£15 million Strategic College Improvement Fund reopens to applications

The £15 million Strategic College Improvement Fund is designed to support colleges to deliver better outcomes for learners, employers and local communities by enabling them to access resources that they need to improve their provision for students, including the best practice of other colleges, while at the same time mobilising and strengthening improvement in the Further Education sector.

Further Education and 6th Form Colleges in England are eligible for funding.

It is expected that programmes will typically require a grant ranging from between £80,000 and £200,000. Colleges will be expected to work with a partner college to undertake the programme of work that their application proposes.

The grant will only be available to colleges that were graded “requires improvement” or “inadequate” at their most recent Ofsted inspection for any of the following judgements:

  • Overall effectiveness
  • 16 to 19 study programmes, adult learning programmes, apprenticeships, traineeships, provision for learners with high needs and 14 to 16 full-time provision
  • Leadership and management
  • Quality of teaching learning and assessment
  • Personal development behaviour or welfare
  • Outcomes for learners.

Possible eligible activities could include:

  • The coaching of managers and other staff to improve their performance.
  • Instructional programmes to enhance staff skills to support teaching, learning and assessment.
  • More effective use of data to improve student performance.
  • Improved support to students, including better control over student attendance.
  • Enhanced design of the curriculum.
  • Strengthened relationships with employers (for example, via enhanced work-based learning).
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the results of the programme of work.

There is a two-stage application process.

The deadline for stage one applications is Monday 3 December 2018.

Stage two applications must be submitted by Friday 8 February 2019.

A third round of applications is expected to open later in 2019.

Further information about the Fund is available on the GOV.UK website.

Contact details for the Fund are:

Strategic Improvement Enquiries 
Department for Education (DFE) 
Email: strategiccollege.improvementfund@education.gov.uk