DfE slashes school improvement fund by 60%

The government has closed a flagship school improvement programme, without spending £84 million of the money it initially allocated to the fund. Tes reports.

When the Strategic School Improvement Fund (SSIF) was launched by then-education secretary Justine Greening in 2016, it was billed as coming with £140 million of funding.

However, the DfE today said it has closed the fund, with only £56 million awarded to a total of 171 projects over three rounds of funding. 

Last week, Tes reported on growing speculation that the DfE would use money earmarked for school improvement work to help fund a pay rise for teachers after the Treasury refused to allocate additional money.

But today, the DfE today told Tes that the SSIF funding was not being re-prioritised to pay for the teacher pay award.

When she launched the school improvement fund, Ms Greening said she said she wanted it “to not only transform outcomes for children by improving schools but also to make sure our school-led system learns from that work”.

But in a statement posted online today, the DfE said: “The Strategic School Improvement Fund is now closed. There will be no further application rounds. We are currently reviewing arrangements for school improvement support and will announce details of future arrangements in due course.”

Read more DfE slashes school improvement fund by 60%

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