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 DFE wrote to all VA schools in October 2018 informing of changes to the LCVAP capital funding programme from 2020 onwards. Local Authorities will no longer co-ordinate the programme in their area, instead the Diocese will be the responsible body for allocating capital to its VA schools. Governing bodies will still be required to contribute 10% towards the cost of a project. 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.