Schools can't take anything for granted
But did you know that there are numerous funding opportunities available from grant-awarding bodies that your school can apply for? There are nearly 8,000 grant giving trusts in the UK giving out £2.6 billion a year.
Yes, there are educational rainbows and additional pots of money can be found at the end of some of them.
There is actually more out there than you can imagine and grants are available from literally hundreds of organisations for a wide range of curriculum based activities, sports projects, special needs, CPD, community involvement, equipment, organising visits, extra-curricular, building and school ground improvements, and more.
It’s tempting to jump in feet first but getting all excited at the prospect of extra money being available can leave you bruised and broken.
Your first step is deciding on a suitable and eligible project and knowing where to look. This needs thoroughly researching, solid planning and clear clarification. Check the terms and conditions of each of the grants available.
Take nothing for granted - your toolkit
One key tool to use when you start looking for funding is The Guide to Educational Grants directorywhich contains over 1,100 sources of non-statutory financial help offering a total of more than £55 million.
Hunting for grants isn’t a job for one person but a corporate effort inviting and involving the participation of school staff, PTA, governors, your fundraising team, development office, the school council and pupils themselves. It may also involve outside help and buying into expertise. Knowing where the latest funding streams can be found and how they can be best accessed is essential. Enlisting specialist help for identifying, managing and applying for funding isn’t normally free but the cost of doing so isn’t prohibitive and could be money well-invested.
Providers like FundEd offer time-saving toolkits and databases with available funding listed by curriculum or interest area.
Subscription service funding directories are invaluable as they act as centralised information resources which allow you to search for relevant grants and funding sources.
Grants 4 Schools provides a regularly updated daily directory of all the grants available from a variety of different sources. Searchable grant databases, calls for proposal alerts and deadline reminders can save you considerable time and money. They also offer an A-Z Funding Guide for Schools List.
If you are looking to develop a fundraising culture, raise capacity and find funds then another place to look is via the School Funding Service. They offer a Fundraising Manager service help you access grants and increase your success of securing funds through bid writing.
Remember, you don’t have to spend a penny and free guides are available but these can date rapidly.
Looking for funding has to be strategic and organisations have to be a good match for the school and this comes with its own challenges.
Applications must be specific to the school and students taking part in the activity so take time to think about a project and what it involves. It’s great to be ambitious but being realistic is important so it is probably better to focus on a few achievable project ideas first.
When you’re ready to bid for your grant, follow our steps here.
Could you slash your recruitment costs by 50% this year, like so many of our member schools? Find out how here.
About the author
John is an ex-primary school teacher and Ofsted inspector who has spent the last 20 years working in the education industry as a teacher, writer and editor. John’s specialist area is primary maths but he also loves teaching science and English. John has written a number of educational and children’s books, and contributed over 1,000 articles and features to various educational bodies. John is Eteach’s school leadership and Ofsted advice guru, sharing insights on best practice for motivating and enriching a school team, as well as sharing savvy career steps for headteachers and SLT.