This note sets out the funding that is available for sponsored academies:
This note does not cover the General Annual Grant funding for the academy once it is open, but refers to the money that is available to help sponsors achieve education transformation in their academy. Your Department project lead will be able to give you more information on running projects under these new arrangements, which come into force for new projects brokered to open from April 2013 onwards. In addition, you can address queries to the sponsor relations team at the Office of the Schools Commissioner at the email address at the bottom of this page.
The key features of the new arrangements are:
These arrangements apply to new projects brokered to open from April 2013 onwards. As now, projects will be either fast-track or full-sponsored depending on the level of complexity and risk involved. The key considerations are the extent of restructuring of the senior leadership team that is required; the educational standards and the improvement trend, and the experience of the proposed sponsor.
As noted above, the project development funding available for full-sponsored academies is changing for new projects brokered to open from April 2013 onwards, and will be considerably simplified. This note explains how the new system will operate.
The academy trust will receive a grant, as set out below, to cover development costs to prepare the school for opening. This is to cover all pre-opening costs, such as curriculum development, legal advice, project management and early appointment of key staff. As now, the Department’s Framework Contract is available to use if the sponsor wants a project management company to do some or all of the development work. Any unspent funds can be carried over for use in the academy after opening. Primary schools will receive £120,000 and secondary schools will receive £200,000. This funding will be made available once the academy Action Plan (formerly known as the Expression of Interest) is approved by Ministers.
For full-sponsored academies, we will continue to fund staff restructuring costs on a case-by-case basis, depending on the particular circumstances of the predecessor school.
A single grant notified in advance, to be paid in the first year after opening as an academy. The amount of the grant is calculated on the basis of two elements and the funding is not hypothecated so that the academy can use it on priorities, as it sees fit.
a) Resources (books, material, equipment, etc):
b) Leadership or other costs as the school builds up its pupil numbers. Funding will be calculated according to the extent the academy is under capacity and will decline as the school fills up. It will be paid for a maximum of three years. A simple formula will be used to calculate this element.
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At the academy Action Plan stage it will be agreed if any capital grant is to be paid. If it is, a single grant of £50,000 for primary-sponsored academies and £100,000 for secondary sponsored academies will be made available. Schools that have had significant recent capital spend will probably not get this funding; other schools probably will. Academies can also apply to the academies Capital Maintenance Fund once they are open.
We are moving to this new approach for new sponsored academy projects brokered to open in the 2013-14 financial year and beyond. Where an academy solution for a poorly performing maintained school had been agreed in principle on the basis of the previous funding, the project will continue on that basis.
Funding for fast-track academies is not changing. These schools are expected to require less transformation to raise standards so receive less up-front funding as a result. Fast-track projects receive £25,000 towards the cost of converting the underperforming school into an academy (i.e. the same funding that converter academies receive). In addition, the academy trust will receive up to £40,000 for underperforming primary schools or up to £65,000 for secondary schools to be used on school improvement. This funding is agreed once the project has been brokered when the academy order is approved. Funding can be used flexibly by the academy trust to best meet the needs of the particular school.
Unlike full-sponsored academies, there is no additional funding for staff restructuring or minor capital works (environmental improvements), and no post-opening start-up grants. Where a school has a significant surplus (around £100,000), we will review with the sponsor whether the additional £40,000/£60,000 improvement funding is still required.
Lord Nash announced the 2013 to 2014 Sponsor Capacity Fund at the Academies Show on 24 April 2013. This competitive fund will focus on supporting new, high-quality sponsors to build their capacity to take on underperforming schools, as well as ensuring that some of our strongest existing sponsors are able to expand and move into the areas of greatest need.
Sponsors are now invited to make applications for this funding and details of the application process can be seen in the Sponsor Capacity Fund section of the website.
Information about academy sponsorship and the role sponsors play in driving improvement in schools.
Information about the 2013 to 2014 Sponsor Capacity Fund.