School Sports Equipment Funding De-Mystified

Fitness Funding | Sunshine Gym

This academic year, Sunshine Gym aims to help children get the fitness education they deserve. That’s why we’ve put together an accessible guide to school sports equipment funding; from government streams to crowd-sourcing.

We want all members of staff to be able to support the funding process at their school and make a difference to pupil health.

Government Streams for School Sports Equipment Funding

Education & Skills Funding Agency

Government Funding for schools - Sunshine Gym

Most funding from the ESFA is allocated long in advance of schools receiving it. That’s because it is a year-long process. It runs like this:

  1. Schools typically submit their applications in the first term of the academic year.
  2. They will find out whether or not they’ve been successful in the second term of the academic year. This will be just before the end of the financial year.
  3. Successful applicants will receive the first payment at the very end of the academic year, and continued payments throughout the following year.

To see a full breakdown of all the annual funding allocations offered by the department of education, visit their guidance pages for academies and pre-16 schools.

Don’t get caught out

This example guide will give you an idea of key dates in the funding calendar in an academic year. We hope you’ll be able to use it when making school management aware of sport equipment needs.

However, it’s by no means comprehensive; you may want to approach the school bursar to look over further details of the application process.

Key dates for the CIF and other government funding for schools in 2018-2019

September 2018: Academies Financial Handbook 2018 comes into effect

October 2018: ESFA issues guidance on the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) 2018 to 2019; ESFA issues PE and sport premium conditions of grant and allocations for 2018 to 2019 academic year

November 2018: Deadline for new CIF 2018 to 2019 applicants to register on the online portal

December 2018: Deadline for bids for CIF 2018 to 2019

February 2019: ESFA issues guidance on 2019 to 2020 funding allocations for open academies

March 2019: ESFA publishes CIF outcomes

Getting a bit lost? Try the glossary at the bottom of the page!

Non-Government Funding Sources

Non-government sources of school funding - Sunshine Gym

Missed out on government allocations? There are other sources of funding you might want to consider. Whatever your project, you may want opt for a combination of funding sources – this is often a very useful system!

Non-government funding streams tend to fall into one of three categories:

  • Lottery Funding – for example, Sport England. If you’re applying to Sport England for school sports equipment funding, we recommend looking into their small grants and or their community asset fund.
  • Charitable Trusts and Foundations – for example, the Aviva Community Fund and the ASDA Foundation ‘top-up funding’. The Aviva Community Fund has a one-month long submissions window, usually at the start of the academic year. It is split into categories, so the one we recommend is ‘Health and Wellbeing’. ASDA also runs schemes on a local scale such as Green Token Giving.
  • Corporate Donations and Sponsorship – this is usually acquired by approaching local businesses. Look for companies who have a ‘stake’ in marketing to parents through demonstrations of goodwill.

The changing face of funding

An increasingly popular form of funding projects is crowd-sourcing. There are a few big names each offering slightly different methods, so look for one which really suits your needs.

The world of funding is always in flux; websites which promise long lists of funding sources usually become out of date very soon after going live.

However, you mustn’t be put off. It really is true that when one door closes, another opens! You just need to perform some solid research; look for a funding stream when you need one and don’t waste time sending out non-specific applications.

Completing a successful funding application

Writing a successful funding application - Sunshine Gym

Whether you’re appealing to a business, the Department of Education or potential crowd-funders, this is your opportunity to ‘sell’ your fitness project. Above all, be sure to provide all the relevant information without the waffle!

Prior planning is key to writing a good application

It may seem counterintuitive but funding should be like the final piece in a puzzle, bringing everything together; it’s not a case of receiving money and then seeing what you can spend it on.

Vital information includes ‘evidence of need’ and proof that the end result is attainable. That’s because people offering funding like to see the money they offer making a difference.

At Sunshine Gym our quotes come with a full breakdown of costs and detailed plans for every stage of the process. This is all done to make the process easier; whether that’s to help you acquire funding or simply to give parents and governors peace of mind.

Prove Value

Once you’ve established that there is a need for fitness equipment, you may want to show that the solution you’ve chosen will be really valuable. For example, Sunshine Gym ensures you get the full, exceptional value of their products through their free training sessions.

Read our recent case study to see how one school got on with their new outdoor gym and training. You’ll find plenty of other past projects in this section to give you some inspiration!

The government funding glossary

ESFA – The Education & Skills Funding Agency

This is the government body responsible for all the funding which is offered to schools by the Department of Education. Non-government funding streams such as grants offered by foundations and businesses do not fall under this jurisdiction.

CIF – The Condition Improvement Fund

The ESFA allocates money from this fund on a yearly basis. Most of the fund is intended to support health & safety and maintenance within schools. A smaller amount of the CIF goes to schools running expansion projects due to 1) ongoing overcrowding issues or 2) a desire to increase admissions. The CIF is usually very oversubscribed.

The Soft Drinks Industry Levy

The UK government has promised that proceeds from the new ‘sugar tax’ will go to support healthy living in schools.

HPFC – The Healthy Pupils Capital Fund

This fund was paid for by the Soft Drinks Industry Levy. It was a new initiative which was allocated to schools who weren’t eligible for the 2018-19 CIF.

The PE and Sport Premium

This is government funding which most primary schools receive. It is partly funded by the Soft Drinks Industry Levy. The Department of Education state it should be used to “make additional and sustainable improvements to the quality of PE and sport you offer” in your school.