PFI expiry health checks – are you ready?

The Infrastructure Projects Authority (IPA) recently published A Guide to PFI Expiry Health Checks as part of the IPA’s wider PFI Contract Management Programme (which was established in 2020 by the IPA’s PFI Centre of Excellence and which seeks to improve operational performance across the PFI portfolio, together with particular objectives relating to the expiry of PFI projects).

The IPA developed the Expiry Health Check (EHC) process, to assist contracting authorities (CAs) with PFI projects in assessing their readiness for PFI expiry.  A number of EHC’s have already been undertaken by the IPA and the newly published guides set out the objectives, key aspects and approaches in relation to EHCs and the form of results from an EHC.

EHC objectives

The EHC process has been designed to:

  • Enable feedback to the CA and sponsoring department on the individual project’s readiness for expiry (together with specific recommendations)
  • Identify projects that may benefit from additional IPA support
  • Provide the IPA with an evolving data set to monitor PFI portfolio readiness and identify themes for feedback.

EHC key aspects and approach

EHCs are offered to projects at seven, five and three years from expiry (CAs can expect to be informed during quarter four of the preceding financial year of the intention for an EHC to be undertaken) and the EHC guide sets out a further more detailed timeline

Prior to each EHC, CAs are to provide various documents and information to the IPA, including:

  • the completion of a project summary and questionnaire template documents, current versions of these can be viewed here: EHC Project Summary template and EHC Questionnaire template. The questionnaire is intended to assist the IPA in developing an understanding of the contract, its performance and the extent of the CA’s preparation for expiry
  • the provision of key contractual and expiry documentation including the underlying contract, surveys, plans and reports
  • the EHC itself then involves a review of the provided documentation and a structured IPA interview with the CA which enables a more detailed exploration of the key issues and risk for expiry
  • following the IPA review and interview, the IPA drafts a report and, once moderated and completed, the report is sent to the CA for checking for any factual errors/omissions the CA is then offered a meeting to discuss the report findings and recommendations (plus discussions, where applicable, for further IPA advice and support).

EHC assessment of five themes for readiness for expiry:

The EHC and resulting report assesses readiness for PFI expiry across five themes:

  1. Contract management & expiry planning: contractual documentation (including previous variations), expiry planning, people & resources, governance and contract expiry terms
  2. Relationships: current relationships and cooperation on expiry
  3. Assets: current asset information, operational asset condition, maintenance & lifecycle planning & delivery and assets at expiry
  4. Commercial position: current commercial position, funding for asset condition during the contract term and contractual position on expiry
  5. Future services: future strategy and plans development, experience and capability for future services sourcing, knowledge of current services to support future services sourcing and transfer of staff.

EHC report “RAG” rating

The EHC output report identifies (on the IPA’s assessment) the key expiry issues and actions that will improve the CA’s readiness for expiry (and thus reduce risk) and the urgency of action is indicated in a five-tier “RAG” rating for the overall expiry readiness of the project and for each of the 5 themes.

The RAG ratings are:

  • Red: critical additional work required to achieve target readiness
  • Red/Amber: Major additional work is required to achieve target readiness
  • Amber: Moderate additional work is required to achieve target readiness
  • Amber/Green: Limited additional work is required to achieve target readiness
  • Green: at target readiness given the time to expiry.

If a project is rated red or red/amber, the IPA will discuss options to support the CA in taking immediate steps and initiate an assurance of action review about six months after the EHC to evaluate progress against the recommendations, make further recommendations (if needed) and re-assess the RAG rating.

EHCs Learning Report

As noted above, a number of EHCs have already been undertaken by the IPA and in December 2021 the IPA published an analysis of the first 52 PFI EHCs which were completed in 2021/22, see IPA Phase 1 PFI Expiry Health Check Learnings Report 20/21. The learnings report is well worth a read, by CAs and also the private sector entities involved in managing and operating PFI projects.

As set out in the learnings report, the overall expiry readiness of the 52 projects were rated as “amber” (notably, 19 of the 21 projects expiring before the end of 2024 were assessed as “amber” to “red”, indicating “an immediate need for action on these projects to minimise the loss of value and disruption to public services”).

Some other notable “takeaway statistics” and learnings detailed in the report include:

  • Expiry programme management: 25% of the projects assessed had not started to prepare for expiry and c.80% of projects did not have robust and approved plans for expiry
  • Resourcing and capability: 65% of projects reported they did not have a sufficient team to manage expiry. The IPA also found that there were insufficient people to manage the weighty combination of operational contract management, expiry preparation and future service provision
  • Relationships: 75% indicated relationships were collaborative. CAs believe relationships were likely to weaken as expiry approaches, with 40% believing there was a real risk of disputes
  • Asset condition: 80% of contracts assessed have asset condition requirements on expiry, however, c.70% of the underlying CAs believe the asset condition terms are not clear
  • Future services: CAs have a limited understanding of assets and services. Planning for future services is often too little and too late to inform the expiry process.


