develop their own bids.
Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation to make sure you are getting your share of this vital funding.
Applicants will be notified of the outcomes in Spring 2021.
Select a case study below
Bungay High School approached Barker to assist them with preparing CIF bids for reroofing works and replacement of windows and cladding.
Starting with a whole-site condition survey, works were prioritised by urgency and effect on academy operations. Barker designed, specified and obtained competitive tender prices for all works and wrote the bid submission on behalf of the academy.
Both bids were successful and Barker went on to secure a further two successful CIF bids for this academy bring the total funding to £2million in three years for this client.
Delivery of the projects was overseen by Barker and the roofing works were further enhanced by a solar PV system on the roof which is forecast to save the academy over £250,000 over the next 20 years.
"We got BOTH bids! That is amazing such a boost for our school thank you so much for all your help" - Bungay High School, Suffolk.
Having worked with Highams Park School for several years on other projects, Barker were pleased to help them submit a CIF bid for large scale replacement of defective windows and cladding.
A detailed condition survey provided critical independent evidence of need. This was backed up by a comprehensive options appraisal looking at different solutions. The works were carefully specified and competitive tenders were sought prior to the bid submission to ensure value for money.
Barker worked carefully with the academy and the contractors to develop a safe and efficient method of working to enable a smooth delivery of the project whilst not adversely affecting the ongoing operations of the academy.
"Other schools are envious of the track record we have built with Barker that has seen numerous substantial project bids won and works satisfactorily completed." - Steve Riches, Retired Former Principal Highams Park School.
The Fire Risk Assessment at this academy had identified a requirement for significant works to fire alarms, fire doors and emergency lighting. Barker produced a comprehensive CIF bid on behalf of the academy ensuring the key criteria of Project Need, Value for Money and Deliverability were addressed.
The works were designed and competitively tendered by Barker prior to bid submission to achieve cost certainty and value for money. Asbestos surveys were carried out in advance to reduce risk of time and cost overruns. A full bid was prepared including programme, risk register, statement of need and deliverability statement.
The works were completed in July/August 2016 overseen by Barker, removing a major compliance issue for the academy.
"We got the Fire Safety Bid! Thank you so much for all your help!" - Beaumont School, St Albans.
Having had bids for a new Sports Hall turned down for two consecutive CIF rounds, Wilmington Grammar School for Girls approached Barker to help with a resubmission. Using their knowledge of both education design and the CIF application process, Barker were able to reduce costs of the scheme and improve the quality of the submission. This was particularly critical in the very competitive expansion project area where competition for funds is even tighter than condition work.
Every element of the bid was reassessed and reviewed with a particular focus on providing evidence for all criteria. A detailed options appraisal and feasibility study was completed to illustrate the need for the project and the appropriateness of the response.
The project was designed by Lee Evans Architects and planning consent obtained prior to submission. A detailed cost plan and contractor pricing was submitted to support the bid.
The project was granted funding. Barker also prepared a simpler refurbishment and remodelling scheme for the same CIF round which was also successful.
"We are so grateful for all of your help with both of our bids, but perhaps most particularly the troublesome sports hall bid that the school had been trying to secure for several years, we are so so pleased!" - Wilmington Grammar School for Girls, Dartford
The Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) supports projects that address compliance, health and safety issues and maintenance needs. Only projects that demonstrate a high project need and those that align with CIF priorities are likely to be successful.
CIF also supports a small proportion expansion projects for Ofsted-rated good or outstanding academies and sixth-form colleges that need to expand their existing facilities.
The fund is administered by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) which is part of the Department for Education (DfE). Applications can be made through the CIF Portal.
The highest priority works are:
In our experience, every academy should be looking to submit two CIF Bids per year unless you are in a very modern and well-maintained building.
In order to prepare high quality bids, it is essential that academies start this process as soon as possible and in September/October at the latest.
Barker is one of the country’s leading Education specialist consultancies. We have a track record of preparing CIF bids and delivering successful projects that have made a real difference to the academies.
Barker advises a number of Academies on their Appeals and are pleased to have secured 7% of all CIF Appeals nationally in the last round.
The Appeals round for CIF 2020-21 is now closed.
Please click 'More Information' for advice on Appeals and the best way forward for your future CIF bid submissions.