Revealed: The 13 colleges to share £1.8m strategic improvement funding

Thirteen more colleges will receive a total of £1.8 million in grants through a fund designed to support struggling colleges, the government announced today.

Skills minister Anne Milton has named the second round of colleges set to receive the cash, which is part of the £15 million strategic college improvement fund.

The 13 institutions are:

Colleges that received a SCIF
Main Phase Grant in round 2

Lead Partner College

Brockenhurst College
Exeter College
Cheadle and Marple Sixth Form College
Tameside College
Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College
Derwentside College
Hull College
Chichester College Group
John Ruskin College
East Surrey College
Kensington and Chelsea College
Abingdon and Witney College
Lambeth College
Buckinghamshire College Group
Peterborough Regional College
New College Stamford
South Essex College of Further and Higher Education
East Kent College Group
St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College
St Dominic’s Sixth Form College
West Nottinghamshire College
Leicester College
Wigan and Leigh College
Craven College
Wirral Metropolitan College
Burnley College


The programme was introduced in October 2017, and 63 colleges across England have been successful in securing funding from it so far, according to the DfE.

Colleges rated ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’ overall, or for their apprenticeship provision, are able apply for grants of between £50,000 and £250,000. The exact allocations for the latest round have not yet been announced.

Each application had to be supported by a stronger college, rated at least ‘good’ at its most recent Ofsted inspection.

At the time of its launch, the government said the scheme would “enable colleges to access resources that they need to improve their provision for students, including the best practice of other colleges, while at the same time mobilising and strengthening improvement in the FE sector”.

In November last year, colleges were invited to bid for the second round of cash.

“I’m thrilled to announce the second round of colleges to receive funding from the scheme,” Milton said today.

“We’ve seen great success so far and I look forward to hearing how they are all progressing.”

Meanwhile, Teresa Kelly, a deputy FE Commissioner, said: “I am really pleased that another group of colleges have been awarded a SCIF grant. The initiative is proving to be very popular across the sector and we are beginning to see the real benefits to students that can result from colleges learning from each other through the development of best practice.

“Many colleges have fed back to me that they consider that the SCIF initiative is proving to be so successful as it is harnessing what is best in teaching, learning and assessment and enabling teaching staff to enhance the quality of their practice in a wide variety of settings”.

The Department for Education said a recent research on the initiative has found the scheme has helped colleges “boost the quality of teaching and learning, strengthened their collaborative working approaches, and raised aspirations and supported college-wide improvements in culture and leadership”.

Bill Watkin, chief executive at Sixth Form Colleges Association, said the fund has proven to be a “well-structured and well-funded programme” that has “encouraged and facilitated system leadership in the college sector and has enabled colleges to share their strengths and to learn from each other”.

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