Guidance

Capital funding for multi-academy trusts (MATs)

Information for multi-academy trusts (MATs) and other groups of academies that receive a capital funding allocation.

Introduction

Multi-academy trusts (MATs) and some other groups of academy trusts with at least 5 academies and more than 3,000 pupils, receive a School Condition Allocation (SCA) to deploy strategically across their estate to address their priority maintenance needs.

Academies that are not part of a qualifying MAT or opted-in chain can apply to the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF). In any given financial year, all schools eligible for capital funding will either (i) receive a formulaic allocation via their MAT or chain, or (ii) be able to bid to CIF.

MAT capital funding allocations

School capital funding allocations: 2015 to 2018 gives details of SCAs for MATs, devolved formula capital (DFC) allocations for schools and academies, and an explanatory note on the funding methodology.

Use of SCA

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) provides funding to keep school buildings in good condition so pupils can learn in a safe and effective environment. SCA should be used to keep buildings safe and in good working order by tackling poor building condition, building compliance, energy efficiency and health and safety issues. Further advice can be found in Good estate management for schools.

As the bodies responsible for schools’ sites, organisations that receive SCA need to:

  • carry out their duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and comply with all relevant building regulations. This includes management of asbestos where relevant. You can read guidance about asbestos management in schools
  • understand in detail the data relating to the current condition of your estate and develop a long-term asset management strategy
  • maintain the estate for the long-term by renewing and modernising key building elements through preventative works and replacement when they are beyond economic repair

You can find more information on SCA and how it should be used.

Salix type loans

All MATS and their academies can apply to the latest Salix Energy Efficiency Fund.

Given the importance of achieving energy savings, MATs may also consider using their flexibility to transfer funding from their allocation across the estate to support energy saving projects in their individual academies.

MATs can return any savings achieved through capital projects (for example through energy efficiency projects) by transferring revenue funding over and above any funds retained for shared services. This could be a way of building up a sinking fund to assist investment across the estate over a longer period of time. Alternatively, MATs may choose to allow their academies to keep any savings for re-investment within the academy.

PFI academies

In most cases condition work and maintenance issues in a PFI academy should be covered by the contract with the PFI provider. For expansion projects at these academies, MATs will need to negotiate with the PFI provider about their plans, to determine the willingness of the provider to take on the project, or their willingness for a third party coming on site to complete the works for an additional standalone block or similar. The trust will need to consider the costs of any proposed development in light of the negotiations with the PFI provider and assure themselves that it represents good value for money.

The Trust Network

The Trust Network is a group of academy trusts who share information and expertise on managing and maintaining school premises. Go to The Trust Network website to join the network for free and find out more about their events.

The Trust Network is led by volunteers from a diverse range of MATs from across England and membership is open to all independently-run, state-funded schools. More than 250 MATs and single academy trusts are currently registered as members.

Contact

Queries about MAT capital funding should be forwarded to:

ESFA enquiries

For all enquiries for the Education and Skills Funding Agency

Published 9 January 2015
Last updated 13 March 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added information about The Trust Network.

  2. Updated SCA information.

  3. Updated for 2017.

  4. Updated with links to 2015 to 2018 capital funding allocations and to the MAT Capital Funding Network.

  5. First published.