The educational landscape has been in flux in recent years. The grants and funding available to establishments very much hinge not only on the type of work needed doing, but on the type of school, itself. As more schools change from one type to another, some funding pots grow whilst others shrink. Throw into that mix significant changes to the funding schemes, themselves, as well as the current situation regarding COVID-19 and you can quickly lose track of what is available to whom, and when it is available. The team here at Munday + Cramer, technical specialists in bid applications in Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk and the Northern Home Counties, has rounded up these latest funding changes in one place to better lay out the funding roadmap.
Local Authority Maintained Schools
There are a number of schools that fall under this bracket. It includes community schools, and foundation and trust schools. There are still many schools in the United Kingdom controlled by local authorities. In recent times the Government has continually see-sawed between pressuring academisation and not. At one point, it had even stated a timeframe by which all schools would’ve converted into academies. Needless to say, they quickly recanted their statement. LAs receive school capital funding through school condition allocations (SCA) which they can use as they see fit across the schools they maintain.
Condition Improvement Fund
The Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) is predominantly granted for maintenance and structural improvements. This is focused on building standards, keeping buildings warm, dry, safe, etc. Roughly 10% of the CIF is also put aside for expansion projects at academies. The schools eligible for the CIF are as follows:
- Standalone academies
- Small MATs (those with fewer than 5 academies and 3,000 pupils)
- Sixth form colleges
- Non-Diocesan VA schools
- Free schools
- LA schools with signed academy orders due to convert within a certain timeframe.
As more schools continue to ‘academise’, the available pot of funding is shrinking, so to speak. It’s especially vital, therefore, that your bid applications are of the highest quality. In simple terms, the supply remains the same whilst the demand continues to grow year by year. Competition has never been greater with each school applying feeling as deserving as the next. Munday + Cramer have proven successes in securing CIF funding for eligible schools. In 2019/2020, for example, over £38 million was secured for schools across the South-East.
Schools Condition Allocations
Larger Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) will continue to operate on an SCA basis. This allocation is granted to such trusts to be used at their discretion. The MAT may choose to use it however they wish across their trust provided that it’s used in line with the following requirements:
- Tackling poor building condition
- Addressing incompliant buildings
- Improving energy efficiency
- Rectifying health and safety issues
Successful MATs can expect to receive 9 equal SCA instalments between the months of May and January.
Of all the changes to funding that have been made, the Locally Coordinated Voluntary Aided Programme (LVCAP) has seen the greatest shift. The financial year from 2020 to 2021 sees the LCVAP being effectively closed as a funding scheme. Instead, VA schools will be under the same capital funding mechanisms as other schools. The available funding will be allocated to the schools’ responsible bodies, and distributed in a similar vein to larger Multi-Academy Trusts receiving SCA funding. This applies to Diocesan schools but not independent VA schools. These non-Diocesan schools will have to enter the CIF process with bid applications as would any standalone academy or sixth-form college.
The criteria for VA bodies to receive direct SCA are as follows:
- 5 or more schools must have been open at the start of September 2019.
- Said open schools must have had 3,000 pupils (minimum) counted in the 2019 spring census.
T-Levels are more vocationally-based courses than their A-Level counterparts, which are being introduced in September of this year. The applications for T-Level Capital Funding, whilst still the same content-wise, have been extended to 26th June due to issues stemming from COVID-19. This fund comprises two main components, the Building and Facilities Improvement Grant (BFIG) as well as Specialist Equipment Allocation (SEA).
The heavily technical world of schools funding can confuse even the most involved of parties. Whilst the jargon and rhetoric may be constant, the state of these funding schemes isn’t. That’s why it’s so crucial to keep abreast of these changes – if you don’t, you risk getting left behind. So, if you’d like to find out more about our work with bid applications in Essex, Kent and London, then get in touch! Contact Munday + Cramer on 01245 326 200.