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School Funding & Finance Updates

19th August 2019

School Funding & Finance Updates

Here is a summary of the key funding rounds available to education clients with key dates highlighted where published.

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.

Key dates:

CIF 2019/20 round is closed              Latest announcement April 2019

CIF 2019/20 appeals                         Announced 2 August 2019.

CIF 2020/21 Applications:                 Announced 28 October 2019

New Applicants must register by        29 November 2019, 2019, 12 noon

Deadline to submit applications         13 December 2019, 12 noon

Notification of Outcomes                   Spring 2020

SCA (School Condition Allocations)

In autumn 2019, the DfE will notify academy trusts that are eligible for SCA in the financial year 2020 to 2021. 

The eligibility criteria are:

  • Trusts with 5 or more open academies at the start of September 2019
  • Those open academies (or their predecessors 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 autumn.

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)

The application window is currently closed. The next application window will open in January 2020.

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:              Autumn 2019

Deadline for next round:              April 2020

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.

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.

LCVAP (Local Control Voluntary Aided Programme)

Voluntary-aided (VA) schools are maintained schools and often, but not always, have a religious character. These schools are eligible for capital funding by grant from the department.

VA schools are paid on a similar basis to other categories of school, but the governing body must usually pay at least 10% of the costs of capital work.

Responsibility for work to VA school premises is shared between the school’s governing body and the local authority (LA). The LA has responsibility for the playing fields and the governing body are liable for all other capital expenditure.

Key dates:

Current round (2019/20):            Closed

Funding announcement:              April 2019

Deadline for next round:             October 2019


Salix, in partnership with the 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:              To be announced

Deadline for next round:             To be announced

Bid writing

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