As the Autumn term starts, the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) deadline draws closer. Even though no official date has been set, judging from previous years, your application will need to be drafted and submitted around the beginning of December.
Are you prepared for it? Do you know exactly what is needed for the application? If not, then don’t panic, we have some information that may help you feel at ease.
Can You Apply?
If you are planning to apply for the CIF, you must meet the specific guidelines that are in place, such as:
- Be an open academy or sixth-form college as at 1 September 2017.
- Be a school with a signed academy order as at 1 September 2017 (if successful, you must have converted to academy status and have a funding agreement in place by 31 March 2018 to receive funding).
- You must NOT be part of a multi-academy trust which has 5 or more academies and more than 3,000 pupils.
- You must also NOT be part of an opted-in chain that is receiving formulaic funding.
If you are a multi-academy trust with 5 or more schools however, you will receive a formulaic allocation that can be used across all of your academies through the financial year to pay for the improvements.
Based on last year’s guidelines, the minimum project threshold for primary and special schools was £20,000 up to a maximum of £4,000,000. For Secondary and Sixth Forms the project thresholds were £50,000 to £4,000,000.
For more information about the CIF guidelines, or for general information on this funding system, read our previous blog, The Condition Improvement Fund: Your Questions Answered.
The Winners of Last Year’s Round
So, if you fit in to the guidelines above what should you bid for?
According to the DfE’s document about the Condition Improvement Fund last year, if your project will fix an area with a high risk to health and safety, there is a better chance of your application being accepted. This means, improvements to such things as:
- Gas Safety
- Electrical Safety
- Lift Safety
- Emergency Asbestos Removal
- Fire Safety
In 2017, the most common projects awarded funding in the East Midlands were:
- Roof refurbishments
- Roof covering replacements
- Window replacements
- Fire risk assessment works
- Boiler and heating replacements
So, looking at this, even though higher risk projects will be given priority for funding they are not the only projects that get accepted so it is still worth submitting a bid, especially if you are working with a no win no fee bid writer. What have you got to lose!?
If you're thinking of applying for this funding, then why don't you contact our bid writers who's expertise and knowledge can help you through the process, or take the pressure off of your hands completely. Click here to find out more.
How do you get accepted?
The best way for your project to be accepted is to show the importance and necessity of the improvements. Providing supporting evidence and documentation can be a huge help in this application.
Last year, projects were scored against 3 weighted assessment criteria: project need 70%, project planning 15% and value for money 15%.
However, we know that you may not have the time or experience to complete the application by yourself, so, we have teamed up with a bid writing company that can help you throughout the process.
With their specific experience in the sector, they can deconstruct the application questions and difficult jargon to provide answers that fully express the importance of your project. They can execute the application in a shorter time frame, allowing you to focus on your own jobs, and they work on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. So why not give it a try?