Six steps to success: How to get funding for your Multi-Academy Trust.

Blue Apple Education has teamed up with Premier Advisory Group to help schools and trusts identify funding opportunities. The Trust Capacity Fund 2021-2022 supports academy trusts taking on additional schools and local authority maintained schools which are converting and forming multi‑academy trusts.

The Trust Capacity Fund offers a total of £24 million for projects under two strands:

  • Strand A (up to £310,000) – Projects taking on one or more schools assessed as ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ from high priority areas
  • Strand B (up to £100,000) – Any other capacity building project around the formation of multi-academy trusts (e.g. mergers, conversions, new free school approvals, sponsor matches, academy transfers)

Given recent government announcements,
many schools will be seeking a trust
that they feel is a good fit for them.

What can be funded?

Funded activities may include:

There are two remaining windows in which you can submit an application:

  • 26th June – 30th September
  • 1st October – 17th December

Moderations will take place in October and December and applicants will be informed of the outcome shortly after.


Help is available.

Department for Education

The Trust Capacity Fund reflects the government’s support for every child to benefit from the high-quality education provided by a family of schools in strong academy trusts.

The Department for Education offers guidance here.


Premier Advisory Group.

PAG is a multi-disciplinary education and management consultancy who have supported over 50 Trust Capacity Fund applications. They can help with:

  • Exploring application criteria
  • Offering guidance on what to bid for
  • Writing applications on your behalf


Blue Apple Education

  • General guidance and input to project proposals
  • Expertise on school marketing and communications


Why fund marketing and communications?

As a trust is looking to grow, it will need to consider and present the ways in which its central services are attractive to potential joining schools and thereafter in operating as a multi-academy trust. Given recent government announcements, many schools will be seeking a trust that they feel is a good fit for them. It is therefore essential for a trust to have a marketing and communications strategy that sets it apart from local and competing academy trusts.

Engagement with key stakeholders, including parents and communities, and the creation of a positive profile is vital to any successful period of growth.

Funded through the Trust Capacity Fund, Blue Apple Education can provide bespoke support with marketing and communications to ensure the value of your trust is made clear to potential joining schools and local stakeholders. This can include:

  • Support to improve or build the Trust’s website and social media communication
  • Review or development of the Trust’s communications strategy
  • Re-branding
  • Development of specific materials for engagement, e.g. brochure; promotional video


What to do next – A simple 6 step process:

  1. Check your eligibility and suitability to apply – fill in a short EOI here and PAG’s consultants will be in touch.
  2. Discuss your options for what to include in the bid with PAG consultants.
  3. Agree the design of your project in consultation with PAG – think firstly about what you will achieve, and then how you would spend any grant funding received to reach your outcomes.
  4. Explore what might be included in the application for a branding, marketing and communications workstream with Blue Apple Education, who will be happy to discuss this with you to get it right.
  5. Prepare your application with PAG consultants’ direct help.
  6. Submit your bid to the RSC before 17th December.

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Learn more about a Blue Apple Education video for your school


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