What is the Strategic School Improvement Fund?
The £140 million Strategic School Improvement Fund is a grant to support first, infant, primary, secondary, middle, all-through, maintained nursery schools, alternative provision and special academies and maintained schools, post-16 academies, and pupil referral units. It is intended to further build a school-led system, and aims to target resources at the schools most in need to improve school performance and pupil attainment; to help them use their resources most effectively, and to deliver more good school places.
There must be at least 4 supported schools in each application, at least 70% of which must meet at one or more of the supported schools eligibility criteria. The remaining 30% of schools may be those that do not meet any of the eligibility criteria, but which local intelligence has identified as being in decline or at risk of decline.
What will be funded?
Applications that address local improvement priorities to benefit multiple schools (minimum of 4 supported schools per application), which meet all the requirements of the fund, and are eligible will be funded. Such applications will:
- deliver improvements in overall teaching, leadership and/or governance.
- be of a scale and nature that bring about sustainable improvement in school standards and performance across an area, phase or group of schools.
- set out why the proposed improvement approach is appropriate for the group of schools involved, what is expected to change in the classroom/school as a result of the activity, and be clear about how it fits with any other improvement activity that is happening in those schools.
- be supported by evidence that demonstrates why the proposed improvement approach is expected to drive up standards in those schools. See the classification of types of evidence document and how they might be used.
- set out a clear rationale for why the improvement is necessary, and clearly detail what activities will be undertaken by which providers, and the expected costs, short-term and long-term outcomes.