It’s hard to believe that the dawn of a brand new school year is here.
With much of the disruption of Covid hopefully now behind us, school headteachers and governors can start to look forward and make positive plans for the 2021/22 academic year and beyond.
With this in mind, we have prepared some details of the funding opportunities that may be available to schools this coming year.
It has been a busy summer for our school building consultants and the schools we helped to obtain CIF funding, with many building, repair and replacement schemes being undertaken during the summer holidays. Following on from this, we are already making plans with our academy school and sixth form college clients for CIF funding applications for 2021/22.
Although the exact dates vary each year, generally, a new round of CIF funding is usually announced in October, with registration then becoming open for applicants. The deadline for applications to be submitted is usually around the middle of December.
Again, specific criteria for projects is slightly different each year, but this type of funding is open to academy school clients, sixth form colleges and small Multi Academy Trusts only.
At Lea Hough, we always keep a watchful eye on developments around CIF funding and will announce any details, including key dates for this year’s funding round, on our blog and social media channels.
Public Sector Decarbonisation
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has allocated a ring-fence of protected funding of £3.5m for schools in the second phase of the Public Sector Low Carbon Skills Fund (LCSF), for which applications open in September. Unlike the previous phase of PSDS funding, this second phase will offer grants for organisations to engage the specialist and expert advice and skills required to prepare a Heat Decarbonisation Plan, not for the works to actually be undertaken.
With decarbonisation so high on the agenda as part of the government’s commitment to the UK being carbon neutral by 2040, we anticipate further rounds of decarbonisation funding to be announced in the near future.
The pressure on school budgets is notoriously tight. Working alongside an experienced school building consultant can not only ensure you are fully aware of all of the funding opportunities available and whether or not you are eligible for them, but can also help to secure funding.
Even where funding opportunities are unavailable, a school building consultant can help you to put in place and action a repair and maintenance plan. This will allow you to prioritise the work that needs undertaking across the site in order of urgency and practicality. This allows for budgets relating to repairs and building works to be managed more effectively, with fewer nasty surprises along the way.
For help or advice from Lea Hough’s highly experienced School Building Consultants, please get in touch. We are happy to undertake an initial site visit to discuss options at no cost. Furthermore, many of our services relating to funding applications also come with no up front costs to schools, with fees being obtained from funds that are successfully obtained.