We know that The Department for Education is providing financial support to eligible schools up to the end of the 2019 and Summer 2020 term to help facilitate deep cleaning as a result of COVID-19. But how do you get this funding, how does it work and are you eligible I hear you say?
Is my school eligible?
The funding is available for all state-funded mainstream and special schools and:
- primary, secondary and all through maintained schools, academies and free schools
- 16 to 19 academies and maintained schools
- maintained special schools
- special academies and free schools
- non-maintained special schools
- pupil referral units
- alternative provision academies and free schools
- maintained hospital schools and academies
How can I access the funding?
The funding is to cover the costs of items that are needed to allow your school to support children who are attending, such as a deep clean. The funding is available if your school is unable to meet the costs of a deep clean with your existing resources or if you could only afford the deep clean by drawing down on your reserves and undermining your long-term financial sustainability.
Although the government isn’t asking schools to draw on existing reservices to meet the cost, they don’t expect schools to make a claim against the funding available if you will be able to add to your reserves in 2020 to 2021 financial year.
The government is asking schools to make payments from their existing budgets and record these in line with local financial policies. In June, the government are publishing further guidance for schools on how you can inform them of any additional costs relating to COVID-19.
What additional costs are covered by the fund?
The government has identified areas where they believe is most likely that you may face additional costs, including:
- increased premises related costs
- support for free school meals for eligible children who are not attending school
- additional cleaning
A full comprehensive list can be found here.
Where you need to, your school can claim up to a certain limit set out by the government below. You will need to prove that the costs are due to COVID-19 and the government has set out what you will need to consider before submitting your claims here.
They will not be asking for detailed information on individual items, but you should hold a record of what has been covered in case of individual enquiries.
250 pupils or fewer £25,000
251 to 500 pupils £30,000
501 to 1000 pupils £50,000
Over 1000 pupils £75,000
Special schools and alternative provision
All schools £50,000
For more information please visit the Guidance: School funding: exceptional costs associated with COVID-19 for the period March to July 2020.