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Education Funding & Finance Updates – July 2020

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This is a summary of the key funding rounds available to education clients with key dates highlighted where published and latest news on CIF and SCA announcements.

1.      CIF (Condition Improvement Fund)

The 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 need, 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 condition.

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 are hoping to submit a new expansion project in the next round you should be starting to prepare your bid NOW.

Key dates:

CIF 2020/21 round is now closed                          Funding announcement 26 June 2020.

CIF 2021/22 applications                                      Expected announcement October 2020

DfE has announced the outcome of the Condition Improvement Fund 2020 to 2021. Applicants have been contacted to inform them of the outcome of their application. Further information, setting out next steps for applicants has been provided. The appeals round for CIF 2020 to 2021 will take place in September 2020. Appeals will be for those applicants that can demonstrate that a material error has been made in the assessment of their application.

2.      SCA (School Condition Allocations)

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

DfE have notified academy trusts that are eligible for SCA in the financial year 2020 to 2021. Latest allocations were announced 15th April 2020.

The eligibility criteria are:

  • Trust 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 use the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) pupils rather than headcount. See Condition funding methodology for 2019 to 2020 for more information.

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

3.      TLCF (T Level Capital Fund)

The aim of the TLCF is to help eligible providers have world class facilities for delivery of T Levels from 2020/21. There are two elements of the fund:

• Specialist equipment allocation (SEA)

• Competitive buildings and facilities improvement grant (BFIG)

Deadline for all BFIG applicants to submit applications was 30th April 2020.

The government announced an expansion of the T-Levels subject offering in January 2020 to include eight new subjects including accounting.

4.      SSEF (Selective Schools Expansion Fund)

The Selective Schools Expansion Fund (SSEF) is available to selective schools that demonstrate how they will attract more disadvantaged pupils.

Key dates:

Current round (2019/20):           Closed

Funding announcement:            14th Feb 2020. 6 out of 25 applications were funded

Deadline for next round:            None published

5.      UCS (Urgent Capital Support)

Urgent Capital Support (UCS) is for academies and sixth-form colleges who do not have access to a 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.

6.      Basic Need

Basic need funding is the money 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.

The allocations announced in 2018 will allow local authorities to create the new school places they need by September 2021.

7.      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 key announcements and dates.

8.      Salix/SEEF

Salix, in partnership with the Department for Education (DfE), works to reduce energy usage in individual academies, sixth form colleges, free schools and Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) across England. Through the installation of energy efficient technologies, academies can lower energy bills and create a more comfortable learning environment.

The Salix Energy Efficiency Fund (SEEF) is available for all individual academies, academy sixth forms, free schools and those in Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs).

Key dates:

Current round (2019/20):                          Closed

Funding announcement:                            April 2019

Deadline for next round (2020/21):            OVERDUE (September 2019)

If you have energy efficiency projects and seek funding you may wish to look at alternative funding options such as Less Is More Capital.

9.      COVID-19 Support

DfE’s guidance and access to the claim form for claiming exceptional costs associated with coronavirus (COVID-19) for schools and academies.

DfE’s updated guidance for schools and local authorities on free school meals arrangements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Exceptional Cost – How to submit a claim

DfE has issued instructions on how to claim exceptional costs related to COVID-19. You only have until 21 July 2020 to submit an application form. DfE has unfortunately said there will be no opportunity to request an extension to the deadline. DfE has also confirmed that it will not approve claims for costs associated with opening schools to more pupils from 1st June, additional staff costs and loss of self-generated income.

Summer Food Vouchers

 10.  Bid writing

We recommend academies and trusts start preparing for the next rounds of bidding as soon as possible. Please speak to Barker if you wish to discuss your projects or opportunities for funding.

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