CIF funding for school improvement works

As the academic year draws to a close, schools always have a busy programme of events as students and teachers conclude a busy term. When it comes to applying for CIF funding, it may seem that a deadline of December is far away and that planning the funding applications can therefore wait until the autumn. However, it’s crucial to understand that starting the planning process well in advance can have significant benefits for academy schools.

Here’s why it’s important to start planning CIF bids sooner rather than later:

1. Engage Experienced School Building Consultants

School Building Consultants have in-depth knowledge and experience in conducting surveys for academy schools and multi academy trusts (MAT’s). They can identify areas in need of improvement, provide detailed reports, and offer professional advice on strengthening bid proposals. By leveraging their expertise, academies can significantly enhance their chances of success.

As a side note, by scheduling surveys during the summer months, when there are typically very few students or teachers present, Surveyors can access all areas of the school easily. By appointing consultants during the summer, schools can ensure that the necessary surveys and reports are completed in a timely manner, leaving plenty of time to submit the strongest possible bids for the next CIF funding round.

2. Comprehensive CIF Application

The more time a school has to prepare and submit its CIF funding application, the more comprehensive the application is likely to be. This includes gathering all the necessary information and supporting documents, such as risk assessments, architectural plans, and budget estimates. By starting the CIF planning process early, schools can ensure that all relevant details are included in the application, increasing the chances of a successful CIF bid.

3. Engaging Stakeholders

Successful CIF bids often require the input and involvement of various stakeholders, such as school staff and governors. By starting the planning process early, academy schools can reach out to these stakeholders and gather their input on priority areas, potential projects, and estimated costs. This collaborative approach ensures that the bid reflects the needs of the entire school community.

4. Budgeting and Resource Allocation

Planning for CIF bids allows schools to closely assess the financial implications and allocate resources accordingly. By identifying the projects that require funding, academy schools can assess the financial impact on their budgets and determine how these should be allocated. This proactive approach helps schools manage their resources effectively and being able to demonstrate thorough budget planning can go a long way in helping schools to demonstrate their approach to GEMS.

The Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) provides vital funding to support schools in maintaining and improving their facilities, ensuring that students have the best possible learning environment.

At Lea Hough Chartered Surveyors, we understand the importance of early preparation when it comes to submitting a winning CIF bid. That’s why we encourage schools to start planning their bids now, to ensure they are in the best position to secure funding for their projects.

Get in touch with our School Building Consultants to discuss your CIF bids for the forthcoming round.

Preston Office
Telephone: 01772 458866
Blackburn Office
Telephone: 01254 260196
Clitheroe Office
Telephone: 01200 320040
Lancaster Office
Telephone: 01524 899850
Manchester Office
Telephone: 0161 265 0070
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