Condition Improvement Fund

Information for academies and sixth-form colleges about the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF).


The Condition Improvement Fund is an annual bidding round for eligible academies and sixth-form colleges to apply for capital funding. The priority for the fund is to address significant condition need, keeping academy and sixth-form college buildings safe and in good working order. This includes funding projects to address health and safety issues, building compliance and poor building condition.

The Condition Improvement Fund also supports a small proportion of expansion projects. These are for Ofsted-rated good or outstanding academies and sixth-form colleges that need to expand their existing facilities and/or floor space.

Apply for 2019 to 2020

Apply using the Condition Improvement Fund data collection portal.

You should refer to the Condition Improvement Fund 2019 to 2020: information for applicants (PDF, 220KB, 43 pages) when preparing your application. It provides details of projects that are appropriate for funding and the assessment criteria for 2019 to 2020.

The Condition Improvement Fund 2019 to 2020: checklist for applicants (PDF, 158KB, 7 pages) provides information for eligible academies and sixth-form colleges.

Who can apply

Single academy trusts, small multi-academy trusts (MATs) and sixth-form colleges can apply for the Condition Improvement Fund. To be eligible to apply for the 2019 to 2020 round, you must have been:

  • an open academy or sixth-form college as at 1 September 2018
  • a school with a signed academy order as at 1 September 2018 (if successful, you must have converted to academy status and had a funding agreement in place by 1 April 2019 to receive funding)

MATs with at least 5 academies and more than 3,000 pupils do not need to apply for the Condition Improvement Fund. They will receive a formulaic allocation to deploy across their estate for 2019 to 2020.


Activity Deadline
New applicants must register to use the portal Friday 30 November 2018, 5pm
Deadline to submit applications Thursday 13 December 2018, 12 noon
Notification of outcomes Spring 2019


Academies and sixth-form colleges can take out a loan for all or part of the project costs in their application to demonstrate their commitment to the scheme.

Please use the Condition Improvement Fund loan: repayment calculator 2018 (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 36KB) to determine the annual and total repayments that will be incurred.

Loans are offered at Public Works Loan Board rates of interest, the same rate that local authorities can access to invest in their schools. You will make loan repayments through abatement of revenue funding paid to you and reinvested into future capital budgets.

Funding for 2018 to 2019

Following the announcement of the Condition Improvement Fund 2018 to 2019 outcome, we have now published the outcome of the appeals round.

Urgent Capital Support (UCS): How to apply

Urgent Capital Support (UCS) is for academies and sixth-form colleges who do not have access to a SCA and require funding assistance to address urgent building condition issues that put at risk either the safety of pupils and staff, or threatens the closure of the whole, or a significant part of the school.

Applications can only be considered from institutions outside of the main round where there is a genuine and immediate need for urgent support that cannot wait until the next round.

Applications are subject to a financial assessment, using the core financial returns shared with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). For all academy applications, financial health is considered at academy trust level and not against the individual school.

Please note that most successful applications will be funded through loan arrangements. In addition, trusts in a healthy financial position are expected to fund urgent projects independently, and are likely to have their applications declined. Further details can be found in the guidance.


If you need further advice after the publication of the full guidance, please contact us using the ESFA enquiry form.

Published 16 October 2014
Last updated 3 December 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated application form and guidance for Urgent Capital Support (UCS).
  2. Application round for 2019 to 2020 funding now open.
  3. Information about the 2019 to 2020 application round for the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF), including a checklist for applicants.
  4. Addition of content about how to apply for Urgent Capital Support
  5. CIF appeals round
  6. Amended to signpost tha launch of the CIF 2018 to 2019 appeals round.
  7. Updated to announce the 2018 to 2019 CIF outcome.
  8. Update on the CIF portal.
  9. update regarding the CIF Portal
  10. Amended to advise of problems with CIF portal and notice of extension to the deadline for applications
  11. Page updated to announce launch of the 2018 to 2019 CIF round together with revised guidance for applicants.
  12. Page updated following the announcement of the CIF 2017 to 2018 outcomes
  13. Amended to show that the Condition Improvement Fund applications deadline has been reached and no further applications for the 2017 to 2018 round will be accepted.
  14. Updated to include information for applicants for the 2017 to 2018 Condition Improvement Fund bidding round.
  15. Minor changes to reflect that the outcomes for 2016 to 2017 have been announced
  16. Updated with information for applicants 2016 to 2017.
  17. Updated with information about applying for CIF for 2016 to 2017.
  18. Updated with information on appeal outcomes
  19. Updated with information about the outcome of CIF 2015 to 2016.
  20. Updated to confirm that the application system is closed.
  21. Updated to change the application deadline date to 13 January.
  22. Updated with advice about submitted online applications.
  23. Updated with a link to the CIF online application and the CIF 2015 to 2016 online application user guide
  24. Updated with online application document
  25. Loan calculator added
  26. Webinar details added.
  27. Updated with detailed information for applicants.
  28. First published.