Home > The Waverley Exteriors guide to applying for school grants

The Waverley Exteriors guide to applying for school grants

By: Oli Birch Category: CanopiesExternal SolutionsInsights

Maximising outdoor spaces at schools, colleges and universities is hugely important for the welfare of both teachers and students. Outdoor learning, socialising and dining, protection from UV and shelter from the elements are just a handful of the benefits. Hiring the structure out for social events over a weekend could also help to generate additional revenue.

However, raising the initial funds to create these environments can often be difficult, especially with the cost of living crisis the UK is currently facing.

That’s why we’ve put this handy blog together for those in the education sector looking for additional funding to help get the most out of their outdoor spaces.


Applying for a school grant is often quite a long drawn-out process. There are a host of specific requirements and explanations needed throughout the process, and it can often take a number of months until a grant is actually awarded.

So make sure you plan the application beforehand and allow plenty of time for the response.

Have a good look through the plethora of options available to ensure you’re applying to the right organisation to maximise your chances of receiving the funding.

If the application is for a canopy for your school, for example, you’d need to make sure the organisation you apply to has a track record of approving applications for this and not improving sports facilities.

Take The Ernest Cook Trust, they have an Outdoor Essentials Grant aimed at helping state funded primary and secondary schools provide outdoor learning spaces for their students. So this could be a good option to consider.

How will the funding help?

Once you’ve settled on who you’re applying to, identify the specific area in which the grant will help your school.

Taking the canopy example. Is the purpose of this to provide shelter for pupils during inclement weather? Explain in detail who would benefit from installing the structure and how it would help improve both the school and the wider community.

Aim to set yourself apart from the other applications and stand out to the organisation. The more information you can provide to back up your case, the better chance you have of being successful with the application.

Providing an exact list of what the grant would be spent on is another useful addition that can help. It gives the organisation a clear indication of how much research you’ve put in and what the money would go towards.

Support from the community

This can often be time consuming to put together, but having quotes from teachers, parents and children whom this grant would have a positive impact on is another great way to support your application.

Not only does it further emphasise the importance of the grant for the school, but it also demonstrates how the community would benefit from the school receiving this funding.


Going through the application with a fine-tooth comb is essential, making sure you have provided all the information you can and that there are no mistakes.

If possible, ask a colleague or two to look over the application to provide a fresh perspective.


Once you’re happy with the final application, click that submit button!

How can Waverley Exteriors assist?

If you need any help with your school’s grant application or a future project, then please get in touch with us and we’d be happy to help via a site survey, correct drawings for the project or any additional information we can provide!

And if you’d like more information on some of the school grants available, we’ve put together a list below with a short summary of each organisation:

  • The Condition Improvement Fund – UK Gov – Annual bidding fund for academies, sixth-form colleges and voluntary aided schools who need improvements to their buildings to keep them in safe and working order. The fund also supports a small number of expansion projects for good or outstanding Ofsted rated academies, sixth-form colleges and voluntary aided schools.
  • The Baily Thomas Charitable Fund – Aims to help schools working with young people with learning disabilities with small school grants up to a maximum of £5,000.
  • The Ernest Cook Trust – As previously mentioned, The Outdoor Essentials Grant aims to help state funded primary and secondary schools provide outdoor learning spaces for their students.
  • Blue Spark Foundation – Registered charity that provides funding for educational, cultural, sporting and other projects aiming to help children and younger people fulfil their potential.
  • Funding Grants – A free website where primary schools can inform Funding Grants of their request, and they will advise the school of the best places to apply to for their specific project.
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