School-to-school support fund

Grants for national leaders of education and teaching schools to support underperforming maintained schools and academies.

This guidance was withdrawn on

The school-to-school support fund is no longer available. Find out if you’re eligible for other funding to support school improvement in underperforming schools and academies.


The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) provides grants, for teaching schools and national leaders of education (NLEs), to support school improvement by working with underperforming maintained schools and academies.

Grants of up to £20,000 are available.


The application round is now closed.

You can still read and download the:

Who can apply

Teaching schools and NLEs can apply for grants to provide support that meets the criteria below.

As a school offering support, you should be either a:

  • designated national support school, committed to supporting other schools to raise standards
  • designated teaching school with capacity to co-ordinate and oversee high quality support to a number of schools, through a number of system leaders

Schools receiving support should:

  • be a maintained school judged by Ofsted as requires improvement or an academy judged as requires improvement or inadequate (applications to support maintained schools and academies with different Ofsted judgements will be considered in exceptional circumstances)
  • be open to receiving support from an NLE or teaching school to help improve school performance
  • not be receiving funding from other sources for similar school improvement purposes, such as funding from an academy sponsor or grants for academy conversion.

In order to identify schools that will benefit most from receiving support, you should discuss your potential applications with:

  • regional schools commissioners
  • teaching schools council regional representatives
  • local authorities
  • dioceses


Activity Date
Application round opened Monday 12 September 2016
Application round closed Friday 4 November 2016 at midday
Application assessment November 2016
Outcomes and grant awarded (subject to DfE funding approval by end of December 2016

Application assessment

We’ll prioritise applications based on Ofsted and school performance data. Applications will also be reviewed by teaching schools council regional representatives and regional schools commissioners.


You’ll be responsible for overseeing a number of supported schools and will be accountable for:

  • the grant monies
  • the outcomes of the support
  • reporting to us on grant spend, impact and outcomes

Information for local authorities and dioceses

If you have schools that would benefit from the support of a NLE or teaching school, you could:

  • contact a teaching school alliance, who will source system leader resource and agree support plans with the schools
  • contact an NLE and work with the NLE and schools to agree plans for support
  • request support from a teaching school council regional representative – they will then work with an appropriate alliance to arrange resource and submit an application

The teaching school or NLE will be responsible for submitting the application.

To find a teaching school alliance or NLE please view the school-to-school support directory.

Published 24 September 2014
Last updated 4 November 2016 + show all updates
  1. The application round for the School-to-school support fund has now closed.

  2. School-to-school support fund application round now open.

  3. Application assessment updated

  4. Application round now open.

  5. New application round announced.

  6. Application round is now closed.

  7. application round closed

  8. Application round has been extended to midday on 7 November 2014.

  9. Application round is now open.

  10. First published.