Cambridgeshire Education Opportunities Fund

Grants up to £3,000 are available from the Cambridgeshire Education Opportunities Fund. 

Grants will be awarded for high-potential projects aiming to raise the attainment, opportunities, and wider outcomes of 3-16 year-olds, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Grants will be for projects based in primary and secondary education settings (key stages 1-4 inclusive).

The fund will support young people who may face a range of challenges or disadvantage including educational under-attainment, behavioural problems, poor mental health, problematic attachment, or exclusion from school. Projects may be supported if they provide opportunities for all young people to improve their life chances and to thrive and fulfil their potential through: education, learning new skills, developing their character and confidence.

For 2020/2021 the fund is specifically aimed at projects for recovery and resilience in the context of the Coronavirus pandemic. Projects may address, but are not limited to: Wellbeing and mental health, educational and social enrichment, educational catch-up, digital deficit, preparation for school leavers.

Eligibility

Grants will be offered normally in the range of £500 to £3,000, although in exceptional circumstances higher sums may be considered. 

Schools and not-for-profit entities may apply. Applications directly from not-for-profit entities are only eligible should they demonstrate support for their project from a partner school(s). 

Not-for-profit organisations must be legally registered as one of the following structures if their income is above £5,000:

  • Registered, exempt, and excepted charities
  • Parish and Town Councils, Village Halls, and Parochial Church Councils
  • Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) and Community Interest Companies (CICs)
  • Social Enterprises which have the Social Enterprise Mark
  • Co-Operatives and Community Benefit Societies (formerly Industrial and Provident Societies)
  • Sports clubs that are either Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs), affiliated with a National Governing Body such as Badminton England, or have an income under £5,000

Area for eligible projects: local authority areas of Cambridge City Council & Fenland District Council.

The fund will not cover: 

  • National Curriculum course-work
  • Non-educational holidays/trips
  • Laptops or other personal IT equipment
  • Normal school staff costs

Project Examples

Specific short-term projects to aid recovery in response to the challenges of disruption caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic. 

Wellbeing and mental health

  • Projects engaging outside specialist services, eg counselling and listening, either group or individual. For pupils, or perhaps pupils and their families. 
  • Projects to create and equip specialist spaces for counselling/quiet areas for reflection. 
  • Projects for assemblies and groups to explore kindness; to explore what makes us special and unique; to understand the connection between physical and mental health; to explore the theme of bravery; to explore resilience. 

Educational and social enrichment

  • Projects delivering a specialist programme for the most challenged pupils, using external providers to deliver enrichment education – bringing the outdoors into the classroom. 
  • Projects for a Saturday or after-school creative/artistic enrichment programme, eg working with Kettles Yard, Fitzwilliam Museum, Theatre groups, Museum groups etc. 
  • Projects for a Saturday or after-school sporting enrichment programme with a focus on new/different sports, eg golf, archery, korfball. 
  • Projects surrounding a sports day package for the summer term, eg adding portable climbing wall; bouncy assault course to more traditional sports.  Year group/houses/teams competitions. 

Educational catch-up

Projects complimentary to the support available through the government schemes such as the national tutoring programme: 

  • Breakfast clubs, homework clubs, Saturday clubs. 
  • Additional access to online premium learning and resource platforms. 

Digital deficit

Projects complimentary to the support available through government for laptops, devices and connectivity for pupils in need: 

  • Projects to provide additional/catch-up instruction and support for computer and digital literacy. 
  • Projects to help schools get the most out of their digital infrastructure, particularly when supporting online and blended learning. 

School leavers

  • Projects to prepare school leavers.  Many of the typical activities in this area, such as work experience are at present limited.  Job opportunities for this academic year’s school leaving cohort may also be reduced.  
  • Projects to prepare school leavers for difficulties ahead, to build resilience and to encourage a positive approach and attitude to finding work and choosing a career.