Crossing the CIF threshold

The ESFA have finally published the outcome of the 2021-22 round of Condition Improvement Fund (CIF).

There were 3,852 CIF applications with a total value of £1.35 billion. It awarded 1,466 projects across 1,199 academies which resulted in an approximate 1/3 success rate.

The ESFA’s CIF Budget was £483 million equating to 29% of what was applied for. The average award was £332k. Roofing and Fire Safety projects were significant recipients and we secured a 100% conversion rate for our flat and pitched roofing projects.

Whilst we are naturally delighted for all successful schools and especially those with whom we worked with, spare a thought for the disappointment felt by twice as many as those who are celebrating.

The quality of submissions has undoubtedly risen over the past few years and they need to in order to make the bid stand out. That said, the sheer volume of applications will always result in a number of very good bids, not being awarded.

Whilst it is wonderful to receive messages of gratitude from SBL’s and CFO’s talking about how the funds will “ensure a fit for purpose teaching and learning environment” it is a very difficult conversation when you speak to those SBM’s whose bid was not awarded, despite the submission being very strong on need and with considerable financial contributions from the trust.

We will continue to support our academy clients and will analyse the ESFA scores and feedback in great detail, once they are available. We will also prepare Urgent Capital Support (UCS) applications on behalf of those academies who were not successful this time around.

Warneford Consulting cap the number of annual CIF applications they submit in order to retain the high levels of quality that are essential for a bid to be successful.

If we can be of service, appraising why your bid was unsuccessful or your require bid management support for December’s deadline for 2022-23, please do contact us.


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