DfE announces details for the 2021-2022 round of Trust Capacity Fund

Lily Mitchell Fund

TCaF 3 additional information and eligibility criteria


After much anticipation, the DfE has today released information around the 2021-2022 edition of the Trust Capacity Fund (TCaF). The fund was first introduced in 2019 to support the growth of trusts across England, enabling MATs, SATs, and pre-conversion maintained schools, to acquire additional funding to support their strategic objectives and expand capacity to prepare for future growth. TCaF 3 will have a particular focus on supporting strong trusts, and strong schools forming trusts, to take on underperforming schools in areas of higher need.

    The announcement of this year’s TCaF3 marks the DfE’s continued commitment to providing additional financial support to ambitious trusts looking to continue growing in size and expanding their provision to higher need areas. Additionally, TCaF 3 supports the government’s vision for every school to be part of a supportive family of schools in the form of strong academy trusts. For the 2021-2022 round of TCaF, the DfE has made £24 million of funding available over the course of three application windows. The final deadline for applications is the 30th November 2021.

    • Application window 1: 19th May 2021 – 25th June 2021
    • Application window 2: 26th June 2021 – 30th September 2021
    • Application window 3: 1st October 2021 – 30th November 2021.

    TCaF is organised into two strands, each with its own minimum and maximum grant values. Strand A will allow applicants to obtain up to £310,000 for projects in which a trust is taking on at least one additional inadequate or requires improvement school. Strand B will provide up to £100,000 of funding for all other trust capacity related activities. This includes: building leadership capacity, developing ICT systems, increasing staff CPD opportunities and hiring specialist staff, Both strands offer a minimum of £50,000 for successful applicants.

    Certain activities will be excluded from TCaF eligibility, including capital expenditure, activities that could be funded from other sources, time for pre-existing staff to undertake work that is already in progress and consultancy costs for delivering and managing the whole TCaF project. The DfE has also stated that TCaF applications must be linked to a clearly defined growth project that has been approved by a trust’s Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) at a headteacher board (HTB) between 1st January and 30th November 2021. Trusts will need to have committed to either taking on at least one new school into the trust by 31st March 2023, or will need to have converted to academy status and taken on at least two new schools that will submit a conversion application by 31st March 2022 (with all schools to be taken into the trust by 31st March 2023).

    To determine if your school or trust is eligible for TCaF 3, the DfE has made available an eligibility tracker which can be found here.

    For the latest DfE guidance on TCaF, click here.

    Premier Advisory Group are expert bid writers and have a wealth of experience in supporting clients to submit their TCaF applications. To date, PAG has helped clients secure well in excess of £1,000,000 worth of TCaF funding to grow and develop their trusts.

    To arrange an appointment with one of our consultants, click here.

    Alternatively, contact us here or call us on 0345 459 7600.

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