Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) 2016 to 2017

DfE Initial Guidance Note is Out!


No surprises – The Department of Education (DfE), anticipate similar high level demands again this year for 2016 to 2017 CIF Applications. Only applications – which have a high project need and align with CIF priorities; are likely to be successful.

The CIF Application Assessment criteria and weightings appear to have changed for 2016-17 to ensure that they target the limited amount of funding in the most effective way.

Highest priority will be given to Condition Projects that address compliance and Health & Safety issues.

These include:

  • Fire protection systems
  • Electrical safety
  • Emergency asbestos removal

Other high priority projects include ensuring :

  • Water tight buildings
  • Continuous heating & water supply

Anyone preparing expansion projects should consider setting up a free school but you should check the need for places in your local area visit (

Key Dates/Deadlines for CIF Applications

Thursday 24th September 2015 CIF 2016 to 2017 announced
October 2015 CIF Information for applicants published
October 2015 Online application form opens
Wednesday 2nd December 2015 at 5pm Registration deadline for new applicants
Wednesday 16th December 2015 at 12 noon Deadline for Submitting applications
Thursday 24th September 2015 Target Date for notifying successful projects


Applicants may submit up to 2 projects per Academy or College via the CIF online portal.

Only one application for an expansion project may be submitted.

Primary & special schools may apply for funding from £20,000 to £4 million for each project.

Secondary schools, all-through schools and sixth form colleges may apply for funding from £50,000 to £4 million for each project.

The EFA have changed this year the assessment criteria – to make sure they meet the eligibility criteria and project requirements.

The assessment criteria and weightings for this year (2016 to 2017) have changed

  1. They will assess all applications to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria and project requirements.
  2. They will score each project against the project need criteria which carries 70% of the overall weighting in assessment
  3. Project Planning equates to (15%) and value for money (15%) – if they assess the project as meeting as a high need.

Under the Value for Money criteria – They have mentioned applications will gain more points when making a contribution from their own funding including through an advance of revenue funding or an Interest Free Salix Loan for projects that promote energy efficiencies.

Ministers will be announcing in due course the amount of CIF funding available for 2016 to 2017.

Don’t forget to check the eligibility for CIF Applications & Good Luck!