Latest CIF 2020-2021 Guidance Update

The big news is officially upon us. The CIF 2020-2021 online application window is now open!

For anyone reading this article that might be new to the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF), the core priority of the fund is to support condition projects. It’s key focus is to ensure school and college buildings remain safe and in good working order. The majority of CIF funding aims revolve around addressing building issues with significant consequences that revenue or Devolved Formula Capital (DFC) funding cannot meet. These include issues with poor building condition, building compliance, energy efficiency or health and safety. To see the full Funding Priorities list, click here.

Alongside the opening of the application window, a further update has been published regarding the CIF 2020-2021 criteria. Upcoming CIF applications will now be subject to newly confirmed criteria as per October this year. The new criteria will favour bids from applicants with strong governance and good financial management. The fund criteria states that there is a “strong link between trusts with a good on finance and governance and effective, value for money capital delivery.” Hence the CIF 2020-2021 criteria has been strengthened to encourage applicants to prioritise these areas.

There are eight points of interest that form the key components of the new criteria. You can view all eight of these points in detail via the newly published CIF Government update here.

ICS have simplified these points to highlight the 2 main changes in effect. The changes include:

  1. Eligible Non-diocesan VA (Voluntary Aided) Schools can now also apply for up to 2 projects between £20k and £4M per project. ICS welcome the opportunity to speak to such schools about all potential projects and eligibility criteria at the earliest opportunity, as time is of the essence.
  2. All schools, including previously registered schools, must register on the new ESFA Portal by November 29th at 12noon.
Condition Improvement Fund for Academies 2020-2021

Key CIF 2020-2021 Dates

New applicants must register to use the portal by midday on Friday 29 November 2019.

The submission deadline for all applications is midday on Friday 13 December 2019.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome in spring 2020.

ICS education funding and services

What Is The CIF portal?

For CIF 2020 to 2021 a new CIF portal has been introduced, which will require a new username and password.

Read the ‘Applying to CIF’ section of Condition Improvement Fund 2020 to 2021: information for applicants (PDF, 801KB, 53 pages) for more information or simply contact ISC today on 01623 821587 and we will guide you through every step of the way.

Why Choose ICS?

There are many reasons to outsource your Condition Improvement Fund applications to ICS. For starters we provide our services on a ‘no win no fee basis.’ We are specialist and experienced advisors in Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) applications and will provide you with expert guidance and support throughout the whole process, saving you time, effort and hassle, plus it should not cost the school a penny!


ICS are also proud to have helped secure IRO £60Million for schools, so always check that your advisors have a successful track record in CIF applications.

Speak to ICS today on 01623 821587, email your enquiries to or alternatively, fill out our online contact form here and we’ll be in touch.

Categories: News.