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School Funding for School Building Maintenance Q&A

01422 202919


School Funding for School Building Maintenance Q&A

Since Ploughcroft are experienced at providing professional roofing services to academies and colleges, with strong partnerships with funding surveyors who are successful in over 90% of their funding bids, we have put together this Q&A style blog post for Schools Facilities Management teams seeking school funding.

What Funding is Available to Improve My School Building?

A government scheme called the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) exists to help the country’s eligible academies and sixth-form colleges apply for capital funding. The funding enables schools and colleges to maintain safe and functional buildings.

Larger multi-academy trusts can receive a School Condition Allocation (SCA) rather than the Condition Improvement Fund to spend strategically to address their most pressing property maintenance needs.

For schools whose buildings are in desperate need of urgent repairs, a Priority Support Building Programme (PSBP) is available. The aim of the PSBP is to rebuild and refurbish school buildings that are currently in the worst condition across the country. A total of 537 schools are included in the scheme, with the Education Funding Agency (EFA) rebuilding or refurbishing 260 schools under the first phase of the initiative (PSB1) and refurbishing or rebuilding the individual school buildings rather than whole schools during phase 2 (PSBP2).

Salix Energy Efficiency Fund (SEEF) is the result of Salix’s partnership with the Department of Education (DfE). SEEF offers academies, sixth-form colleges, free schools and multi-academy trusts (MATs) funding to finance the installation of energy-efficient technologies to help them lower their energy bills and providing more comfortable learning environments. Ploughcroft’s Eco Roof™ Thermal Blanket — a clever combination of high-tech roofing insulation and a re-roof — can significantly help schools reduce their energy bills.

What Does the School Funding Cover?

The Condition Improvement Fund can be used to finance projects that solve health and safety issues, such as essential electric work or fire safety systems, building compliance and poor school building conditions, for example, making sure the school roof is watertight.

For academies and sixth-form colleges that have attained a good or outstanding Ofsted rating who wish to expand their current facilities, the Condition Improvement Fund can support a small number of such expansion projects.

Similarly, the School Condition Allocation is intended to fund projects that ensure the educational building is safe and in good working order by resolving issues related to building compliance, energy-efficiency and health and safety.

Due to the funding being in high demand, The Condition Improvement Fund provides funding to eligible sixth-forms and colleges for the following types of project categories. Works that fall into the low and lowest categories are unlikely to secure funding.

Category Priority Level
Legislation Compliance and Health & Safety, including:

  • emergency & managed asbestos removal to facilitate essential works
  • gas safety
  • electrical safety
  • lift safety
  • water services (hot and cold) and drainage
  • ventilation/air quality and thermal comfort
  • fire safety
  • security and safeguarding
Life Expired Condition Replacement – where there is a risk of school
closure, including:

  • building structure
  • mechanical systems
  • electrical systems
  • utility capacity and connections
Life Expired Condition Replacement, including:

  • building fabric – internal or external
  • building structure
  • mechanical systems
  • electrical systems
Areas below current standards, including:

  • Whole block
  • Basic Teaching
  • Large spaces, studios, dining and social
  • Kitchen
  • Plant
  • Learning resources areas
  • Staff and admin
  • Storage
  • Changing
  • Toilets
  • Circulation
Other works: Evidence must provide a clear condition and value for money
case. This might include:

  • accessibility improvements (teaching and non-teaching)
  • building fabric (non-teaching, e.g. external sports equipment stores
  • mechanical and electrical systems (non-teaching)
  • insulation/draught proofing (non-teaching)
  • lighting (non-teaching)

What Are the Eligibility Criteria for School Funding?

Single academy trusts, small multi-academy trusts (MATs) and sixth-form colleges are welcome to apply for the Condition Improvement Fund. MATs with at least 5 academies or more than 3,000 pupils aren’t eligible for the Condition Improvement Fund but can receive a School Funding Allocation.

Academies or sixth-form colleges involved with a Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP) project should check with their PSBP Project Director before applying for the Condition Improvement Fund to make sure works covered by the PSBP project aren’t duplicated in the CIF application.

Academies and schools should also take care not to include any energy-efficiency works that are part of their SEEF application within their Condition Improvement Fund application.

How Do I Apply for School Funding?

Academies and colleges looking to apply for Condition Improvement Fund support need to utilise the CIF Applicants Checklist and the CIF portal. The CIF portal will automatically let eligible schools or colleges register and create an account. From there, schools and colleges are required to fill out an application form where they can attach project documentation to support the case being made for the funding. There’s no need to include information about the educational establishment’s history or history of the condition issue the school or college is looking to rectify.

To apply for the Salix Energy Efficiency Fund, applicants must fill out an application form, which is made available on the Salix website once the DfE has agreed it can be released. Applicants will also have to complete an Energy Conservation Measure (ECM) for each project included within the application and fill out a Business Case (located in a separate tab within the application document) if they are applying for more than £100,000 of loan funding.

When Should I Start Applying for School Funding?

Applications for the Condition Improvement Fund, which is an annual bidding process, are typically made in autumn with the results being announced in March the following year. However, it is recommended that schools and colleges begin the bidding process as early as possible to increase their chances of success.

For more information about how Ploughcroft could help your academy or sixth-form college maintain high building standards using CIF funding, contact us today.

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