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updated on 2 August 2019
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School types: All · School phases: All

See the latest deadlines for funding opportunities, and get bite-sized summaries of the latest funding news. You'll also find a selection of the grants available to schools across a range of areas, and details of freebies you can access.

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Contents

  1. Approaching deadlines for funding opportunities
  2. Funding news
  3. DfE-recommended deals for schools 
  4. Subject-specific grants
  5. Sports and clubs grants 
  6. Arts, culture and community grants 
  7. School partnerships and exchanges
  8. Grants for school trips
  9. Grants for buildings and facilities
  10. Freebies

Approaching deadlines for funding opportunities

Science in schools

Royal Society of Chemistry fund small educational projects in schools.

Themes for the projects are about enhancing the learning and teaching of chemistry through buying equipment and running chemistry clubs. They're encouraging projects that bring together schools, colleges and universities.

The next deadline is 15 August (with 3 other deadlines throughout the year 15 November, 15 February and 15 May).

CPD for Maths teachers

The London Mathematical Society has grants of up to £400 available to support maths teachers' attendance at 1 or 2-day conferences and events.

The grant can also be used to cover the cost of external trainers visiting schools.

The next application deadline is 31 August 2019 (with 3 other deadlines each year: 31 January, 30 April, and 30 November). 

Nature grants for schools

The Local Schools Nature Grants Scheme allows infant, primary and secondary schools in England, Scotland and Wales to apply for £500 worth of outdoor resources, and a 2-hour training session. 

The scheme does not give cash grants to schools. You select equipment and training at the application stage.

The next deadline for applications is 30 August 2019. There are more deadlines throughout the year. 

Developing the teaching of Mandarin

State-funded secondary schools that teach Mandarin can apply to the Institute of Education's Mandarin Excellence Programme for funding to support developing the school into a centre of excellence for the teaching of Mandarin.

School which participate receive at least £20,000 in each year they recruit and keep pupils in the programme.

Applications are now open for schools looking to join the programme from September 2019.

Grants for disadvantaged children 

BBC Children in Need offers grants for children and young people aged 18 and under experiencing disadvantage through:

  • Illness, distress, abuse or neglect
  • Any kind of disability
  • Behavioural or psychological difficulties
  • Living in poverty or situations of deprivation

There are 3 grants available:

The next application deadline is on the 2 September 2019 for small grants. The next deadline for the main grants scheme hasn't been announced yet.

Find further funding opportunities below. 

Funding news

Unions have said £12.6 billion is needed by 2023

An extra £12.6 billion in school funding is needed over the next four years to reverse cuts that have “caused so much damage to schools and colleges,” a coalition of the nation's major education unions has said. TES reported this. (Log in required.) 

DfE have committed £2.5 million in 2019-20 to help schools open-up facilities to get more kids active

Hundreds of after-school clubs will be created and school facilities will be opened up at weekends and holidays as part of new government measures to get more children active, reports Schools Week.

 

Only schools who agree to SRMA visit will get cash to keep their school safe and in working order

Successful applicants for next year’s £430 million condition improvement fund – to keep schools in “safe and good working order” – have been told they will only get the cash after agreeing to a visit from a school resource management advisor (SRMA). Schools week reports on this. 

Find supply teachers and agency workers through the DfE's new online tool

You can now access details of the latest approved agencies in your area. All agencies have undergone background screening and safeguarding to the DfE’s Keeping Children Safe in Education standards.

By using agency workers through this site you:

  • Will not be asked to pay to make temporary staff permanent after 12 weeks, providing you give the agency 4 weeks' notice 
  • Can compare the different prices and decide which agency to work with
  • Can use the data available to try to negotiate further

To use the tool, you will need:

  • Your school’s postcode
  • Details of how long you will want the worker

You can’t use this service if you’re an independent school, unless you have charitable status.

New DfE energy price comparison site launched 

According to the DfE, schools are now saving up to 14% of their energy costs by using their free online price comparison site School Switch.

The site helps you compare gas and electricity prices and switch energy supplier – just like the comparison sites you're using at home.

DfE-recommended deals for schools 

You can access these deals recommended by the DfE to help your school save money. The deals now span 14 different categories, such as: 

  • Audit services 
  • Books and materials 
  • Electricity and gas
  • Recruitment 
  • Legal services
  • Facilities management and estates

Subject-specific grants

Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM)

The Microbiology Society have announced grants of up to £1,000 to schools to support relevant science teaching or promotion initiatives, or to support developments likely to lead to an improvement in the teaching of any aspect of microbiology.

