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Funding & Finance

07th October 2020

Funding & Finance

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                          Last funding announcement June 2020.

CIF 2021/22 applications                                      Expected announcement October 2020

2.      SCA (School Condition Allocations)

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

DfE notified academy trusts that are eligible for SCA in the financial year 2020 to 2021. Additional funding was announced in August this year.

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 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 extended to 26th June 2020. As a consequence, the announcement of the successful wave 2 projects has been delayed until October and therefore there may be have some flexibility on the September 2021 completion date where this is justified. This is under review as the situation develops.

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 (2020/21):           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.      Energy Efficiency Funding


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):       Expected Autumn 2020

Alternative funding sources

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

 9.   Strategic school improvement fund – emergency funding

In the event of an emergency, DfE will consider applications to the Strategic School Improvement Fund – emergency funding to support an individual school, as opposed to a group of schools, if the supported school meets the eligibility criteria for emergency funding referenced on this page

 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.