Cost-of-living support

The government’s cost-of-living payment is available for those receiving certain benefits or tax credits. Those who are eligible can get up to 3 different types of payment depending on their situation:

  • A cost-of-living payment, for people receiving a qualifying low-income benefit or tax credits
  • A disability cost-of-living payment, for people receiving a qualifying disability benefit
  • A pensioner cost-of-living payment, for people entitled to a winter fuel payment for winter 2023 to 2024

Citizens Advice has guidance for people who need help with school costs. This includes advice on how to get:

  • Free school meals (FSM) – read more about FSM funding
  • Help to pay for activities and uniform
  • Help with transport to and from school

The Warm Welcome Campaign has a searchable map to help people find a warm welcome space near them. The campaign is supporting more than 3,000 organisations that have opened their doors to those struggling to heat their homes.

Get more in-depth information about how to manage the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on your school.
With more families feeling the strain, breakfast clubs are increasingly important to help feed pupils. Magic Breakfast works with schools to offer healthy breakfasts to pupils in the UK. You’ll need to submit an expression of interest form – if your school meets the eligibility criteria, Magic Breakfast will get in touch when it has sufficient funding.The breakfast club programme run by the Greggs Foundation is open to all primary schools in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland if you meet the following criteria (there’s a waiting list for new clubs, but there’s no application deadline):

  • At least 40% of pupils at your primary school are eligible for FSM
  • You can demonstrate a commitment to engaging parents or other volunteers
  • Your breakfast club will be offered for free to make sure all pupils can attend

Child Poverty Action Group has published a ‘cost of the school day’ toolkit to help schools identify where pupils might face cost barriers to participation in school activities across the academic year. It also suggests alternative activities and provides examples of best practice from other schools.

Help support staff mental health over the next few months with our guidance on creating a staff mental health and wellbeing action plan – it has a downloadable action plan template you can use.

You can also consider offsetting some of your energy costs by exploring alternative energy production, such as solar panels. Solar for Schools helps to finance solar panel systems for schools. There’s also guidance on the benefits of solar PV for schools from the government.

Grants and funding opportunities

The Teacher Development Fund from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation aims to support primary school arts-based teaching.

  • Offers around 6 grants of up to £150,000 each year to partnerships between arts/cultural organisations and 5 to 10 schools
  • Applications open in September

The Microbiology Society gives grants to schools to support relevant science teaching or promotion initiatives, or to support developments likely to lead to an improvement in the teaching of any aspect of microbiology.

  • Applications only open to members of the society, so check if any of your staff are members first
  • Grants up to £1,000
  • 2 deadlines for 2023: 10 April and 2 October

The Royal Society offers grants to schools to carry out climate and biodiversity research projects in partnership with STEM professionals from academia or industry.

  • Grants up to £3000
  • 3 deadlines for 2023: end of April, June and November

The DfE offers premium payments for chemistry, computing, mathematics and physics teachers in state-funded secondary schools.

  • Payments between £1,500 and £3,000
  • Applications open from September to January of each academic year, up to 2024/25

The Waterloo Foundation supports schools in Wales to increase STEM skills.

  • Grants typically between £5,000 and £25,000, but there is no upper limit
  • Applications currently by invitation only

State-funded secondary schools that teach Mandarin can apply to the Institute of Education’s Mandarin Excellence Programme for funding to support developing the school into a centre of excellence for the teaching of Mandarin.

  • Schools that participate receive at least £20,000 per academic year
  • Schools can express their interest in joining throughout the year

The Royal Geographical Society offer funding for geography teachers at secondary level to develop imaginative and creative educational resources with the help of a university collaborator:

  • 2 grants of £1,000 a year
  • The deadline is 15 February each year

The Jerusalem Trust supports the teaching of Christianity within RE by awarding grants to state-funded primary, middle and secondary schools for the purchase of resources.

  • Grants up to £600
  • Applications currently still open for the spring term

The Roman Society offers funding to schools to promote the teaching of Latin and Roman studies. Grants are mainly for purchasing textbooks and resources, but they can also be used for study days – especially if they benefit large numbers of children throughout the year and can be repeated in successive years.

  • Grants from £50 to £600
  • 3 deadlines per year: 1 February, 1 June and 1 November

The Classical Association offers grants to schools to support the study of classical topics. It also provides CPD events for school teachers of classical subjects.

  • 3 types of grant: schools grant (up to £500), outreach grant (£2,500 or less) and a major projects grant (over £2,500)
  • Applications for the schools and outreach programmes can be made at any time
  • 2 deadlines for major project grants: 1 March and 1 September

Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies usually offers grants to cover the costs of the development of new courses in Greek, teaching materials, Greek plays and Classics days or conferences.

