College Collaboration Fund (CCF)

The DfE has recently announced the College Collaboration Fund (CCF) a new 12-month national programme of competitive grant funding for all statutory further education (FE) colleges.

What is the College Collaboration Fund (CCF)?

Succeeding to the Strategic College Improvement Fund (SCIF), the College Collaboration Fund is a new 12-month national programme of competitive grant funding for all statutory further education (FE) colleges.

The fund has a total allocation of £9,075 million and applications are invited for grants of a value up to £500,000 with an expected minimum value of £80,000.

The fund will run for the financial year 2020 to 2021. The deadline for submitting an application is 12 noon, 8th April 2020.

Previous successful applicants to the SCIF funding can still apply.

Purpose of the fund

The aim of the fund is to enable colleges to collaborate and share good practice and expertise to address common quality improvement priorities. The DfE identified three main quality improvement themes for colleges to focus on, listed below (in priority order):

  • Leadership and governance (e.g. business strategy, use of management information, recruitment, retention, responding to local and national skills priorities, etc.).
  • Financial and resource management (e.g. workforce and curriculum planning, value for money, estates optimisation, risk management, etc.).
  • Quality of education (e.g. progression to higher level qualifications, student engagement, apprenticeships, high needs provisions, vocational areas, etc.).

Eligibility criteria

All statutory FE colleges are eligible, including general FE colleges, sixth form colleges (except the ones ongoing a conversion currently converting to an academy during the 2020-21 financial year), and designated institutions. Academies, local authorities, independent learning providers, special post-institution and non maintained special schools are not eligible.

Each application will require a lead college partnered with one to four other colleges, preferably all located within a shared geographical place (e.g same sub-regional level). The lead college must have an Outstanding or Good Ofsted rating for overall effectiveness, while the partners must have a Requirement Improvement or Inadequate rating (or other sub-judgement or EFSA inadequate for financial health). Colleges that do not have an Ofsted rating because of a recent merging can still apply, as long as one of the two previous colleges meet the criteria.

PAG experience in obtaining DfE funding

Premier Advisory Group has been highly successful in assisting all type of schools obtaining DfE funding. Our dedicated team of consultants has extensive experience in biddings to the DfE and can provide, tailored strategic advice, high quality bid-writing and review services.

Thanks to our important network we can also help you understand your area and identify potential partners to make the most of your application.

If you would like to know more about this opportunity, you can contact our Managing Director, Tom Legge at or you can book a short, zero-obligation appointment here

If you are interested in the above opportunity, meet the criteria and would like to submit an application, or would simply like to find out more, please get in touch with us here.

Premier Advisory Group supported us in releasing our MDIF grant by conducting a Trust-wide ICFP review. PAG looked at a range of measures to help us use our resources effectively and efficiently and the ICFP findings have helped us with collaborative decision making and the development of our use and understanding of ICFP. PAG were efficient and organised in their approach to the ICFP and provided us with comprehensive information.
John Taylor Multi-Academy Trust