Schools in the United Kingdom can apply for a range of grants to augment their income. These can come for a variety of purposes such as sports, skill development and equipment. They come from a range of sources in the UK and European Union, and there are several websites and other sources that provide details of these grants. This article delves deeper into this subject.
The purpose of grants
Funding for schools
While funding is provided by the state, schools may apply for grants for several purposes. These can be for equipment, building (either new or repairs), sports, events, I.C.T, health and environmental issues and special subject areas of interest to the granting body. There may be grants for teachers to undertake research or further training. There may also be grants for clothing, such as school uniform, which may help poorer parents to buy school uniform.
Who awards grants
Some grants come from national bodies. There can be grants from the National Lottery, Sport and Arts Councils. There can also be grants under the single regeneration budget, which aims to develop skills and employment opportunities.
There is a wide range of trust funds which operate in local areas, and there are charities such as the Foyle Foundation, which gives grants for the development of school libraries, and the National Tree Council. The British Ecological Society gives grants to make the teaching of ecology more interesting. The European Union provides some grants under the communities initiative.
Schools must meet the criteria for the grant-awarding body, and very few schools can fund a whole project on the basis of a grant. Most commonly small grants for the purchase of materials and for sports equipment among others, stand the highest chance of being funded in full.
Where to find information
There are several sources that can help schools to find grants. There is the Charities Aid Foundation Directory of Grant-making Trusts. Many are online such as Grants4schools, which is a subscription service. It is, however, comprehensive.
Governmentfunding.org.uk provides information about government grants. There are also Grantsonline.org.uk and Grantsnet.org.uk. There is Comenius in-service training, which provides grants for teachers to undertake further training to develop their skills and knowledge.
Some grants are available through religious organisations. One is the Jerusalem Trust that exists to provide grants for the purpose of purchasing religious education materials.
European Union grants will be administered through the Directorate-General of Education and Culture, which can be accessed online. The website Welcome Europe (WE) can be helpful in dealing with European Union grants