How to Apply for a Grant

Secondary Schools Major and Minor Awards

Vital Checks

  • 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,  can you perhaps split this project into stages and just apply for the first stage or perhaps leave out some items to purchase a little later from another source?  If you really can’t split the project (e.g. a single piece of equipment costing over £1,000) we will consider projects where our contribution is at least 50% of the total cost (i. e. you can apply for a contribution of up to £1000 towards a project that has a maximum total cost of £2,000).  However, if you do this, you must confirm that the excess funding is already in place and committed to the project and tell us the source (PTA, department budget etc).
  • The award will benefit pupils in a Hertfordshire state-funded secondary school or special school
  • Your application is for specific items/services (e.g. activity, resource, training, visiting speaker/workshop, trip etc.)
  • Your project helps teaching/learning in one (or more) of our focus areas - STEM, PE or Learning to Learn.
  • You include costings (ex. VAT) and product/service links.   
  • Your school has not been awarded a grant in the focus area already this academic year (there's a table of grants awarded to help you).


Bids to avoid. 

In line with our criteria, there are a number of projects/items that we do not, or very rarely, approve:

  • Non-specified items/courses/events.  e.g. "to buy science equipment" or "to purchase a range of fiction books".  Successful applications need to be for specific items/training/events etc for a project to improve teaching and learning effectiveness (inc. motivation) and/or extend the school’s current offering of subjects and activities.   We need to know the specific items, their ex-VAT prices and have a link to them.
  • 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 a specific need will have a much better chance of funding.
  • Projects with only a weak link to enhancing learning.  e.g. a storage shed for outdoor equipment, although arguably needed, does not in itself enhance teaching/learning.
  • Projects with limited longevity.  e.g. 1 year subscriptions which will have no effective use/benefits afterwards and visits which will not substantially enhance learning after the event.
  • 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 (apart from books/book sets) 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 which few of you have time to do.  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) and spend time explaining how it/they will enhance learning, teaching and motivation.
  • Payment for staff cover.


Application Hints

  • In the "benefit" section,  tell us how/why your specific resources/training etc will enhance pupils' learning and motivation/wellbeing.  This should be supported with any evidence that your project will actually achieve these particular benefits e.g.  similar project results in your school or elsewhere, research,  pupil voice, pedagogic reasoning etc.
  • 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.


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 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 used your grant, we would like to find out how well it went.  The results can add to our bank of grant awards to help guide schools apply successfully.  To save you time, this will usually be done using a quick online Feedback Form.   You can fill this in any time after you have had a chance to assess the initial impact of your award.  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.