As has been widely reported (including in various NAO, PAC and IPA reports, and subsequently issued IPA guidance) and commented on, effective preparation for the expiry of a PFI project is key and preparations need to commence at least seven years in advance. The expiry process is going to be resource intensive for both the public and private sector and this is going to result in further challenges for resource-strained CAs.

Whilst the expiry of a PFI contract is a significant project in itself, expiry preparation also needs to be managed alongside business as usual/day-to-day contract management of the underlying PFI project and also the future provision of services to the asset, following expiry.

Our key message to clients is to start your PFI expiry planning as early as possible and ensure effective contract management is in place (not least as this will assist in expiry preparations and planning).

As part of PFI expiry preparations, CAs should be aware of the timing of each of their EHCs which will be offered by the IPA (at seven, five and three years from expiry) and prepare for these health checks as necessary.

Source – Olivia Blessington is a Partner at Bevan Brittan.

Net Capacity Assessment (NCA) programme for Secondary Schools 2023- 2025

The NCA programme, run by the DfE from 2023 to 2025 over six tranches, will provide reliable and current data on pupil capacity for all state-funded secondary and special schools in England.  To review if your school is included and what tranch it is in click here

To collect this data, the VOA will visit about 4,500 schools in England and do the following:

– measure rooms
– record room types
– use the NCA tool and methodology to calculate the number of children a school can accommodate, based on the size and use of spaces available

The NCA reports will be shared with:

– schools
– local authorities
– dioceses
– multi-academy trusts

The NCA programme is a vital initiative that aims to collect and provide accurate data on the current capacity of the school estate. This data will help schools and responsible bodies make informed decisions on various aspects of school management, such as admission numbers, admission appeals, curriculum and estate planning.

By having reliable data on the existing capacity of the school estate, the NCA programme will also enable local authorities, who are legally responsible for ensuring sufficient school places, and the DfE, who oversee capital funding for new school places, to plan and deliver high quality school places in areas where they are most needed.   This will contribute to improving education standards by increasing the availability of places in high quality schools.

Having access to local high quality school places is especially beneficial for families, particularly those who are disadvantaged and may have limited travel options. It also supports children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), who require appropriate school places that meet their needs. The NCA programme will help the DfE have a clear understanding of the current capacity of special needs schools and target capital funding for new places for children with SEND more effectively.

Information collected by the NCA programme

All usable spaces will be included in the net capacity measurement. Every space in the school buildings will be listed and measured, including separate stores, garages, and temporary buildings. This is to ensure that there is enough support space available in the school for staff, storage, and other ancillary accommodation.

What will be measured?

• all buildings on any site used by a school.
• other buildings used by the school for at least 80 % of the school week.
• circulation space
• open plan areas

Measured but not included in the NCA calculation:

• early years and childcare facilities
• adult learning and skills facilities
• specially resourced facilities
• parents’ or community rooms and chapels



Estate management competency framework (New ) – June 2023

The Department for Education has recently launched a new tool to help schools and trusts improve their estate management practices: the estate management competency framework. This framework is aligned with the good estate management for schools (GEMS) guidance, which provides practical advice on how to manage the school estate effectively and efficiently.

The estate management competency framework sets out the functions, skills and knowledge required by those who are involved in managing the school estate, from operational tasks to strategic planning and leadership. It covers different levels of competency, depending on the role and responsibility of the individual. It also helps individuals to plan their own personal development and career progression in the estate management sector.

The framework is based on insights from schools and industry experts and aims to support the professionalisation and capability of estate management roles in schools. It recognises the diverse range of technical experience and expertise that exists within the sector, and the valuable contributions made by those who work to keep the school buildings safe and well-maintained.

The framework is an important addition to the department’s existing advice and guidance on estate management and complements other tools and resources available to schools and trusts, such as the condition data collection, the school resource management self-assessment tool, and the school buildings and grounds security guidance.

By using the framework, schools and trusts can benefit from:

– improved estate management practices and standards

– better use of resources and value for money

– enhanced health, safety and sustainability of the school environment

– increased staff satisfaction and retention

– greater collaboration and sharing of good practice across the sector

The framework is available to download from the department’s website. We encourage schools and trusts to use it as a reference point for their estate management functions, roles and responsibilities, and to support their staff development and recruitment processes.

Brown Consult T/A Help for Schools are now an accredited supplier for the Public Sector

Brown Consult is pleased to announce we are now an accredited supplier to Bloom and NEPRO³.

