The Department for Education (DfE) recently released some new guidance detailing who is eligible for the regional academy growth fund (RAGF), and how trusts should apply for this.
The aim of the RAGF is to “support successful trusts to expand” and “to improve standards in under-performing schools”, with Regional Schools Commissioners (RSCs) prioritising applications which meet the specific needs of their region and of the six “opportunity areas” identified by the DfE as the most challenged when it comes to social mobility.
The three areas of eligibility are: sponsor capacity; Multi-Academy Trust growth; and new hubs. The sponsor capacity category is for both new and existing sponsors who are looking for extra funding to build their capacity to take on under-performing schools while the MAT growth category is for MATs requiring additional funding in order to expand. Both of these grants are usually between £50-100,000, but can be higher in exceptional circumstances. The ‘Newhub’ funding is specifically aimed at high-performing sponsors looking to establish a new geographical ‘hub’ with the amount of funding decided on a case by case basis.