DfE Trust Capacity Fund
The DfE has published new guidance and opened the application process for window two of the Trust Capacity Fund (TCaF) for 2022/2023, with a fund of £86m in trust capacity funding focused particularly on education investment areas.
Window two is organised into three strands, each with its own minimum and maximum grant values. Applications involving taking on underperforming schools in Education Investment Areas (EIAs) will take priority. The strands are as follows:
For projects in which your trust will take on at least one additional inadequate or requires improvement school in an EIA
£50,000 - £300,000
For projects in which a trust takes on either at least one inadequate or requires improvement school outside of an EIA or any school within an EIA
£50,000 - £200,000
For trusts taking on good or outstanding schools outside of an EIA
£50,000 - £100,000
Note that bids above the maximum grant value are permitted and will be supported in exceptional circumstances, examples of which are provided in the guidance. Value for money will be assessed on whether the funding seems proportionate to the size and risk of the project. Granting more money to trusts to take over good or outstanding schools will likely be controversial, but there is the potential to see improvement in trusts more widely by building capacity.
The application must be linked to a clearly defined growth project, approved by a Regional Director between 1 July 2022 and 16 December 2022, which commits a trust to either:
- take on at least one new school by 31 March 2024; or
- convert to academy status and take on at least two new schools by 31 March 2024.
All activities funded by TCaF 2022/2023 window two must start no earlier than 1 July 2022 and complete by 31 March 2023.
Applicants must be considered by the Education and Skills Funding Agency to be of sound financial health and have an eligible growth project. The application window runs from 20 October to 16 December 2022, with decisions being communicated as quickly as possible after a national moderation exercise.