School capital funding

An overview of school capital funding, who it's for, current and past allocations, how it's calculated and spending guidance.

Applies to England


The Department for Education (DfE) allocates funding each year to help maintain and improve the condition of school buildings and grounds.

In any given financial year, eligible schools can access funding through either:

  • school condition allocations (SCA), with funds paid to eligible bodies responsible for maintaining school buildings
  • the condition improvement fund (CIF), a bidding round with funds paid directly to single academy trusts, small multi-academy trusts (MATs), small voluntary aided (VA) bodies and sixth-form colleges

In addition, devolved formula capital (DFC) is allocated for individual schools and other eligible institutions to spend on capital projects that meet their own priorities.

Who the funding is for

School condition funding includes capital allocations for:

  • local authorities and local-authority-maintained schools, including maintained nursery schools
  • local voluntary-aided bodies and voluntary-aided schools
  • academies and large multi-academy trusts (MATs)
  • sixth-form colleges
  • non-maintained special schools
  • special post-16 institutions with eligible students

Eligibility for SCA for the 2024 to 2025 financial year

Schools are either part of bodies eligible for SCA or are eligible for CIF depending on their size and type.

Local authorities, larger MATs and larger VA school bodies receive direct SCA to invest in priorities across the schools for which they are responsible. Schools in smaller academy trusts, smaller VA bodies and sixth-form colleges are instead able to bid into the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF). Schools with an academy order at the start of September 2023 that we expected to convert into a CIF eligible trust by 1 April 2024 have also been invited to apply.

CIF eligible schools have been invited to bid into the fund for 2024 to 2025. If a school has been invited to bid for CIF in the 2024 to 2025 financial year, their responsible body will not receive any SCA funding on their behalf. Schools invited to CIF should therefore submit a bid if they have condition investment requirements.

To receive direct SCA, multi-academy trusts and VA bodies must have met both eligibility criteria:

  • the trust or VA body must have had 5 or more open schools at the start of September 2023
  • those open schools (or their predecessor schools) must have had at least 3,000 pupils counted in the spring 2023 census or the 2022 to 2023 individualised learner record (ILR)

For special and alternative-provision schools (including pupil referral units), we multiply the pupil count by 4.5 for the purposes of SCA eligibility for the 2024 to 2025 financial year. For example, we would count a MAT with 1,000 pupils in special schools as having 4,500 pupils. This reflects the fact that these schools tend to have lower pupil numbers for their size and more complex facilities.

For eligibility, we count all pupils that are sole, dual-main, or dual-subsidiary enrolled. If pupils are registered at more than one institution, we divide the count by the number of institutions that the pupil is registered at. For example, pupils dual registered at a mainstream school and a pupil referral unit (PRU) would have their count divided by 2 at both institutions.

For nursery schools and sixth forms, we use the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) pupils rather than headcount.

We notify academy trusts and VA school bodies that are eligible for SCA each autumn. Eligibility should not be assumed unless it has been confirmed.

All of these institution types are eligible for devolved formula capital.

Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC)

DfE has announced that we will fund refurbishment projects, or rebuilding projects where these are needed, to rectify RAAC in schools and colleges for the long term. We will also fund emergency mitigation work needed to make buildings safe, including the installation of alternative classroom space where necessary. This is in addition to any SCA or funding through CIF for financial year 2024 to 2025. See reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete in education settings for further information on RAAC.

Funding allocations for the 2023 to 2024 financial year

Capital funding is based on financial years. For the final funding amounts for the financial year 2023 to 2024 see:

How the funding is calculated

See condition funding methodology 2023 to 2024 (PDF, 328 KB, 15 pages) for information on eligibility and how the funding was calculated for 2023 to 2024.

What you can spend it on

See condition grants spend guidance (PDF, 317 KB, 14 pages) for guidance on the purpose of the funding, what you can spend it on and over what time period.

Additional school capital funding for the 2022 to 2023 financial year

In 2022 to 2023, eligible schools and sixth-form colleges received an allocation from an additional £447 million of capital funding to improve energy efficiency. This is part of an additional £500 million of capital funding for schools and further education institutions in England.

This funding was for institutions that were eligible for devolved formula capital in 2022 to 2023.


Allocations are for individual institutions. Payments may have gone through local authorities, dioceses or multi-academy trusts to pass to their schools.

