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Funding & Finance Update - January 2024

Funding and Finance  

Here is a summary of the key funding rounds available to education clients with key dates highlighted where published and the latest news on announcements on; 

Condition Improvement Fund  

School Condition Allocation 

Energy Efficiency Funding  

Post 16 Capacity Fund  

T Levels Capital Fund 

Further Education Capital Fund  

Urgent Capital Support  

LCVAP 

Basic Need  

1. CIF (Condition Improvement Fund) 

Condition Improvement Fund is an annual bidding round for eligible academies and sixth-form colleges to apply for capital funding. The priority for the fund is to address significant condition needs, keeping academy and sixth-form college buildings safe and in good working order. This includes funding projects to address health and safety issues, building compliance and poor building conditions. 

The Condition Improvement Fund also supports a small proportion of expansion projects. These are for Ofsted-rated good or outstanding academies and sixth-form colleges that need to expand their existing facilities and/or floor space. If you wish to submit a new project in the next CIF application round you should be starting to prepare your bid NOW. 

The DfE has updated Information for eligible academy trusts. New information has been added about submissions for Urgent Capital Support, updated guidance and application form, and a new Trust financial template. 

Key dates 

CIF 2024/25: Closed          

Outcomes: TBA in Spring 2024 

CIF 2025/26: Expected to launch in Autumn 2024  

2. SCA (School Condition Allocations) 

Eligible bodies (MATs) receive a formulaic allocation in lieu of CIF bids. 

DfE notified academy trusts of their 2023/2024 allocations in March 2023.  

The eligibility criteria are: 

Trusts with 5 or more open academies at the start of September 2019. 

Those open academies (or their predecessor schools) had at least 3,000 pupils counted in the spring 2019 census. 

For nursery schools and sixth forms, DfE uses the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) pupils rather than headcount. See Condition Funding Methodology for 2023-2024 for more information.  

Single-academy trusts, smaller multi-academy trusts (MATs) and sixth-form colleges can apply for CIF instead of receiving an SCA. Those eligible for CIF will also be notified in the autumn.  

3. Energy Efficiency Funding 

The Government set up two funds to deliver energy efficiency measures and heat decarbonisation measures through, Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) and Public Sector Low Carbon Skills Fund (LCSF) 

Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme 

Phase 3c Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme was announced in July 2023. Primarily focusing on decarbonisation of heat, this fund offers the opportunity for public bodies to bid for grant funding to support replacement/upgrades to existing heating systems using low/zero carbon technologies such as air source, water source and ground source heat pumps. 

Key dates  

Phase 3c application round: Closed  

Launch of next round: TBA 

Public Sector Low Carbon Skills Fund  

In April the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (via Salix Finance) launched Phase 4 of the Public Sector Low Carbon Skills Fundfor the public sector to develop heat decarbonisation plans for their estates. In this round, the application process followed the previous rounds and a total of £17 million in grants was allocated to public sector bodies.    

Applications are assessed on a first-come-first-served basis. From previous experience, the fund will be fully allocated within hours of opening so it will be essential for applications to be prepared and ready for submission in advance of the portal application opening.   

Key dates 

Phase 4 LCSF application round: Closed 

Launch of Phase 5 LCSF application round: TBA

Alternative funding sources 

If you have energy efficiency projects and seek funding, you may wish to look at alternative private funding options. 

 

4. Post-16 Capacity Fund 

The Post-16 Capacity Fund has been introduced by the Department for Education to help meet the predicted increase in the 16–19 year old demographic.  

Funding is available to support capital projects that provide: 

Additional space that either increases the overall gross internal floor area (GIFA) of learning space and associated functional areas or facilities  

Re-configure the estate in order to accommodate additional learners. 

Criteria for eligible post-16 institutions can be found in the guidance which has not been released currently. 

Key dates 

Current round (2023/24): Closed 

Next round: TBA

5. TLCF (T Levels Capital Fund) 

T Levels is a new technical study programme that will sit alongside apprenticeships within a reformed skills training system and there are now more than 20 T Level routes available. The aim of the TLCF is to help eligible higher education providers have world-class facilities for the delivery of T Level qualifications. There are two elements of the fund: 

• Specialist equipment allocation (SEA) 

• Competitive buildings and facilities improvement grant (BFIG) 

Key dates

Current round (2023/24): Closed 

Next round: Expected in early 2024 

You can read the guidance for TLCF here 

6. FECTF (Further Education Capital Transformation Fund) 

The aim of the FECTF is to help eligible Further Education Colleges to upgrade their estates. The funding applies to capital projects that address the condition needs of building elements in the estate including rebuilding or remodelling, and expansion projects where the FE college is graded as Outstanding. 

Full guidance for Further Education Capital Transformation Funding can be found here.   

Key dates

Next Round: Awaiting Announcement  

7. UCS (Urgent Capital Support)  

Urgent Capital Support (UCS) is for academies and sixth-form colleges who do not have access to SCA and require funding assistance to address urgent building condition issues that put at risk either the safety of pupils and staff, or threatens the closure of the whole or a significant part of the school.

This funding is open throughout the year. The DfE has updated Information for eligible academy trusts. New information has been added about submissions for UCS funding, updated guidance and application form, and a new Trust financial template. 

8. Basic Need  

Basic Need Allocation is the funding given to local authorities each year to help them fulfil their duty to make sure there are enough school places for children in their local area.  

Allocations for the 2025 to 2026 financial year, announced in March 2023, will support local authorities to create the new school places they need by the start of the academic year in September 2026. This is in addition to allocations announced in 2022 for the 2023 to 2024 and 2024 to 2025 financial years for school places needed by September 2024 and 2025 respectively. 

All local authorities have also been allocated additional capital funding to invest in provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities through thespecial provision capital fund

9. LCVAP (Local Control Voluntary Aided Programme) 

Voluntary-aided (VA) schools are maintained schools and often, but not always, have a religious character. These schools used to be eligible for capital funding through the LCVAP process. The government has now announced its intention to replace this scheme with the School Condition Allocation (SCA) system already in place for multi-academy trust bodies. See section 2 above for SCA announcements and dates. 

10. Bid Writing 

We recommend academies and trusts start preparing for the next rounds of bidding before the funding application windows open. Please speak to Barker if you wish to discuss your projects or opportunities for education funding.

We have a knowledgeable team of professional advisors including RICS chartered surveyors and fully qualified APMP bid writers who can help compile an extensive bid meeting the guidance criteria to gain funding.  

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