All academies are eligible for capital funding annually, and for some, there is the opportunity to bid for further funds. Urgent issues can arise between funding cycles and you may be struggling to meet the cost. Schools can be left with a school estate that is not meeting statutory requirements and not fit for purpose. If an emergency happens you may need to find a way to fund this. Thankfully there is some additional capital funding available called the Urgent Capital Support (UCS) fund. Further details can be found here .
Like Condition Improvement Fund (CIF), UCS is not available to those within the Schools Condition Allocation (SCA) regime. It is expected that the MAT will manage its SCA allocation to be able to provide emergency funds if required. The fund is only for urgent support that cannot wait until the next CIF main round. To be eligible the application will need to show:
Examples of the types of work that may be in scope include:
If you have any of these projects that are causing you significant issues, and do not have funding available, we recommend that you review the guidance to see if you are eligible. It is also worth noting if funding is not available, and it creates a significant variance to the budget previously submitted to the ESFA, we recommend revised budgets are prepared and you should consider whether these should be resubmitted.
As a reminder the three main funding streams are:
Devolved formula capital (DFC)
All schools receive DFC for the maintenance of buildings and for small capital projects. This is calculated and paid annually to academy trusts, and all trusts will receive the money. This must be spent within 3 financial years of the payment being made.
School Condition Allocation (SCA)
This is an additional allocation of capital funds, payable to multi academy trusts (MATs) with over 5 schools and 3,000 pupils. The calculation for the payment is based on condition surveys of the MAT estate and is then paid on a per pupil basis to the MAT. This funding is spent across the entire estate of the trust, and investment should be prioritised on keeping school buildings safe and in good working order. There is no automatic allocation of this grant between the schools in the MAT, and the MAT must choose how to use it most efficiently.
Condition Improvement Fund (CIF)
This is additional capital funding that is open to any trust not eligible for SCA. To obtain these funds you must submit bids, and meet the relevant criteria. Most of the funds available are designated for health and safety, and energy efficiency projects, with little allocated for school expansion.
At Bishop Fleming we have helped a number of Trusts when considering this, from reviewing the budgets and forecasts, to preparing additional submissions to the ESFA. If you would like any help or guidance please contact us and we will be happy to discuss how we can help.