The ESFA have announced additional funding for the academy sector for 2019/20 totalling £33.5 million.
£17 million is available to high-performing academy trusts to encourage growth and support to more schools in England and is called the “Trust Capacity Fund”. Alongside this funding will be £16.5 million which is available to help support underperforming schools to improve their leadership.
The Trust Capacity Fund will:
- Support strong academy trusts to help provide assistance to those in need of school improvement
- Provide high-potential trusts, who have emerging capacity to improve other schools, with funding to meet challenges associated with taking on more schools, to deploy school improvement quickly and support collaboration between schools
- Support smaller trusts that are looking to merge into existing or new trusts, helping to create bigger clusters of schools.
This is further evidence of the ESFA looking to grow academy trusts and to restrict the number of “smaller” trusts in the sector.
Applications for the Trust Capacity Fund will be open from September 2019 and close in December 2019. The ESFA has released an eligibility checker for the Fund which can be found here.
The support funding of £16 million is for schools with a “requires improvement” judgement to allow them to obtain bespoke support and advice from National Leaders of Education to help them improve. There will also be a more intensive offer of leadership guidance available to those schools who have two consecutive “requires improvement” judgements. The ESFA will contact schools in 2019/20 to offer this support package.
Further information on the school support funding can be found here.
Finally, schools can also apply for Emergency School Improvement funding (non-capital). The funding is available for short-term support whilst a long-term sustainable solution is developed, for example, through the support of a new academy sponsor. Applications can be also be made for the long-term where no other solution can be found to address school failure. Further details on this funding can be found here.