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Department for Education Launches Condition Improvement Fund 2020-21

Applications are now being accepted from academies and sixth form colleges across England.

This annual fund provides capital funding for academies, sixth-form colleges and non-diocesan voluntary aided (VA) schools in England to transform facilities, improve school buildings and create more good school places. The funding can help expand classrooms, upgrade facilities such as sports halls or science labs, and address issues with the general wear and tear of school buildings.

The Government has announced that all applications will be scored against new criteria for this year, with points added or deducted from the overall score. For unsuccessful bids, applicants will still have the option of applying for Urgent Capital Support to ensure their buildings are safe for pupils and staff.

The strengthened criteria will incentivize academies and trusts to improve finances and governance.

  • Bids are assessed on a point-based criteria, and applicants will get
  • A four-point deduction if they pay two or more salaries in excess of £100,000 or one salary over £150,000, and have failed to take appropriate action in response to our high pay challenge.
  • An extra point for applicants that have signed-up to the most recent government funding agreement;
  • Deductions of up to four points for applicants that have not submitted a financial improvement plan following a visit from a School Resource Management Adviser; and
  • Further scrutiny for successful projects worth more than £1 million.

The Government is making more than £400 million available for 2020-21. The level of grant funding has not been set.

An initial proposal can be submitted for works expected to cost more than £20,000 (for primary and special schools) and £50,000 (for Secondary, allthrough and sixthform colleges) for initial approval prior to further development and final approval at a later stage. The maximum project cost for all schools is £4 million.

In addition to grants, two types of loans are available to applicants for all of part of the project costs:

  • Energy Efficiency Salix Loans
  • CIF Loans

Loans are offered at Public Works Loan Board rates of interest, the same rate that local authorities can access to invest in their schools.

The deadline for all applications is 13 December 2019 (12noon).

Full details…

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