PAG Explains: Trust Capacity Funding 2022

PAG Staff2022, Article, bid writing, TCaF

PAG Explains: Trust Capacity Funding

The DfE recently opened the next round of Trust Capacity Funding, which closes on the 16th of December. The Trust Capacity Fund is a competitive grant that is available for academy trusts with eligible growth projects and maintained schools forming academy trusts. Applicants can be awarded up to £300,000 in funding, depending on their circumstances, to develop their capacity for growth.

How will I know if I am eligible for Trust Capacity Funding?

In order to be eligible for the current round of the Trust Capacity Fund, you need to have a growth project approved at the advisory board between 1st July 2022 and 16th December 2022. For trusts, this needs to include taking at least one school into your trust by March 2024, through sponsorship or academy conversion. If the school in question is rated either Inadequate or Requires Improvement, or if the school is located in an Education Investment Area (EIA) or Priority Education Investment Area (PEIA), then you will be eligible for a higher strand of funding.

Maintained schools can also apply for Trust Capacity Funding, but in this case the school will need to convert to academy status and take on at least two new schools by March 2024.

How do I apply for Trust Capacity Funding?

The application form for the current round of the Trust Capacity Fund can be found here.

Your application will need to include details of your organisation, an outline of the growth project approved at advisory board, as well as how the project will be sustainable and offer value for money.

PAG has developed and written Trust Capacity Funding applications for many schools and trusts and to date has been able to secure almost £2 million for clients all over England. Our clients were successful in securing funding in a number of areas, including ICT development, salary costs for new staff, CPD, legal costs and leadership capacity.

If you would like to find out more about how PAG can support you with your Trust Capacity Funding bid, please get in touch here.

If I'm successful, how can I spend the money?

If your Trust Capacity Funding bid is successful, all funded activities must be completed by March 2023, and the focus of the funding should be on strengthening your trusts central capacity rather than on individual schools within the trust.

Some of the activities included in this are introducing new staffing posts within the central trust team, training and professional development for staff and specialist advice around central processes such as IT and HR.

Activities that cannot be covered by the Trust Capacity Fund include capital expenditure, consultancy costs for delivering and managing the Trust Capacity Funding project, and activities which are already funded from other sources.

You can find out more information about the 2022-2023 Trust Capacity Fund window here.

Free school bid writing can seem like a daunting task. It is important that each section of the free school bid shows a cohesive plan and vision for what you want your school to look like. If you would like support crafting your free school bid, talk to our team of experts by getting in touch here.

The Future of Trust Capacity Funding

The Government has committed up to £86 million in Trust Capacity Funding before March 2025, with a particular focus on EIAs and PEIAs.

It has already been announced that the next window will open on January 1st, 2023. If you don’t have an eligible project in this window, there is now time to start thinking about how you could be eligible in January. Whilst we expect that the next application window will look similar to previous iterations of the Trust Capacity Fund, there have been small but significant changes between application windows so make sure to check the guidance fully when it is released.

To find out more about how PAG can support with Trust Capacity Funding or growth projects, you can get in touch with us here or email us at