Funding Ring Fenced

Funding for academies has been ring fenced by Chancellor George Osborne in his Autumn Statement with the £980m fund being available for spending over the next two years.

While the Government’s Priority Schools Building Programme, which funds repairs and new buildings at schools in the worst state of repair, will be the first scheme financed by a new private finance programme, called Private Finance Two (PF2).

Under PF2 projects, such as capital maintenance, the Government will become a minority stakeholder in project companies, giving it a seat on the board and a share of profits. Reports suggest that this will typically equate to a stake of around 20 per cent, but it could be as high as 49 per cent.

This year, the initial application round for the Academies’ Capital Maintenance Fund (ACMF) 2013-14 is now open. All academies open by or on 1 January 2013 are eligible to submit an application for up to two projects, either tackling building condition issues or expanding provision.

The deadline for submitting applications is 6.00pm on Tuesday 18 December, for academies converted before 30 September this year, and is at 6.00pm on Friday 1 February next year for academies converting after 30 September 2012, although academies are encouraged not to leave submission to the final few days, so should be thinking of finalising applications now.

It is intended that successful applicants will be notified by Friday 5 April 2013, giving academies almost a full financial year to spend the available funding.

Academies must apply online and the Department for Education (DfE) is currently developing the online application system, accessed via the Education Funding Agency (EFA) Capital portal, for the new application round.

As an accountant, Gill Freeman specialises within academy finances and charity tax.

Posted in News.