Strategic School Improvement Fund: emergency funding

Apply for emergency funding under the Strategic School Improvement Fund.


The £140 million Strategic School Improvement Fund is a grant to support primary, secondary, middle, all-through, alternative provision and special academies and maintained schools, and pupil referral units. It is intended to further build a school-led system, and aims to target resources at the schools most in need to improve school performance and pupil attainment; to help them use their resources most effectively, and to deliver more good school places.

In the event of an emergency, we will consider applications to the Strategic School Improvement Fund to support an individual school, as opposed to a group of schools, if the supported school meets the eligibility criteria for emergency funding. Emergency funding will only be considered in exceptional circumstances and is intended to address:

  • unexpected or imminent failure
  • unexpected withdrawal of planned/existing support to address failure/imminent failure, or
  • failure where other long-term support options are not feasible


If you are a teaching school, national support school or multi-academy trust making an application please email for an application form.

Who can apply

Applications can be put forward by teaching schools, national support schools and multi-academy trusts and must have the approval of either the relevant regional schools commissioner or local authority.

What we will fund

Applications can be made for short-term support while a longer-term sustainable solution is developed, for example, as part of a wider application for the Strategic School Improvement Fund, or through the support of a new academy sponsor.

Applications for emergency funding can also be made for longer-term whole school support where no other sustainable solution can be found to address the school failure.

Please note: we require the relevant regional schools commissioner’s approval for applications where the supported school is an academy or a maintained school that is eligible for intervention (that is, Ofsted inadequate, meeting the coasting definition or failing to comply with a warning notice). Applications to support other maintained schools must have the approval of the local authority.

If you are a school or an academy trust seeking support through the emergency fund, please contact the relevant local authority or regional schools commissioner. If they agree that emergency funding for support is necessary they will agree which teaching schools, national support school or multi-academy trust should lead that support and submit an emergency funding application on your behalf.

Local authorities and regional schools commissioners should also contact for more information about emergency funding or to discuss a particular case.


Strategic School Improvement Fund

Published 21 April 2017