Application are only open to members of the society, so check if any of your staff are members first.

The deadlines are 15 April and 1 October.

The Armourers and Brasiers' Company provides grants to primary and secondary schools to promote science.

Primary schools can apply for a £600 grant.

Secondary schools can apply for £1,000 grant.

Grants are open from mid-February and mid-April. (Currently closed.) 

The Institute of Physics provides grants of up to £600 for schools and colleges to promote physics.

Application deadlines depend on when your school would like to run the project. The next deadline is 1 November 2019 for projects to be run the following spring.

The Institute of Engineering and Technology has an engineering education grant scheme for UK-based educational projects that support the increase of engineering knowledge among young people aged from 5 to 19.

There are 2 levels of funding available: awards of up to £5,000 for standard applications, and a small number of awards of up to £15,000 for projects that aim to make a bigger impact.

The next application deadline is 14 October 2019. 

The Waterloo Foundation supports schools in Wales helping to increase STEM skills.

They award grants between £5,000 - £25,000

There is no deadline

The Ironmongers’ Foundation supports initiatives that encourage talented young people to study science subjects at school and go on to pursue engineering-related further education or vocational training.

There are 3 deadlines each year: 1 April, 1 August, and 1 December

Latin, Roman studies and activities

The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies committee gives grants from £50 to £500 to schools promoting the teaching of Latin and Roman studies. Grants are mainly offered to purchase textbooks and resources but they also give grant for study days, especially if they benefit large numbers of children throughout the year. 

There are 3 deadlines per year: 1 February, 1 July, and 1 November.

Religious education (RE) projects

The Allchurches Trust awards grants designed to benefit Christian communities, supporting projects which help people reach their potential and address social needs.

It says that for schools and colleges, projects it likes to fund include apprenticeships and bursary schemes, and leadership development projects. 

Most grants are between £1,000 and £5,000. Applications are considered at any time

The Jerusalem Trust supports the teaching of Christianity within RE by awarding grants of up to £600 to state-funded secondary schools. It also has limited primary school grants available. 

Applications will reopen some time in the autumn term

Music, heritage and crafts grants

The Radcliffe Trust offers grants principally in 2 sectors: music, and heritage and crafts.

Grants generally have a value of between £1,000 and £5,000

There are two deadlines each year: 31 January and  31 July.

Primary arts-based teaching

The Teacher Development Fund from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation aims to support primary school arts-based teaching through helping teachers and school leaders develop their skills and knowledge.

It expects to offer around 5 grants of up to £150,000 each year to partnerships between arts/cultural organisations and schools. 

There is one deadline per year. The most recent application deadline was 5 December 2018 for projects starting in September 2019.

Register your interest at the link above to be alerted when new funding rounds open.

Grants for secondary school geography teachers to create resources

The Royal Geographical Society (RGS) makes two £1,000 grants each year to secondary school geography teachers. Teachers must be working with a university collaborator.

Applications close 15 February 2020.

Sports and clubs grants 

Sports

A number of grants are available to schools from Sport England. You can find these here.

The Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund offers grants for building or refurbishing local football facilities.

The grant for each facilities project can be between £10,000 and £500,000.

It doesn't set out any current deadlines for applications. 

The fund also has a small grants scheme, for costs of under £10,000 needed for facilities work.

Breakfast clubs

Magic Breakfast are delivering the government's National School Breakfast Programme (NSBP). If your school is in a disadvantaged area and meets the eligibility criteria, you can apply for support to start or improve your breakfast provision. 

Funding is available on a first come, first served basis. If you're eligible, you'll normally be offered a £500 start-up grant and free food delivered weekly or fortnightly. 

The breakfast club programme run by the Greggs Foundation is open to all primary schools in England and Wales which meet the following criteria:

  • At least 40% of pupils at the school are eligible for free school meals (FSM)
  • The school can demonstrate a commitment to engaging parents or other volunteers
  • The breakfast club will be offered for free to ensure all pupils can attend

There is a waiting list for new clubs but there is no application deadline.

Arts, culture and community grants 

General educational projects

The Garfield Weston Foundation awards grants to educational projects. The foundation also supports arts, community, welfare, youth and environmental projects.

