With news of the next round of CIF funding announced this week, it’s likely you have a lot of questions regarding the application process. And who better to ask than our experts in ESFA CIF Bids? The truth is, applying for government funding is no easy feat. With lots of hoops to jump through and a slim chance of success, it’s no wonder so many people invest in specialist bid writers like Munday + Cramer. There really is no room for error.
What Is CIF?
If you’re landing on this blog, chances are that you’re already well acquainted with CIF funding. Should this not be the case, however, allow us to give you a quick breakdown.
CIF stands for Condition Improvement Fund and is a type of government funding awarded to schools across the UK. The funding is to aid with the essential (but non-emergency) works to educational facilities.
In the 2023-24 round of ESFA CIF bids, £456 million was awarded across 859 academies. Whilst this may sound like a lot initially, in reality, this barely scratches the surface.
Important Deadlines to Remember
Throughout the bidding process, there are a number of key deadlines. Details of these can be found below:
- Deadline for new applicants to register – 7th December 2023 at 12pm.
- Deadline for submitting applications – 14th December 2023 at 12pm.
- Outcome announcement – May 2024.
How Points Are Awarded
ESFA CIF bids can receive a total of 100 points. The points system is broken down into three areas:
- Project Need – 60 points available
- Project Cost – 25 points available
- Project Planning – 15 points available
Lets break things down…
There are 5 sub-sections: Project type, urgency of need, evidence strength, extent of impact, GEMS.
When it comes to cost, you need to mention the overall project costs, cost certainty, where else you will source and secure funding, and how you have considered environmental sustainability.
You need to clearly demonstrate that you have considered how appropriate the proposed solution is, timescales for the project, and your plan for delivery.
Focusses for CIF 2024-25
Similar to the last round, there are three main types of CIF project:
- Condition with Expansion
You can read more about these categories here.
Can I Apply for More Than One Project?
Academies, VA Schools, or sixth forms can submit ESFA CIF bids for up to two projects. You cannot apply for more than one expansion project, however.
Where two applications are submitted, these will be assessed independently. If the works are linked, this needs to be mentioned within the application process. You can also consider doing a combined application, as the success of one bid does not guarantee another.
What to Do If Your School Needs Urgent Support
If your school is in need of urgent support with an issue that is threatening closure, you need to apply for UCS as soon as possible. This stands for ‘Urgent Capital Support’.
Need help with the application process? Get in touch with our team today!
Struggled with your ESFA CIF Bids in the past and looking for professional help this time around? We can help you! Reach our experts by clicking here or by calling us on 01245 326 200. You can also check us out on Instagram!