The application form for the 2018-2019 round of the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) has officially opened. If you’re planning to apply this year, you have until 14 December 2017 to submit your initial application.
What is the CIF?
The Condition Improvement Fund is an annual bidding round allowing “Good” or “Outstanding” Ofsted rated academies, trusts and sixth-form colleges to apply for capital funding to support projects that assist with increasing admissions to the school, improve the safety of the premises or reduce overcrowding issues.
There are specific guidelines on who can and cannot apply, all of which can be found in our previous blog: The Condition Improvement Fund – Winning Ideas
Each applicant may submit up to 2 projects per academy or college using the online CIF Portal, however, only one of these may be an expansion project.
When applying, it is advisable to ensure that the evidence supplied for the project reflects the scale of the project, for example, a submission asking for £100,000 would need a much more robust application with supporting evidence than a submission asking for £20,000-£50,000 (the minimum project thresholds).
It is also important to note that even though one academy can submit two bids, each bid will be assessed separately. If one of your bids is accepted, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your second will be too.
If you need help improving your chances of being accepted, or need assistance putting together your application and supporting evidence, click here and speak to one of our external bid writers.
For this year’s round, eligible academies and trusts will also be able to apply for projects that are supported by the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund (HPCF). The Soft Drinks Industry Levy will provide revenue for the HPCF funding, but this only applies for the 2018-2019 round.
The fund’s main aim is to improve children and young people’s health, both mentally and physically by increasing access to facilities that support physical activity, healthy eating, mental health, well being, and medical conditions.
Those who are ineligible to apply for the CIF, MATs with over 5 academies or 3000 pupils and local authority maintained schools, will receive HPCF funding through their direct school condition allocations.
Those who are eligible however, must follow the same process as the CIF application but indicate if they believe their project relates to the HPCF, however, the ESFA will make the final judgement on whether the projects are relevant to the funding or not.
Submitting a bid for the HPCF also counts towards the maximum number of bids you may submit under the CIF round.
If you are an academy, trust or sixth-form college that hasn’t previously applied for the CIF, then you must register before 30 November 2017.
All applications must be submitted by 14 December 2017, and academies that would like to bid for a project that would change the capacity of their school (change of age range, adding a nursery or sixth form) must also apply for a significant change request before this date.
The outcomes of this round will then be announced by April 2018.
Improve your Chances
Does deciphering the information above feel like a mammoth task? Don't worry, we know that bid writing for these applications can be a difficult task. Finding specific evidence to support your application is time consuming, and trying to correctly phrase your need for the funding can be stressful. So, why not ask for help?
Our bid writers work on a no win, no fee basis, so you’ve got nothing to lose! Simply click the button below to contact one of our bid writers and make the whole process easier for you.