NEPRO³ will open up procurement opportunities for suppliers , whilst providing buyers with value for money control, transparency and a compliant route to market:

• Value for Money – on average, buyers using NEPRO save between 11% and 19% against budget.
• Speed – Bloom can take you from first contact to professional services on-site in as little as ten days.
• Compliance – An OJEU compliant procurement with fully transparent audit trail of all procurement decisions and actions.
• Delivery Assurance – Full management of all contractual, commercial and delivery risk, through one contract with IR35
and IP protection.
• Choice – A choice of 20 services spend categories and more than 240 sub-categories, including the introduction of a new
category ‘Public Sector’,
• Social Value – Opening up procurement to SME suppliers is a key aspect of the NEPRO³ solution. To date, 70% of projects
have been delivered by SMEs enabling the public sector to drive significant growth back into local economies

Accessible Funds for Schools – Updated April 2023

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

Trust capacity fund: who’s eligible and how to apply

This article is based on the DfE’s Trust Capacity Fund (TCaF) guidance for 2023 to 2025.

Who’s eligible?

To be eligible for this window of TCaF, you must:

  • Be an academy trust or local authority-maintained school in England
  • Be considered in good financial health by the Education and Skills Funding Agency. At the minimum, you must not have an open financial notice to improve
  • Have an eligible growth project that’s approved by a regional director from 1 January 2023

What the fund covers and what you can spend it on

There are 3 strands of the TCaF for 2023 to 2025:

Strand Purpose Amount available
A1 Projects in which your trust will take on or form from at least 5 additional schools, 1 of which must be ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ and in 1 of the Education Investment Areas (EIAs) £50,000 to £750,000
A2 Projects in which your trust will take on at least 1 additional ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ school in 1 of the Education Investment Areas (EIAs) £50,000 to £500,00
B Projects in which your trust will take on either at least 1 ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ school outside of an EIA or any school within an EIA £50,000 to £250,000
C Projects in which your trust will take on ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ schools outside of an EIA £50,000 to £100,000

See a list of EIAs on pages 17 and 18 of the application guidance.

Some grants are available across 2 financial years

This is for projects in strands A1 and A2.

Grants in stands B and C are only available over 1 financial year.

What you can spend it on

The type of ‘growth’ projects that are eligible for TCaF are:

  • Applications from schools to convert to academy status and form a multi-academy trust (MAT)
  • Sponsor matches for schools with directive academy orders
  • Trust mergers, including a single academy trust (SAT) joining a larger MAT, and SATs joining together to form new trusts
  • Academy transfers from 1 trust to another
  • Approved free school bid proposals

Examples of activities for which you can seek funding for include:

  • Establishing new central processes such as IT, finance and HR
  • Training and continuing professional development for staff
  • New staffing within the central trust team
  • New (or extending) staffing posts related to trust-wide school improvement
  • Reasonable relocation costs for moving staff to new regions
  • Specialist advice – such as IT, finance or HR advice – to build permanent capacity for growth
  • Audit fees in advance for the assurance of this grant funding

What you can’t spend it on

Growth projects that aren’t eligible are:

  • Significant change applications (e.g. changes to the age range, published admission or addition of a special educational needs resource base for 1 of your schools)
  • Physically expanding 1 of your schools
  • A school joining your trust as part of a trust partnership

Examples of activities for which you cannot seek funding for include:

  • Due diligence activities relating to the schools being taken on
  • Expenditure on tangible items, such as the purchase of assets (e.g. buildings, furniture, fittings, IT equipment)
  • Costs for refurbishment
  • Activities that are already funded from other sources, such as legal fees that are covered by the sponsorship/conversion grant
  • Time for pre-existing staff to undertake work that’s already in progress as part of their current responsibilities
  • Time for senior trust personnel (such as CEOs, headteachers) to conduct further school improvement activities or trust audits as a part or an extension of their current role/duties
  • Consultancy costs for delivering and managing the whole TCaF project

You should contact your regional director office to confirm the eligibility of your project and relevant details.

Apply for the fund

  • Applications can be made from 1 April 2023 to 30 September 2024 
  • There are 5 application windows throughout this period:
Application Window Window 1 Window 2 Window 3 Window 4 Window 5
Window opens 1 April 2023 1 July 2023 1 November 2023 1 March 2024 1 July 2024
Submission deadline 1 June 2023 2 October 2023 1 February 2024 3 June 2024 1 October 2024

For windows 1 and 2, all funded activity must be completed by:

  • 31 March 2024 (for activities planned over 1 financial year)
  • 31 March 2025 (for activities planned across 2 financial years)

Updated guidance and completion dates for windows 3 to 5 will be published in October 2023.

Write your application

Once you know you’re eligible, apply using the application form.

