ESFA CIF 2022-23 Guidance, What does it Mean for our Trust?

Our Director, Tim Warneford, provides a quick digest on the implications for schools and the those of us providing professional services to this niche sector, following the publication on Wednesday of the ESFA’s Guidance for the forthcoming round of CIF.

The GOOD

It’s great that Guidance is out and that we are possibly back on track for the traditional December submission deadline, Easter announcement of awarded projects, with delivery over the summer holiday.

Very welcome clarification that each school’s condition survey data should be no older than 3 years and that the CDC is there as a trigger and should not be relied on alone.

Extremely heartened by the very clear focus on how schools can contribute towards reducing carbon emissions and how CIF can support this through improvements to the performance of building’s insulation levels and even alternative types of installations such as air and ground source heat pumps.

The BAD

No additional money to fund such installations, many are faced with the desire to do the right thing and install air or ground source heat pumps but they would run the risk of out-pricing themselves without a clear direction to the contrary.

We are not yet in a place where we are discouraged from replacing an old inefficient gas boiler with a more efficient gas boiler system.

The announcement that the ESFA would no longer accept survey data from system manufacturers as independent sources of evidence, may appear to some long over-due and putting a stop to the idea of there being a conflict of interest.

However, the collection of and presentation of accurate and contemporary evidence in support of a CIF bid is still required and often exposes the patent inaccuracies of the CDC and ultimately, the cost of such a survey must be borne by someone.

Will the school now need to invest at risk, money in the preparation of future CIF bids?

Money, many simply do not have.

Will this not result in less well off schools not applying for CIF?

In any case, what will prevent system manufacturers still carrying out surveys and collecting the data and then white labelling the report?

Or the chartered surveyor incorporating in to their own one?

The UGLY

The doubling from 15% to 30% of the financial contribution required to accrue the now reduced maximum marks available within the Project Cost element.

What the thinking behind this hike is, I am at present unable to fathom.

I really do not have many academy clients who could even contemplate such an investment yet I have many who desperately need to submit 2 bids.

How on earth can they really be expected to make significant financial contributions at that level?

It is very difficult not to interpret this change in policy as playing well for those trusts with large reserves and it is discriminating against those without such financial wherewithal.

The cynical may deduce that this is a deliberate squeeze on the stand alone trusts and another push towards being kettled into joining a MAT.

I work with trusts of all sizes and whist I have reached my annual cap for CIF submissions this year, if there are any schools who would like to discuss their options, I am always available for advice.

Contact me here

Our Director, Tim Warneford, provides a quick digest on the implications for schools and the those of us providing professional services to this niche sector, following the publication on Wednesday of the ESFA’s Guidance for the forthcoming round of CIF.

The GOOD

It’s great that Guidance is out and that we are possibly back on track for the traditional December submission deadline, Easter announcement of awarded projects, with delivery over the summer holiday.

Very welcome clarification that each school’s condition survey data should be no older than 3 years and that the CDC is there as a trigger and should not be relied on alone.

Extremely heartened by the very clear focus on how schools can contribute towards reducing carbon emissions and how CIF can support this through improvements to the performance of building’s insulation levels and even alternative types of installations such as air and ground source heat pumps.

The BAD

No additional money to fund such installations, many are faced with the desire to do the right thing and install air or ground source heat pumps but they would run the risk of out-pricing themselves without a clear direction to the contrary.

We are not yet in a place where we are discouraged from replacing an old inefficient gas boiler with a more efficient gas boiler system.

The announcement that the ESFA would no longer accept survey data from system manufacturers as independent sources of evidence, may appear to some long over-due and putting a stop to the idea of there being a conflict of interest.

However, the collection of and presentation of accurate and contemporary evidence in support of a CIF bid is still required and often exposes the patent inaccuracies of the CDC and ultimately, the cost of such a survey must be borne by someone.

Will the school now need to invest at risk, money in the preparation of future CIF bids?

Money, many simply do not have.

Will this not result in less well off schools not applying for CIF?

In any case, what will prevent system manufacturers still carrying out surveys and collecting the data and then white labelling the report?

Or the chartered surveyor incorporating in to their own one?

The UGLY

The doubling from 15% to 30% of the financial contribution required to accrue the now reduced maximum marks available within the Project Cost element.

What the thinking behind this hike is, I am at present unable to fathom.

I really do not have many academy clients who could even contemplate such an investment yet I have many who desperately need to submit 2 bids.

How on earth can they really be expected to make significant financial contributions at that level?

It is very difficult not to interpret this change in policy as playing well for those trusts with large reserves and it is discriminating against those without such financial wherewithal.

The cynical may deduce that this is a deliberate squeeze on the stand alone trusts and another push towards being kettled into joining a MAT.

I work with trusts of all sizes and whist I have reached my annual cap for CIF submissions this year, if there are any schools who would like to discuss their options, I am always available for advice.

Contact me here

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