Trust Capacity Fund (TCaF)
Posted: October 8, 2021
The Trust Capacity Fund (TCaF) is a competitive grant fund that will award up to £24 million over the 2021-22 financial year to help trusts develop their capacity to grow. The fund is organised into 2 strands:
- Projects in which your trust will take on at least one additional inadequate or requires improvement school from one of the listed areas
- All other trust capacity building projects
TCaF has a particular focus on supporting strong trusts, and strong schools forming trusts, to take on underperforming schools in areas of higher need.
Your TCaF application must be linked to a clearly defined growth project that has been approved by a Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) at a headteacher board (HTB) between 1 January and 17 December 2021. This must commit you to:
- Either take at least one new school into your trust by 31 March 2023
- Or convert to academy status and take on at least two new schools that will submit a conversion application by 31 March 2022 (with all schools to be taken into your trust by 31 March 2023)
The following types of growth project are eligible for TCaF:
- Applications from schools to convert to academy status and form a multi- academy trust (MAT)
- Sponsor matches for schools with directive Academy Orders (dAOs)
- Trust mergers, including a single academy trust (SAT) joining a larger MAT and SATs joining together to create new trusts
- Academy transfers from one trust to another
- Approved free school bid proposals
If you are an academy trust or local authority maintained school in England, to apply to either strand of TCaF you must:
- Be considered by the Education and Skills Funding Agency to be of sound financial health. As a minimum requirement, you must not have an open Financial Notice to Improve.
- Have a record of meeting, or driving improvements in, school standards. This can be demonstrated in two ways:
- Either the majority of current schools in your trust / planned trust having a Good or Outstanding rating at their last Ofsted inspection.
- Or 94% or more of the dAO academies you have taken on having received an improved Ofsted rating at their first inspection with the trust, and 80% or more of your other academies having remained stable or received an improved Ofsted rating since joining the trust.
- Have an eligible growth project that has been approved by an RSC between 1 January and 17 December 2021.
SPM can support growing trusts to take control of their estates.
- Improve visibility with detailed CAD plans and condition surveys across your entire estate
- Scenario planning to discover if your estates are fit to meet current and future pupil capacity challenges
- Ensure due diligence when expanding and acquiring new schools into the trust
- Establishing centralised data sets to enable evidence-based decision making
- Understanding the ‘state of your estate’ for strategic management and accurate prioritisation
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