Voluntary Aided (VA) schools are maintained schools and are eligible for capital funding by grant from the Department for Education (DfE). The LCVAP programme is the capital funding stream accessible to VA schools, however, the governing body must usually pay at least 10% of the costs of capital work. The Archdiocese of Birmingham co-ordinates the LCVAP programme in conjunction with local authorities for Catholic schools in its area.
Responsibility for work to VA school premises is shared between the school’s governing body and the local authority (LA). The LA has responsibility for the playing fields and the governing body are liable for all other capital expenditure.
VA schools also receive a formulaic capital allocation known as Devolved Formula Capital (DFC) from the DfE. DFC funding can be used for improvements to buildings and other facilities, including ICT, or capital repairs/refurbishment and minor works. It is for governing bodies and headteachers to determine how this funding is spent.
The Archdiocese of Birmingham is one of three areas chosen by the DFE for the pilot LCVAP programme. As a member of the pilot scheme the diocese shall be receiving a capital allocation directly from the DFE for our voluntary aided schools located in 7 of our local authority (LA) areas. Those LA's that will form part of the pilot scheme are; Birmingham, Sandwell, Dudley, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Solihull and Staffordshire. The responsibility to co-ordinate the programme will rest with the Diocesan Education Service, we shall become the 'Responsible Body'. There are a number of advantages to becoming a member of the pilot scheme, including being able to move funding across local authority boundaries should this be required in order to address diocesan strategic priorities.
As the diocese will be deemed the responsible body, we will be introducing a 1% levy on LCVAP funded projects as a contribution towards the programme administration costs.
Academies at present must submit bids to the DfE for capital funding.
DFC provides academy trusts with capital funding to address their own priorities. DFC funding can be used for improvements to buildings and other facilities, including ICT, or capital repairs/refurbishment and minor works. Basic need funding is the money the DfE gives local authorities each year to help them fulfil their duty to make sure there are enough school places for children in their local area. This funding stream is accessible to all schools regardless of their status (VA, academy or free school) and is available to fund school expansions and new schools. The Archdiocese of Birmingham works with local authorities to develop catholic school place planning strategies across the diocesan area.