School Building Improvements - School Building Consultancy

In the recent round of the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF), the level of approval has been alarmingly low. This raises important questions about the challenges that schools face in obtaining the necessary funds to improve and maintain their buildings.

The Condition Improvement Fund Low Approval Rate

The CIF is a government funding round that aims to provide financial support for eligible academy schools and sixth forms to invest in the maintenance and improvement of their buildings and facilities. It is an important source of funding for schools, enabling them to enhance learning environments, improve the safety and welfare of students, and address the deteriorating condition of school buildings.

Unfortunately, the latest round of funding applications under the CIF yielded disappointing results.

Only 866 projects were approved through the 2024/25 CIF round – down from 1,058 in the previous year. This is the lowest number of project approvals since the fund was introduced in 2015 and less than half of the number of applications that were approved in 2020/21, when 2,104 projects received funding.

This low level of approvals highlights the significant challenges faced by schools in securing the necessary funds for improving and maintaining their buildings.

The Impact of Limited Funding

The inadequate funding for school maintenance poses significant risks to the health and safety of students and staff. Aging buildings can suffer from structural issues, inadequate heating or cooling systems, and inadequate ventilation, all of which can impact the learning environment and impair student performance.

Furthermore, inadequate funding can hinder the ability of schools to adapt to changing educational needs. As technology continues to advance, schools need to invest in modern equipment and facilities to support digital learning and enhance teaching practices. Limited funding means these improvements are often delayed or altogether neglected; again having a detrimental impact on learning.

The low level of CIF funding approvals highlights the ongoing battle that schools face in obtaining the necessary funds to maintain and improve their buildings.

The government needs to recognise the importance of investing in school infrastructure and provide adequate resources to meet the ongoing needs of educational institutions.

By prioritising school maintenance and improvement, we can create safer, more conducive learning environments for students and ensure they have the best possible educational opportunities.

Lea Hough’s School Building Consultants are able to provide specialist advice and guidance to academy schools and sixth form colleges on how to access funding. With such scarce resources available, schools need to seek professional advice to best place themselves to win finding bids.

For an initial discussion or to arrange a free audit with one of our school advisors, please get in touch with our team.

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Lea Hough is a trading name of Lea Hough & Co LLP, which is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales under partnership number OC306054.
Registered Office: Oakshaw House, 2 Capricorn Park, Blakewater Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB1 5QR