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Capital Advisers Programme Update: How to Apply for Capital Investment Funding in Schools in England

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced an update to the Capital Advisers Programme (CAP), which provides support to academy trusts and maintained schools in England in managing their estates and maximising their access to capital funding. This blog post will provide an overview of the CAP update, explain how schools can apply for capital investment funding, and offer some tips on making a successful application. 

What is the Capital Advisers Programme? 

The CAP is a free program that provides schools with access to expert advice and support on a range of estate management issues, including: 

  • Developing and implementing an estate strategy 
  • Identifying and prioritising capital investment needs 
  • Preparing and submitting funding applications 
  • Managing capital projects and support efficient spending decisions  
  • Developing good practice and improving building safety  

The programme is delivered by a network of experienced capital advisers who work with schools to develop a tailored plan to meet their individual needs. 

What's new in the CAP update? 

The CAP update includes a number of new features, including: 

  • An increased focus on condition investment: The programme will now place a greater emphasis on helping schools to identify and address condition investment needs, such as repairs and maintenance. 
  • Support for smaller schools: The programme will now offer additional support to smaller schools, which may not have the same resources as larger trusts. 
  • A new online portal: The programme has launched a new online portal that provides schools with access to resources, guidance, and support. 

How can schools apply for capital investment funding? 

There are a number of different ways that schools can apply for capital investment funding, including: 

  • The Condition Improvement Fund (CIF): The CIF is a government grant that is available to academy trusts and maintained schools for condition investment projects. 
  • The Basic Needs Grant (BNG): The BNG is a government grant that is available to maintained schools for essential repairs and maintenance. 
  • The Priority School Building Programme (PSBP): The PSBP is a government programme that provides funding for new school buildings and major refurbishment projects in priority schools. 

Tips for making a successful capital investment funding application 

  • Develop a clear and concise estate strategy: Your estate strategy should set out your vision for your school's estate and how you plan to achieve it. 
  • Identify and prioritise your capital investment needs: Be clear about what projects you need to undertake and why they are important. 
  • Prepare a strong funding application: Your application should be well-written and persuasive, and it should include all of the necessary information. 
  • Seek expert advice: The CAP can provide you with expert advice and support on all aspects of the funding application process. 


The CAP is a valuable resource for schools that are looking to improve their estates and access capital funding. The programme update provides schools with even more support to develop their estate strategies, identify and prioritise their capital investment needs, and prepare and submit funding applications.  

If you are a school leader in England, we encourage you to learn more about the CAP and how it can help you to improve your school's estate by visiting the School Estates Summit, co-located with the Schools & Academies Show London at the ExCel on May 1st.  

Additional resources 

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