  • Grants usually range from £100 to £500
  • 2 deadlines each year: 1 May and 1 October

Music for All offers both individual and community project funding to provide access to musical instruments and lessons.

  • Next round of funding closes on 28 April

The Radcliffe Trust offers grants principally in 2 sectors: music, and heritage and crafts.

  • Grants generally between £2,500 and £7,500
  • 2 deadlines each year: 31 January and 31 July

Youth Music Network offers a wide variety of grants that fund music programmes for children. Take a look at the site to find out which grants you’re eligible for and when you’ll need to apply.

  • Smaller grants between £2,000 and £30,000, and larger grants up to £300,000
  • Multiple rounds of funding with deadlines throughout the yearA number of grants are available to schools from Sport England.
The Football Foundation offers grants for a range of improvements and equipment for football pitches.

The Foyle Foundation offers grants to state-funded schools to buy books and equipment for libraries. It may also contribute towards the cost of library software, IT equipment and furniture.

  • Grants generally range between £2,000 and £10,000
  • Applications accepted at any time

The UK Community Foundations website has details and links to the 47 accredited community foundations in the UK, each of which has funding streams available that target particular issues in their geographical area.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) Mutual Charitable Trust provides grants for projects that impact rural communities. The trustees meet twice a year to consider applications.

  • Deadlines for 2023: 26 May and 27 October  2023

The Learning through Landscapes: Local School Nature Grants Programme allows schools to apply for outdoor learning resources and a training session. The scheme doesn’t give cash grants to schools – you select equipment and training at the application stage.

  • Selection of outdoor resources worth a total of £500 
  • Deadlines for 2023: 28 April, 9 June, 8 September, 10 November

The Metropolitan Public Gardens Association gives funding and practical assistance to community gardens and green sites across London.

  • Grants up to £1,500
  • No deadline, but applications will be considered at the trustees’ quarterly meetings at the end of February, May, August and November

The Primary Awards for Green Education in Schools awards prizes for work that promotes environmental education for young people aged 5 to 11.

  • Prizes between £100 and £2,000
  • Deadline for entries is 3 May

The Nineveh Charitable Trust offers grants to schools and other organisations for UK-based projects that benefit the general public. Education, access and preservation of the countryside are common themes.

  • No funding limit
  • Applications welcome at any time, but are considered at the trustees’ quarterly meetings

UK-German Connection gives funding to UK schools that have a partnership with a German school. Funding streams usually centre on work-focused programmes, project-based programmes and visits.

  • Grants up to £1,000 (partnership visit fund and school partnership bursaries), up to £2,500 (instant impact fund), and up to £10,000 (flexible funding scheme)
  • Applications for school partnership bursaries will open at the end of April
  • Flexible funding scheme has 3 deadlines a year: 31 January, 31 May and 31 October
  • You can apply for the other funds throughout the year at least 6 weeks in advance of your visit

The Daiwa Foundation offers grants to promote and support interaction between the UK and Japan.

  • Grants between £2,000 and £9,000
  • 2 deadlines each year: 31 March and 30 September

The Henry Smith Charity runs a holiday grants programme that aims to provide access to recreational trips or holidays for groups of children aged 13 or under who experience disadvantage or who have disabilities.

  • Grants between £500 and £2,750
  • Applications open throughout 2023, with deadlines depending on when the trips or holidays are due to take place

The YHA’s Educational Breaks Programme can provide support to schools struggling to meet the costs of residential trips. To be eligible, your school must have 20% or more of pupils registered for free school meals or the pupil premium. It also offers similar support to special schools and alternative provision settings.

Happy Days Children’s Charity has funding available for day trips and group activity holidays aimed at children and young people with additional needs.

  • No deadline

BBC Children in Need – emergency essentials programme is for children and young people who are facing exceptionally difficult circumstances. It funds critical items such as clothing and bedding.

  • Applications open

Special schools and colleges can apply to The Wolfson Foundation for capital funding for building refurbishments, new buildings and equipment.

  • Minimum grant amount is £15,000 and match funding required for projects over £50,000
  • Deadlines 5 January and 1 July

The Clothworkers’ Foundation offers capital projects. Grants can be used for building renovations, or to purchase fixtures, fittings, equipment or vehicles.

  • Applications accepted at any time

Variety, the children’s charity, offers grants for specialist equipment that will directly benefit or support children with disabilities.

  • Grants usually less than £5,000
  • Applications can be submitted at any time, but there is a limit of 1 application per year