Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) Bids

In the Education Sector, CIF is an annual bidding round to which academies and sixth-form colleges can apply for capital funding. The core priority for CIF is to address significant condition need, keeping academy and sixth-form college buildings safe and in good working order.


This includes funding projects to address health and safety issues, building compliance and poor building condition.  

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CIF also supports a small proportion of expansion projects for Ofsted-rated good or outstanding academies and sixth-form colleges that need to expand their existing facilities and/or floor space. 

Haldons have a good success rate in the CIF bidding rounds.

Before applying for CIF Bid(s) be aware that historically it has been six times over subscribed and the criteria is becoming more stringent every year. For example, if a bid is recommending significant building works it would deemed to be a much stronger bid if planning had been obtained and cost certainty demonstrated through a tendering exercise.

The criteria for the funding varies from year to year but aspects of work involving the following would always score highly in the evaluation criteria: 

  • Health and Safety 

  • Safeguarding

  • Water tightness 

  • Structural integrity 

  • Undersized areas affecting curriculum delivery 

  • Inadequate provision of classrooms due to increased numbers

  • Obsolescence in key systems and services 

Our Approach

Once appointed and the academy/school has registered their interest online to apply for the CIF Bid we will look to start work on this. Haldons will send the relevant colleague to site who can get a better understanding of what needs to be done, this may involve outsourcing specialist surveyors. We will seek the information below from the school to assist in completing the bid application, namely:


  • Capita Property Survey Report or latest survey report from the ESFA (Education & Skills Funding Agency) if appropriate.

  • Current Asbestos Report

  • Fire Assessment Report

  • Radon Data Report if applicable.


We would ask the academy/school to fill out our template which replicates the online application for the bid, well in advance so that there is an agreed mutual understanding and any supporting documentation produced by us matches that of the schools.​ From our past experience, for a potentially more favourable outcome for the CIF Bid, the school may require 'positive' evidence that the scheme is achievable and risk adverse. The key issues are:


  • Possible planning approval agreed

  • An achievable programme of works

  • Scheme has been tendered and/or estimates have been sought to provide cost certainty to the ESFA scrutiny panel.


Items such as planning approval/costed tenders will require upfront funding from the Academy. However, the more project certainty the proposal scheme has, the more confidence the project will receive in gaining a successful outcome. Once all parties are satisfied with the proposed bid then the named person from the school will submit the application online.