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Schools Generating Income – What’s out there that is really achievable?

Ever look at the emails and links to the available grants such as the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) or the Trust Capacity Fund (TCaF) and think yeah, I think we meet all of their criteria, but I just don’t know where to start. 


So instead of tackling it head on there and then, you pop it on your list of things to research and plan to make it an action, then someone knocks on the door – back to operations. 


A few days passes, and then weeks, the portal to that particular fund has opened, but you still haven’t given it much thought. 

Or you have but it isn’t the closest crocodile in terms of your strategic priorities then the window closes and that’s it over for another year. 


Income generation in publicly funded schools has been new territory over the last few years, for some it is still unknown and uncomfortable. 


What’s out there?


Coronavirus (COVID-19) catch-up premium – Designed to mitigate the effects of the unique disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19) only currently available for 2020 to 2021 academic year. 


This funding will be provided in 3 tranches with an initial payment to be received in the autumn 2020 term. The funding will be based on the latest data on pupils, on a per pupil basis. 


Each mainstream school will receive £80 for each pupil in reception through to year 11. Special, AP and hospital schools will be provided with £240 for each place for the 2020 to 2021 academic year. 


This will reduce upon receiving the second grant payment to £46.67 per pupil for mainstream schools and £140 per pupil for AP & hospital schools. 

The last payment in the summer term £33.33 per pupil or £100 per place.


The Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) supports projects that address compliance, health & safety issues and maintenance needs. To be successful in receiving the funds, the project needs to demonstrate high need and align with the CIF priorities as set out by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). 


DfE guidance is issued in October and the deadline for new CIF applications to register on the online portal is in November with the final submission deadline for CIF bids in December.


Highest priority of works is:

  • Health & Safety or safeguarding issues
  • Emergency asbestos removal
  • Fire safety works
  • Leaking roofs, cladding and windows
  • Heating and hot water systems


Trust Capacity Fund (TCaF) – The application window for the Trust Capacity Fund 2020 to 2021 is now open. Activity taking place between 6 April 2020 and 31 March 2021 can be funded through the Trust Capacity Fund. All funded activity must be completed by 31 March 2021.


To read more head over to the Department of Education, by following this link:


What makes good bid writing?


Writing successful bids is not easy particularly if its your first time, but don’t let that put you off. 


Our first tip would be to read and re-read the specification – What is the criteria and how do you fit it? 


The attention is in the detail ensure that you review and continuously check your submission to ensure the specification is consistent will ensure that you have hit the key phrases. Ticking off the criteria could be the difference between a ‘successful’ or ‘unsuccessful’ application being returned to you. 


Tip number two – do not copy & paste! You need to tailor your response and answer the questions specific to your school and needs. 


Lastly, be organised – Bids are time sensitive: right from the off.


Pop some dates into your diary. Obviously the submission deadline is key, but also pop some “quiet time” where you can solely focus on your application Make sure you include your time for writing the bid, reading the documentation, writing plans, pricing schedules, and don’t forget to allow yourself time to review. Proofreading your own work is key! 


If you know you haven’t got the time, delegate some of the tasks such as proofreading or uploading to a member of your team. Alternatively consider the use of an external bid writer to do it for you.


Don’t delay, get your School the necessary funding it needs or contact EPI for more support and guidance: or 0116 228 0069.

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