New £4 Million Fund to Improve Alternative Provision in Education – 22nd April 2018 (England)

The Department for Education (DfE) has launched a new £4 million Fund to develop projects that will deliver better outcomes for children in Alternative Provision and to extend evidence-based projects to new settings. Alternative provision (AP) is education for children and young people whose educational needs cannot be met in a mainstream or special school.

The DfE is looking for bids within the following three themes:

  • Supporting children to make good academic progress in AP and successful transitions from AP to education, training and employment at age 16 and beyond;
  • Supporting children to reintegrate into suitable mainstream or special school placements, where this is in their best interests and compatible with the interests of other children at that school; and
  • Enabling better educational outcomes for children in AP by increasing parental or carer engagement.

The DfE expect to fund approximately 10-15 projects. The level of funding that is provided to each project will vary depending on the scale and quality of the proposals received. This means that different sized grants will be provided to different projects, depending on a) the scale of the project proposed; and b) robust evidence of the funding required.

While there is no minimum or upper limit for grant awards, DfE expect to award grants of varying sizes in the range £150,000 – £750,000.

To be eligible for grant funding through this fund, bidders must demonstrate that:

  • The sole organisation or lead body (if the proposal is a consortium/partnership bid) is a school, college, university, local authority, voluntary, community or social enterprise (VCSE) organisation or other profit or non-profit organisation;
  • Work will be limited to within England;
  • The whole bid is made on a not-for-profit basis;
  • The bid must be designed to work within, or in partnership with, school(s), college(s) or other AP provider(s). By ‘partnership’ we mean that the provider must (as a minimum) engage with the relevant school, college or AP provider attended by the young person, to help assess whether the proposed intervention is successful. We would expect schools, colleges or providers to be named in any bid;
  • The bid does not include an application for any funding for activities that are already funded by the Government or other funders;
  • The bid does not include an application for any funding for capital expenditure;
  • The bid will directly impact children who are currently attending, or have recently attended, AP – this excludes, for example, early intervention in mainstream settings; and
  • They will work cooperatively with the evaluator, including by collecting and providing management information and participating in knowledge-sharing events organised through the fund.

The closing date for applications is 23.59 on the 22nd April 2018.

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