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Coronavirus - Academy Funding FAQs

on Monday, 27 July 2020.

Find answers to your most common questions regarding funding for your academy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Academy Funding FAQs

Who is eligible for additional funding?

All state-funded mainstream and special schools, and alternative provisions, can apply for funding where they are unable to meet additional costs from their existing resources, or where they would need to draw down from reserves.

However, if academies and schools anticipate being able to add to their reserves in the current financial year (September 2019 to July 2020 for academies and April 2020 to March 2021 for maintained schools) , they should not make a claim for the additional funding.  Schools starting the current financial year with an accumulated surplus cannot claim. 

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What are the additional funding limits?

The limits are as follows:

Mainstream Schools

250 pupils or fewer


251 to 500 pupils


501 to 1,000 pupils


Over 1,000 pupils


Special Schools and Alternative Provision

All schools


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What does the additional funding cover?

The following areas have been identified as those where schools are most likely to face additional costs as a result of the coronavirus outbreak:

  • Premises-related costs associated with keeping schools open during the school, holidays over and above the costs that schools would have ordinarily faced.
  • Support for free school meals for eligible children not attending school, where those costs are not covered by the national voucher scheme. This could include costs arising before the scheme was introduced and/or where schools are providing meals to children for whom the scheme is inappropriate because schools are providing meals directly or there are no participating supermarkets locally.
  • Additional cleaning required due to confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases over and above the cost of existing cleaning arrangements.

However, if schools face additional costs to deliver appropriate support to pupils not covered by the list above which cannot be met by existing budgets, they should contact dfe.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk.

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What about loss of funds from private sources?

Many schools have income streams in addition to their state funding and during the pandemic will have lost planned income from those activities. The loss of self-generated income is not covered by the additional funds scheme but the DfE suggests that schools consider making savings elsewhere in their budgets, redeploying staff to other parts of the school or, ultimately, looking to the job retention scheme. For further information about the job retention scheme, please see our article Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - Furlough Update for Academies and Maintained Schools - 2 June 2020.  

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How do schools apply?

See Exceptional costs associated with coronavirus (COVID-19) for information about making a claim.

Where a school is struggling to make up-front payments to cover additional costs because of cash flow issues, they should follow the usual process for seeking short-term advances to support their cash flow by contacting the ESFA (academy or non-maintained special school) or their local authority (maintained school).

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Where can I find information about my obligations and the funding available in respect of free school meals and universal infant free school meals?

You can find more information in respect of this in the DfE's guidance Providing free school meals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

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If you have further questions regarding funding, please contact Jaime Hobday in our Academies team on 07467 220 552, or complete the form below.

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