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Unlocking School Funding: A Comprehensive Guide to Securing Grants and Funds

In an increasingly challenging landscape, where budgets are continually strained, finding additional funding sources is crucial for the sustained success of schools and trusts. At the Schools & Academies Show, we recognise the importance of supporting schools in navigating these financial constraints.

Here, we present a list of five grants and funds that your school or trust can apply for, helping you to balance the books and support your projects and school initiatives. We have included 'Five Top Tips for Successful Bid Writing' at the end, to aid your applications.

The Bernard Sunley Foundation

The Bernard Sunley Foundation provides support to establishments catering to pupils with special educational needs. From capital investments to modifying and providing new vehicles, this foundation has funded a variety of projects. Eligible projects must cost between £10,000 and £5,000,000 - potentially offering a substantial resource for those seeking to make a positive impact in the special education sector.

Ormiston Trust Youth Social Action Fund 24 25

The Ormiston Trust offers a grant specifically designed for youth social action projects. These projects must focus on activities that not only make a positive difference to others but also develop essential life skills, empathy, and character in participating pupils. Mainstream primary and secondary schools in England can apply for grants of up to £5,000, for initiatives that foster community engagement.

The National Lottery

The National Lottery presents a diverse range of grants and funding programs, with a current emphasis on climate initiatives. While there are stringent rules for applications, schools are well-positioned to meet these criteria. If your school is planning an environmentally-friendly project, The National Lottery could be the ideal funding source to explore.

The Wolfson Foundation

Dedicated to supporting secondary schools and sixth form colleges, The Wolfson Foundation focuses on building, refurbishment, and purchasing technical equipment. To qualify, schools must be state-funded, possess at least two years of exam results, and have an inspection rating of 'Good' or above. Successful bids should seek to enhance the teaching of specific subjects, including science, computer science, design & technology and art.

Sport England

Sport England's Small Grants Programme aims to support sports uptake in areas of deprivation. Schools can check specific indices to determine eligibility. Grants ranging from £300 to £15,000 are available to not-for-profit organisations, providing an excellent opportunity to encourage physical activity among disadvantaged pupils through sports and games.

By exploring these funding opportunities, your school or trust can take a proactive approach to securing the financial support needed to bring your projects to fruition.

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Our Five Tips for Successful Bid Writing

  1. Conduct In-Depth Research:

Begin your grant application journey by conducting thorough research into potential funding sources. School Business Managers should dedicate time to explore grants and funds aligning with their school's needs and objectives. Analyse eligibility criteria, application requirements, and past recipients to tailor your proposal effectively. Being well-versed in the priorities of funding organisations significantly will boost the chances of submitting targeted and compelling grant applications.

  1. Foster Collaborative Partnerships:

Collaboration plays a pivotal role in securing successful grant applications. You would therefore do well to strengthen connections with local businesses, community organisations, and educational partners. Many grants favour projects with robust community support, so showcasing a network of collaborators not only enhances the credibility of your proposal but also maximises the potential for funding success.

  1. Clearly Outline Project Goals and Outcomes:

Articulate the objectives and expected outcomes of your proposed project with clarity. Grant providers value well-defined goals that align with their mission and objectives. Utilise measurable metrics to convey the anticipated impact on students, teachers, and the broader school community. Providing a roadmap for success in your proposal aids grant reviewers in understanding the tangible benefits of funding your project.

  1. Weave a Compelling Narrative:

Transform your grant proposal into a captivating story that resonates with the values and goals of the funding organisation. Engage readers by highlighting the challenges your school faces, the innovative solutions your project offers, and the positive change it will bring. Infuse anecdotes, testimonials, and real-life examples to humanise your proposal. A well-crafted narrative not only captures attention but also ensures your proposal remains memorable amidst the multitude of applications.

  1. Showcase Project Sustainability:

Grant providers often seek initiatives with a lasting impact. Clearly outline a plan for the sustainability of your project beyond the grant period. Address how the school will continue to benefit, detail the evolution of the project, and highlight any anticipated future funding or community support. Demonstrating a clear path to long-term success enhances the appeal of your proposal, and heightens the likelihood of funding approval.

We hope this list and guide has been helpful in supporting you in finding funding and successfully bidding for grants. To learn more about school funding be sure to register for the Schools & Academies Show London, at the ExCel on below.


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