The Department of Education’s guidance on the availability of additional funding for exceptional costs related to Covid-19 has recently been updated to clarify:
- the impact of the academy’s reserves on the eligibility for the funding
- details of government support where there is a loss of self-generated income not covered by the fund
- academies should proceed with a phased wider opening using existing resources, as costs incurred as part of that process cannot be claimed through this fund
The funding is only available for specific additional costs that have been incurred as a result of Covid-19 and which is over and above expected expenditure, for delivering support to pupils during the period of partial closure. The eligible costs are:
- additional premises related costs for keeping the school open over Easter / Summer half term holiday for the children of critical workers
- support for free school meals for eligible children not attending school, where those costs are not covered by the national voucher scheme
- additional cleaning due to confirmed or suspected Covid-19 cases
Importantly an academy is only eligible for this funding if the additional costs would either increase a historic deficit, result in a school having to use historic surpluses or prevent the planned repayment of a historic deficit. Therefore if the academy is expecting a surplus it will not be eligible for the funding.
If your academy has incurred any additional eligible costs, you can submit a claim now (and up to 21 July 2020).
Further details on the funding can be found here.
Details on how to submit a claim can be found here.
The funding is capped and ranges between £25,000 and £75,000 depending on the number of pupils. Schools will need to provide assurance that costs are legitimate additional costs incurred due to Covid-19.
The funding does not cover the loss of self-generated income (such as may have been generated from wrap-around or catering services). In these cases, whilst schools should look to make savings from existing budgets or by redeploying staff first, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme may be available. Similarly, academies are not eligible to make claims for any additional costs associated with more pupils returning to school, outside of the specific categories highlighted above.
If you have any queries, please contact a member of the Academies team.