Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) - 2023-24 application round open!
The Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) is an annual bidding round for eligible academies, sixth-form colleges and voluntary-aided (VA) schools to apply for capital funding.
CIF has consistently provided a significant amount of aid and support to academies, sixth-form colleges and VA schools to improve their facilities and address significant condition needs.
The last funding round will provide funding of £498 million for 1,405 projects at 1,129 academies, sixth-form colleges and voluntary aided schools.
Find out more about the CIF 2022-23 outcome.
Pupil count - eligible special and alternative provision schools
As outlined in the CIF guidance, when assessing the eligibility of special and alternative provision schools (including pupil referral units), the DfE will multiply the pupil count by 4.5 for the purposes of determining CIF or SCA eligibility. For example, the DfE would count a MAT with 1,000 pupils in special schools as having 4,500 pupils.
If pupils are registered at more than one institution, the DfE will divide the count by the number of institutions at which they are registered. For example, those dual-registered at a mainstream school and a pupil referral unit would have their count divided by 2 at both institutions.
For nursery schools and sixth-form colleges, DfE will use the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) pupils rather than the count to assess eligibility.
As outlined in the CIF guidance, academies and sixth-form colleges can take out a loan for all or part of the project costs referenced in their application to demonstrate their commitment to the scheme.
You can use the Condition Improvement Fund 2023 to 2024: loan repayment calculator to determine the annual and total repayments that will be incurred.
Loans are offered at PWLB rates of interest – the same rate local authorities can access to invest in their schools. You’ll make loan repayments through an abatement of the revenue funding paid to you, which will be reinvested in future capital budgets.
Can my school apply for CIF Funding?
To be eligible to apply, by the start of September 2022, your institution must fit the below criteria:
- A stand-alone academy
- A school in a MAT with fewer than 5 schools or fewer than 3,000 pupils, as counted in the spring 2022 census or the 2021-22 individualised learner record (ILR)
- A VA school in a VA body or VA group with fewer than 5 schools or fewer than 3,000 pupils, as counted in the spring 2022 census or the 2021-22 ILR
- A sixth-form college
- A school with a signed academy order as of 1 September 2022 that the DfE expects to convert by 1 April 2023
How can our school apply for CIF Funding?
To bid for CIF, you need to submit your application via the CIF portal. The ‘Apply to CIF’ section of the Condition Improvement Fund 2023 to 2024: information for applicants provides further guidance.
Can we get help with our CIF submission?
If you are interested in bidding, we can help!
Your submission will be written by a professional bid expert who has in-depth knowledge of the CIF bidding requirements and a high success rate in winning bids. Full project management will also be provided as part of the service.
Key features of our CIF Funding service include:
- Full project management
- A dedicated bid expert
- Free advice, guidance & support
- Initial needs evaluation survey
- Project identification & project appraisal
- Pre-application cost tendering to meet audit requirements
- Education finance expertise