Information on School Condition Allocations, eligibility and payments

Maintained Schools Academies Local Authorities

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From: Education and Skills Funding Agency

School improvement or School Condition Allocations (SCA) funding is allocated to help maintain and improve the condition of school buildings and grounds.

The SCA includes funding for:

  • authorities and local authority maintained schools, including maintained nursery schools
  • local voluntary aided bodies and voluntary aided schools
  • academies and large multi-academy trusts and sponsors
  • sixth-form colleges
  • special schools not maintained by the local authority
  • special post-16 institutions with eligible students

Eligibility for SCA - 2021 to 2022

To receive direct SCA, multi-academy trusts (MATs) and voluntary aided (VA) bodies must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • the trust or VA body must have 5 or more open schools at the start of September 2020
  • those open schools (or their predecessor schools) must have had at least 3,000 pupils counted in the spring 2020 census

For special and alternative-provision schools (including pupil referral units), we now multiply the pupil count by 3 for the purposes of SCA eligibility.

For example, we would now count a MAT with 1,000 pupils in special schools as having 3,000 pupils, and eligible for SCA. 

This is because these schools tend to have lower pupil numbers for their size and more complex facilities, so they receive more condition funding per pupil. We are now recognising that in their eligibility for SCA, as well as in the allocated amount.

For nursery schools and sixth forms, we use the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) pupils rather than headcount.

Single academy trusts, smaller MATs and sixth-form colleges are instead eligible to apply to the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) instead of receiving an SCA. The CIF round closes at 12 noon on 14 January 2021.

All of the above institution types are eligible for Devolved Formula Capital. We will publish more information on how we count pupil numbers in the forthcoming condition funding methodology for 2021 to 2022.

We have notified trusts of their eligibility for the 2021 to 22 financial year. Eligibility should not be assumed unless it has been confirmed by us.

Breakdown of SCA allocation

We do not publish breakdowns of allocations as they are calculated for the whole trust, not individual schools. More information on school capital funding allocations is available on GOV.UK.

Local authority  SCA payments

The LA payment schedule for SCA in previous years was nine monthly instalments, from May to January. 

We will confirm payment schedules for the coming financial year in the spring. 

MAT  SCA payments

The MAT payment schedule for SCA in previous years was four monthly instalments, from May to August. 

We will confirm payment schedules for the coming financial year in the spring. 

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If you have a specific query about SCA, please include any relevant information in your query through our enquiry form.

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