How to Apply for a Grant

Secondary Schools Major and Minor Awards

Vital Checks

  • You are a Hertfordshire state-funded secondary or special school.
  • You are improving learning in one or more of our focus areas (STEM, PE or Learning to Learn).
  • You are applying for specific items/activities (e.g. resource, training, visiting speaker/workshop, trip etc.) and these must have individual hyperlinks. There should be a common theme/purpose to all the resources you bid for (e.g. not some for science, others for PE etc).
  • You include ex-VAT costings for each item which should add up to the total that you are bidding for.
  • Part-Funding:  We much prefer to entirely fund a project which ties in with our objectives of “making a big difference with a little money”.   If your project total exceeds £1000, we will consider projects where our contribution is at least 50% of the total cost butyou must confirm that the excess funding is already in place and committed to the project and tell us the source (PTA, department budget etc).


Bids to avoid

In line with our application criteria and achieving maximum learning from our limited budget, there are a number of projects that we do not, or very rarely, approve:

  • Non-specified items/courses/events.  e.g. "to buy science equipment" .   Successful applications need to be for specific resources to improve teaching and learning effectiveness (inc. motivation) and/or extend the school’s current offering of subjects and activities.   
  • Buy/replace large amounts of core equipment or course textbooks.    As important as these are, we wouldn't be able to keep up with demand.  Specialist textbooks/workbooks that will enhance learning/skills in a particular topic area because of an identified need will have a much better chance of funding.
  • Projects with only a weak link to enhancing learning.  
  • Projects with limited longevity.  For example:
    • 1-year subscriptions which will have no effective use/benefits afterwards or no budget to continue in following years.
    • Visits or workshops which will not substantially enhance learning after the event. We would need to know about follow-up activities and available resources and any teacher training gained.
  • Transport Costs:  Although we fully appreciate pupils have to get to a venue, we cannot justify granting transport costs in terms of our application criteria.  
  • "Shopping Lists":  Long lists of various items rarely gain funding as we have to understand and agree the educational benefit of every penny spent and this would require applicants to write a strong educational argument for of each specific item.  It is far better to apply for 1-2 larger items or multiples of the same item (e.g. a class or half-class set of microscopes) and spend time explaining how it/they will enhance learning, teaching and motivation.
  • Payment for staff cover


Application Hints

  • Remember to tell us how/why your specific resources/training etc will enhance pupils' learning and motivation/wellbeing to strengthen your application.  The "benefit" section should be supported with any evidence that your project will actually achieve particular learning benefits e.g.  similar project results in your school or elsewhere, research,  pupil voice, pegagogic reasoning etc. 
  • Reading over our Selecting the Successful Bids page will give you a good idea of what we are looking for in an application.
  • We advise you to word process your longer answers and paste them into the boxes in case of a submission glitch.  You are very welcome to email any supporting documentation (e.g. a costs spreadsheet) to - just tell us you have done this in the form.
  • You are very welcome to email any supporting documentation (e.g. a costs spreadsheet) to - just tell us you have done this in the form.


That's it. We will get back to you with a decision as soon as we can. 


When to Apply

  • Minor Awards:  You can fill in the Minor Award application form at any time during the school year (subject to our monthly funding budget - the balance is shown above the application form).
  • Major Awards:  An application window is set each year, usually over the Spring/Summer terms.  Please see the Major Award Application Form for this year's dates.



The simple application process and the friendly support are incredible.

 - Barnwell School, November 2019


Secondary Schools Major Award Application Process

Please see the Major Awards Application page for additional notes on applying for our major awards.



You can register interest for all our awards and grant news here


Post Award Follow-up

A suitable time after you have received your grant, we would like to find out what effect the project had on your pupils' learning and motivation.   To save you time, this will usually be done using a quick online Award Impact Feedback Form.   You can fill this in any time after you have had a chance to assess the initial impact of your award but we will usually email a reminder to you approximately two terms after awarding your grant if you haven't already filled in the form.  

For major award winners, we would also appreciate a short, informal chat or email about the benefits your idea actually brought to your pupils.  It would also be really useful to talk about any aspects that didn't go so well.  This will help us and you tweak applications in the future so they give the maximum benefit to pupils.  We would also appreciate some “Pupil Voice” feedback e.g. how the grant has helped them and any photographs of the project/equipment etc.

We do need evidence of the actual use of the charity’s funds.  After we have emailed our feedback form reminder, we will not be able to consider further applications from your school until the form has been completed.