Trust Capacity Fund 2021 (TCAF3)

Josh Smith Fund, Schools

Trust Capacity Fund 2021

The UK government has just commenced the second window of funding for the Trust Capacity Fund 2021 (TCaF3) which is now open until 30th September 2021. TCaF3 is a competitive grant awarding up to £24 million to aid the development of single-academy, multi-academy and newly forming trusts, as part of the government’s wider vision for every school across the UK to be part of a family of schools in strong academy trusts.

This fund will support trusts to develop their central capacity, thus enabling both students and staff to have access to the resources necessary for high quality education. The grant is organised into two strands: Strand A and Strand B. Strand A of the grant offers successful applicants funding of up to £310,000 with the stipulation that applicants must commit to taking on an underperforming school in an area of “higher need”. Strand B offers applicants up to £100,000 for the purpose of taking on a school of any Ofsted rating within any area, or for those which are growing through the free school route. In our experience, applicants have most often chosen to apply for funding in 8 key areas:

  • Leadership and central capacity
  • HR
  • Marketing
  • ICT
  • Estates
  • Governance
  • CPD
  • Finance and compliance.

Within the first window of funding which opened in May, Premier Advisory Group (PAG) supported the submission of 10 applications on behalf of our clients. So far, bidding in each of the 8 key areas is in stark contrast with the ~30 applications we supported the year prior, with 80% bidding for ICT development, an increase from 16%. One explanation for this increase was provided by IT specialists, Moxton Education, who state the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the weaknesses and shortfalls of many current school ICT systems which have been unable to cope with the new ways of learning and working since the pandemic began.

Speaking of the importance of efficient ICT systems within growing trusts, Mark from Moxton told us:

“Delivered correctly, ICT has the power to transform the whole teaching and learning experience, bring schools together, improve communications and improve productivity for all of those connected.

As application providers and manufacturers continue to innovate, we are experiencing a significant number of MATs reviewing the potential benefits of centralisation and in parallel as technology becomes more complex and the domain of the specialist outsourcing support or some hybrid model is becoming the norm.

Moxton has managed the procurement of over £30m worth of ICT-related projects and managed services across multiple trusts and individual schools over the last 12 months.”

Moreover, 100% of our TCaF3 clients included increased central or leadership capacity in their bid, up from 33% last year. The reason for which could be attributable to the Department for Education announcing its intention to facilitate the creation of more academy trusts, which in effect will require both additional personnel and improved back-office functions to aid this growth and so school staff are able to focus on delivering teaching and learning.

PAG has helped its clients secure over £1.5 million of TCaF funding and has a 90% overall bid success rate. Interested in finding out more about TCaF or improving your IT services? Click here to discuss an application with one of our expert consultants, under no obligation. Read more about TCaF3 by clicking here.

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