You’ll have to fill out 3 sections:

  • Organisation details – basic information about your organisation
  • Project outline – the strand you’re applying for, the details of the school(s) that you’re proposing will join your trust, and when your growth project was or will be discussed at the advisory board, or approved by the regional director
  • Project details – an overview of the project and your action plan for it, including: its costs; how you’ll ensure it’s deliverable, value for money, and sustainable; and your compliance, governance, and resource management arrangements

Use the checklist on page 5 of the application form to help you go through the process and make sure you’ve done what you need to do.

You’ll also need to get your accounting officer (usually your CEO) to ratify the application first. You should also read the grant funding terms and conditions before submitting your application.

See pages 9 to 11 of the application guidance.

Assessment process

There are 2 stages to the assessment process.

The first is a regional assessment where the relevant regional director uses the information in your application and data the DfE holds to judge against the following criteria:

  • Geographical need
  • Contextual need
  • Trust development statements (only applicable if trusts are taking on or being formed by schools in an EIA)
  • Deliverability
  • Value for money
  • Sustainability

After the regional assessment, the second stage is a national moderation to make sure applications are assessed consistently.

You can read more about the assessment process and criteria on pages 13 to 15 of the guidance.

Penalties and deductions

If you don’t adhere to departmental guidance or best practice, applications will be subject to point deductions, for reasons such as:

  • Failure to provide information about key individuals in the trust
  • Failure to comply with previous grant assurance procedures

This is explained in more detail on page 16 of the application guidance.

If you’re successful

You will be informed of the outcome of your application as soon as possible via email.

You will be required to sign a funding agreement based on the plan you submitted in your application. The agreement outlines the DfE’s expectations, grant conditions, and monitoring arrangements.

The grant is paid in arrears throughout the funding period once you’ve completed your agreed activity.

Early years pupil premium (EYPP)

What is it and how much can we get?

The early years pupil premium (EYPP) is extra funding that local authorities (LAs) give early years providers to support disadvantaged children aged 3 and 4.

If your setting is eligible (see below), for the 2023-24 financial year, you’ll receive 62p per hour per eligible pupil, up to 570 hours – so up to £353 per year, per pupil.

This is outlined in the operational guide for early years entitlements (section 8.5).

Who’s eligible?

Your setting qualifies for the EYPP if it’s eligible to receive funding for the 3 and 4-year-old early education entitlement.

Children aged between 3 and 4 are eligible if they receive the universal 15 hours entitlement and meet any of the following criteria:

  • The child’s family receives 1 of the following:
    • Income support
    • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
    • Income-related employment and support allowance
    • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
    • The guaranteed element of state pension credit
    • Child tax credit (provided they’re not also entitled to working tax credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
    • Working tax credit run-on
    • Universal credit (household income must be less than £7,400 a year after tax, not including any benefits – this is assessed on up to 3 of the parent’s most recent universal credit assessment periods)
  • The child is currently being looked after by a local authority in England or Wales
  • The child has left care in England or Wales through:
    • An adoption order
    • A special guardianship order
    • A child arrangements order

See section 8.1 of the guidance, linked above.

Children become eligible the term after their 3rd birthday

Eligibility ends when the child starts in reception.

See section 8.5 of the guidance, linked above.

It’s your responsibility to identify eligible children

As the early years provider, you need to let your LA know which children in your setting are eligible for the EYPP. To do this:

  • Speak to parents to find out, especially those who took up the early education entitlement for 2-year-olds, as many of these children will be eligible for the EYPP when they turn 3
  • Ask parents to fill in the parent declaration template in the DfE’s model agreement for free early years provision and childcare (see annex A)

For children in LA care, it’s the responsibility of the virtual school head (VSH) to identify eligible children.

See section 8.2 of the guidance, linked above.

There are no set conditions for using the funding

The DfE believes providers will use the funding most effectively “where they have the flexibility to innovate and to spend it on the strategies they think will be most effective”. A DfE representative told us this.

However, it’s worth remembering that while you can decide how to spend the EYPP, you’re accountable for the quality of the education you provide to your disadvantaged pupils, through Ofsted inspections.

Take a look at some case studies on the Foundation Years website that show effective use of the EYPP.

Examples of EYPP spending

While you must publish certain information online relating to the pupil premium grant, you don’t need to do this with your EYPP spending.

However, some schools and nurseries have chosen to publish this information on their websites:

  • Arnold Nursery School and Children’s Centre has published a strategy statement using the DfE’s template (though this is not a requirement for EYPP)
  • Heath Lane Nursery School in Hertfordshire has published a plan for spending that identifies areas of support for children eligible for EYPP
  • Hallfield Primary School in Westminster has published strategic plans and reviews of EYPP spending