What is the context? Condition Improvement Funding (CIF) is allocated to single academies, small multi-academy trusts and sixth form colleges via the ESFA. The School Condition Allocations corresponding to these institutions are aggregated to form the Condition Improvement Fund. This is a bid-based funding stream through which these institutions can access condition funding. The size of this fund therefore reflects the mix of institutions eligible to bid, in terms of the number and age-phase of their pupils, their location, extent of modernisation and condition.
ASCL position: ASCL urges that the CIF bidding process should:
- be more transparent
- link effectively with the underperforming Condition Data Collection Programme
- enable school leaders to plan their building work more strategically
This could be achieved by diverting money from the CIF to Devolved Formula Capital.
Why are we saying this?
ASCL members feel that there should be closer links between the way that school data is collected to inform the ESFA about the condition of the school estate (the Condition Data Collection) and the way in which schools that rely on CIF are able to access the funding to address condition issues.
There is concern about the CIF bidding process and whether it is rigorous enough to ensure that funds are allocated to the places of greatest need.
ASCL considers that at least part of the solution could be redirecting available capital funding to Devolved Formula Capital (DFC). Devolved formula capital funding is direct funding for individual institutions to maintain their buildings and fund small-scale capital projects. It is allocated to maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools, special schools, pupil referral units, academies and free schools, non-maintained special schools and sixth form colleges. It is also allocated to those specialists post-16 institutions that have eligible state-funded pupils.