Its 'regular grants' are for applications below £100,000, and its 'major grants' are for applications of £100,000 or more

Applications are accepted at any time

National Lottery Awards for All offer funding from £300 to £10,000 to support projects that:

  • Shape the places and spaces that matter to communities
  • Bring more people together and build strong relationships in and across communities
  • Enable more people to fulfill their potential by working to address issues at the earliest possible stage

Funding is also available for larger projects that are over £10,000.

Applications are accepted at any time.

Blue Spark Foundation offers grants of under £5,000 for projects that would help the education and development of children and young people but may not get off the ground simply because of the absence of funding.

Grants have been given for:

  • Physical assets (e.g., tablets, sports equipment, or lighting for stage productions)
  • Services or facilities (e.g., sports coaching or music/drama tuition)
  • Experiences (e.g., theatre visits) 

Applications are accepted at any time.

Projects that help disadvantaged young people

Schools supporting children who are disabled or disadvantaged can apply for grants from Cash for Kids.

Funding is awarded on a local basis across 22 areas in the UK. Contact details for each area are available from the link above.

Library books

The Foyle Foundation offers grants to state-funded schools to purchase reading books for libraries. It may also contribute towards the costs of library software, IT equipment and furniture.

The value of grants generally ranges between £1,000 and £10,000.

Applications are accepted at any time

Arts projects

Arts Council England's National Lottery Project Grants are for individuals, organisations and others who use the arts in their work.

Awards range from £1,000 to £100,000. There are no deadlines.

Community projects

The UK Community Foundations website has details and links to the 46 accredited community foundations in the UK, each of which has funding streams available that target particular issues in their geographical area.

The Big Lottery Fund's Reaching Communities England programme funds community improvement projects. 

It offers grants of over £10,000 for up to 5 years. Applications can be submitted at any time.

One Stop has a Carriers for Causes programme that awards grants of up to £1000 for projects that benefit local communities.

The project must be within 2 miles of a One Stop shop to qualify. Click on the map to see if there's a shop near your school.

Applications can be submitted at any time and they are shortlisted on a quarterly basis for panel decision. You'll know the outcome of your application within 20 weeks of applying. 

Environmental projects

The Tree Council UK are funding projects between £300 and £1000 for planting trees and hedgerows. Successful applicants will receive up to 80% of their planting costs.  

The deadline for applications has now passed, but the grant scheme will reopen next year

The Naturesave Trust considers applications for environmental projects which specifically address the promotion and implementation of sustainable development, environmental improvement and general 'green' issues.

There are no deadlines for applications and there is no limit on the number of applications that can be made.

The Nineveh Charitable Trust offers grants to schools and other organisations for UK-based projects with an emphasis on promoting a better understanding of the countryside. Schools have applied for outdoor learning projects and school gardening developments with awards between £1,000 and £20,000.

There are no deadlines for applications but these are discussed at the trustees' quarterly meetings.

The Metropolitan Public Gardens Association gives grants and practical assistance to community gardens and green sites across London.

Each case is considered on its merits.

Greener City Fund is provided by the Mayor of London. Grants of £5,000 to £50,000 are available to support two strands of projects: Community Tree Planting and Community Green Space improvements. 

Applications close on Monday 30 September 2019

 

Funding for musical instruments

The Universal Music UK Sound Foundation award scheme supports schools to purchase musical instruments and equipment, and funds training opportunities for music teachers.

Grants of up to £1,500 are available.

Applications are currently closed. The next funding round will take place in October 2019. 

Music for all receive applications for individual grants and community project funding.  There are 3 application deadlines per year: 1 November, 1 February and 1 July

School partnerships and exchanges

UK-German Connection has funding available to UK schools that have a partnership with a German school.

Funding streams are available for work-focused programmes, project-based programmes, and visits.

The maximum grant available ranges between £1,000 and £5,000 depending on the grant. 

For most funding opportunities, there are 3 application deadlines per year: 31 January, 31 May and 31 October.

The Daiwa Foundation provides grants of £2,000 to £7,000 to individuals, societies, associations or other bodies in the UK or Japan to promote and support interaction between the UK and Japan.

There are 2 application deadlines each year: 31 March and 30 September.

The Foundation encourages applicants to submit their application as early as possible. 