What you can spend additional school capital funding on

You must spend this funding on capital projects, prioritising projects that improve your school estate’s energy efficiency. Where you judge this is not appropriate based on local circumstances, you have discretion to spend this on other capital projects.

See guidance for education providers on improving energy efficiency of your buildings and reducing energy use.

We expect you to have spent the funding in the financial year 2022 to 2023. However, normal terms of devolved formula capital apply, meaning you have an additional 2 financial years to spend the funding.

If you have doubts about what is capital expenditure, get local professional advice.

How additional school capital funding is calculated

We used the following formula to calculate allocations:

(£10,000 + £20.06 x weighted pupils) x VA factor

This gave each institution at least £10,000 and an additional amount based on weighted pupil numbers.

Weighted pupil numbers are the same as those used to calculate devolved formula capital allocations for the 2022 to 2023 financial year. The VA factor is only applied to VA schools.

Previous years’ funding

See the National Archives website for SCA and DFC allocations for previous years.

The healthy pupils capital fund was a one-year fund for the 2018 to 2019 financial year only.

In the 2018 budget, the government announced an extra £400 million of capital funding for schools in England for the 2018 to 2019 financial year. See the additional capital funding page on the National Archives for more information.

In 2020, the Prime Minister announced an additional £560 million for repairs and upgrades to school buildings, on top of funding already allocated for the 2020 to 2021 financial year.

Good estate management

We expect bodies responsible for schools to manage their school estate strategically and maintain their estate in a safe working condition. For academies, this has also been set out in the Academy Trust Handbook 2023. Good estate management for schools (GEMS) includes guidance on developing an estates strategy and asset management plan, and a self-assessment tool to identify estate management priorities. Managing asbestos guidance for schools sets out further advice on asbestos.

Responsible bodies must ensure they secure value for money through appropriate procurement routes. For large projects, the school buildings construction framework is available for use and should be considered as part of project development planning.

The Trust Network

The Trust Network is a group of academy trusts who are committed to good estate management, and support schools to build their capability and practise. They share best practice, exchange knowledge and, where needed, form a single voice to discuss issues or concerns with the Department for Education and other national agencies and help improve the resources available to support schools. You can join the network for free and find out more about their events through The Trust Network website.

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.

Grants to local authorities

The condition funding grant determination (PDF, 115 KB, 3 pages) sets out the conditions of grant for payments to local authorities in the 2023 to 2024 financial year. The Secretary of State for Education makes grant determinations under section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003.

Published 4 April 2019
Last updated 19 October 2023 + show all updates
  1. Updated with information on eligibility for funding in 2024 to 2025 financial year. 'Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC)' section also updated.

  2. Added final school capital funding allocations for the 2023 to 2024 financial year.

  3. The following documents have been updated for 2023 to 2024: school capital funding allocations, the condition funding methodology, the condition funding determination and the condition grants spend guidance. A link to the questionnaire on reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) and a link to guidance on RAAC have also been included.

  4. 'Additional school capital funding for the 2022 to 2023 financial year' section has been added.

  5. 'Eligibility for SCA for the 2023 to 2024 financial year' has been updated.

  6. School capital funding allocations for 2022 to 2023 updated.

  7. Updated information to include provisional school condition funding allocations for the 2022-23 financial year, alongside the condition funding methodology, grant spend guidance and the condition funding grant determination for the 2022-23 financial year.

  8. Updated to provide details of the eligibility criteria to receive School Condition Allocations for the 2022 to 2023 financial year.

  9. Updated information to include school capital funding allocations for 2021 to 2022, condition funding methodology for 2021 to 2022, the condition funding grant determination and the updated condition grants spend guidance. We have also added links to guidance about good estate management and to The Trust Network.

  10. Updated the 'Eligibility for SCA and CIF' section for the 2020 to 2021 financial year.

  11. Added information about 'Additional funding allocations for the 2020 to 2021 financial year'.

  12. Updated school capital funding allocations for 2020 to 2021.

  13. Added school capital funding allocations, condition spend guidance and methodology for 2020 to 2021.

  14. Added information about eligibility for SCA and CIF.

  15. Added latest versions of documents 'School capital funding allocations for 2019 to 2020'.

  16. First published.