Department for Education (DfE) Funding Streams

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Stephen Scott


Stephen Scott


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The Department for Education offers education bodies a range of funding to support the condition of their estates and the wellbeing of pupils and staff.

Condition Improvement Fund (CIF)

The Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) is an annual bidding round for eligible academies, sixth-form colleges and VA schools to apply for capital funding. The priority for the fund is to address significant condition need, keeping education provider buildings safe and in good working order. This includes funding projects to address health and safety issues, building compliance and poor building condition.

CIF also supports a small proportion of expansion projects. These are for academies, sixth-form colleges and VA schools rated good or outstanding by Ofsted that can demonstrate a need to expand.

CIF 2021/22 round is currently closed. The CIF Assessment Team wrote to all applicants on 29 April confirming that they are planning to announce outcomes in Mid-June.

Key dates:

CIF 2021/22 round is now closed Outcomes expected Mid-June 2021
CIF 2022/23 round will open in autumn 2021 Please get in touch with us prior to the round announcement, so we can walk you through the process and compile all necessary information for a successful bid.

You can find more about our experience with CIF here.

Urgent Capital Support (UCS)

Urgent Capital Support (UCS) is for academies and sixth-form colleges who do not have access to a SCA and require funding assistance to address urgent building condition issues that put at risk either the safety of pupils and staff, or threatens the closure of the whole, or a significant part of the school. This funding is open throughout the year.

Please note that your application will only be considered where there is a genuine and immediate need for urgent support, and you cannot wait until the next round of CIF.

How funding is offered

UCS funding is primarily offered as a loan, subject to an assessment of trust finances. Trusts may also be required to contribute.

Grant funding may only be provided in exceptional circumstances.

School Condition Allocations (SCA)

The School Condition Allocations (SCA) are paid to eligible bodies (MATs) for the maintenance of school buildings (organisations not eligible for CIF).

DfE notified academy trusts of their 2021/22 allocations on 27 April 2021.

The eligibility criteria are:

  • Trusts with 5 or more open academies at the start of September 2019.
  • Those open academies (or their predecessor schools) had at least 3,000 pupils counted in the spring 2019 census.

For nursery schools and sixth forms, DfE use the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) pupils rather than headcount. See Condition funding methodology for 2021 to 2022 for more information. Single academy trusts, smaller multi-academy trusts (MATs) and sixth-form colleges can apply for CIF instead of receiving an SCA. Those eligible for CIF will also be notified in the autumn.

Further Education Capital Transformation Fund (FECTF)

The aim of the FECTF is to help eligible Further Education Colleges to upgrade their estates.

The funding applies to capital projects that address the condition need of building elements in the estate including rebuilding or remodelling, and expansion projects where the Further Education college is graded as Outstanding.

Full guidance for Further Education Capital Transformation Funding can be found here.

Key dates:

Stage 1: Preliminary Stage 2: Detailed submissions
Stage 1 application submission deadline 11.59pm on 22 March 2021 (delayed) Stage 2 application submission deadline 11.59pm on 30 July 2021
Stage 1 FE colleges notified of outcome 14 May 2021 (delayed) Stage 2 FE colleges notified of outcome Week commencing 27 September 2021

You can find more about our experience in Further Education here.

Energy Efficiency Funding


Salix, in partnership with the Department for Education (DfE), works to reduce energy usage in individual academies, sixth form colleges, free schools and Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) across England. Through the installation of energy efficient technologies, academies can lower energy bills and create a more comfortable learning environment.

The Salix Energy Efficiency Fund (SEEF) is available for all individual academies, academy sixth forms, free schools and those in Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs).

Alternative funding sources

If you have energy efficiency projects and seek funding you may wish to look at alternative funding options such as Less Is More Capital or Maxxia.

In October 2020 the Government announced that the public sector could bid for two new funds to deliver energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation measures through, Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS)

Phase 2 is now closed Projects must be completed prior to 31 March 2022

Public Sector Low Carbon Skills Fund
Phase 2 of this scheme is now closed; however, should another round be announced in coming months this would be another option to consider.

Bid Writing

We recommend academies and trusts start preparing for the next rounds of bidding as soon as possible. Please contact us at if you wish to discuss your projects or opportunities for funding. We have a highly knowledgeable and experienced team who can help compile an extensive bid that meets the guidance criteria to gain funding.


Stephen Scott
Stephen Scott

Partner - National Head of Education

Chris Hartley
Chris Hartley

Partner - Building Surveying and Health & Safety Services