Grants for school trips

Trips for disadvantaged pupils and those with disabilities

The Henry Smith Charity runs a holiday grants programme that aims to provide access to recreational trips or holidays for groups of children aged 13 or under who experience disadvantage or who have disabilities.

The charity awards grant amounts of between £500 and £2,500.

Applications are currently open

Trips for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities 

Happy Days Children's Charity has funding available for day trips and group activity holidays aimed at children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Educational breaks for disadvantaged pupils

The YHA's educational breaks programme can give support to groups where children or young people are eligible for the pupil premium and are facing social challenges. Groups can apply for support for up to half the cost of the programme for a maximum of 10 pupils. 

It's currently advertising educational breaks which are open to applications

Grants for buildings and facilities

Capital funding for special schools

Special schools and colleges can apply to The Wolfson Foundation for capital funding for building refurbishments, new buildings and equipment.

Grants vary from about £15,000 to £100,000

The next application deadline is 5 January 2020 (there are 2 application deadlines each year: 5 January and 1 July). 

The Clothworkers’ Foundation offers capital funding for special schools that cater exclusively for pupils with physical and/or learning difficulties.

Grants can be used for building renovations, fixtures, fittings, equipment, or to purchase vehicles (such as a minibus).

Its small grants programme offers a maximum grant of £10,000, and there is no maximum grant for its main grants programme (but the average is £25,000). 

Applications can be submitted at any time. Schools must complete an eligibility quiz before accessing the application form.

Equipment grants to improve the care of a child who is seriously ill or disabled

Variety, the children's charity offers grants up to around £5000 for specialist equipment which will directly benefit or support children with disabilities.

Read the grants applications FAQs carefully before you apply to find out a list of items the charity will not fund.

Applications can be submitted at any time but there is a limit of one application per year.

Grants for secondary capital projects

The Wolfson Foundation awards grants to state-funded secondary schools and sixth-form colleges for:

  • New build, refurbishment or equipment projects related to the teaching of science and technology
  • Information or communication technology for projects involving libraries, languages, music or arts

The minimum grant amount is £15,000 and grants don't normally exceed £100,000.

There are 2 deadlines a year for the first stage of the application process: 10 January and 10 June.

Freebies

Careers education

Founders4Schools is a free service which helps schools to arrange for founders of successful businesses to visit their schools and inspire their students.

You can use the website to search for founders of successful businesses in their area and invite them to speak to pupils.

Talks from leading figures 

Speakers for Schools offers secondary state schools the chance to apply to host a talk from an individual who has been successful in a particular field. All UK secondary state schools are eligible to apply. 

Film Club

All state-funded schools in England are eligible to set up an Into Film Club to gain access to thousands of free films available for after-school clubs.

Entrance to English Heritage properties

English Heritage allows schools to book a free self-led visit to one of its 400+ properties.

Food education

Grow Your Own Potatoes, a project aiming to teach primary school pupils about potatoes, offers free potato growing kits to schools which register. Registration for 2020 is now open. The deadline for registration is 24 January 2020.

Pizza Express offers free visits to its restaurants for primary school classes, giving pupils the chance to learn about cooking and different ingredients, as well as to make a pizza.

Animal welfare

The Dogs Trust offers free workshops linked to the National Curriculum for both primary and secondary pupils.

Solar panels

Solar for Schools helps to finance solar photovoltaics (solar panel) systems for schools.

Tickets to Merlin Group attractions

The charity Merlin's Magic Wand offers tickets to Merlin Group attractions to young people with disabilities or health problems and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Ebooks

The Oxford Owl website offers free tablet-friendly ebooks and resources for primary schools to support children’s learning.

Trees

The Woodland Trust invites schools to apply for trees to plant in their grounds. It's currently taking applications for trees to be delivered in November 2019. 

B&Q community re-use scheme

B&Q runs a community re-use scheme across its stores, donating “unsellable products and materials” to be reused by local schools, other educational institutions and community groups.

Contact your local store directly and speak to a duty manager to find out more.

Wrap, Splat, Hat

The first 2,000 schools to register for the National Schools Partnership's sun awareness programme for 3 to 11 year olds will receive 240 printed sun safety passports.

The first 20 schools or nurseries to enter will receive 240 sun cream samples

Your school can also enter a competition to win £1,000 worth or outdoor equipment and goodie bags.

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence.