Essential Life Skills Fund

Essential Life Skills Fund

Essential Life Skills Funding – Grant funding to schools for extra-curricular activities

Schools and Colleges across Bradford will be receiving letters in the post from Monday 19th February outlining details of the Essential Life Skills Fund.  This  additional grant funding is now available to provide or purchase extra-curricular activities for pupils aged 5 – 18, running from April 2018 – August 2019. This funding is offered as part of Bradford’s Opportunity Area Programme: a series of targeted investments to improve social mobility across the city.

The Essential Life Skills Funding is aimed at increasing participation in extra-curricular activities that help children and young people develop resilience, team working, communication and other ‘essential life skills’, proven to increase confidence, broaden horizons and support social mobility. Evidence shows that these skills can be developed through activities such as arts, sports, volunteering, young enterprise and social action projects.

We want to give schools as much flexibility as possible in delivering these activities. However, there are a small number of funding requirements;

  • We expect that disadvantaged pupils will be prioritised for activities
  • This money must support new or significantly extended activity
  • It cannot be used to replace current funding for any ongoing or planned activity that is already taking place in schools.

As part of the process, we will be asking you to help us evaluate impact and participation. As such, light-touch monitoring will take place throughout the funding period. Further details about monitoring expectations are in the Grant Criteria.  Funding can be used for activities up until August 2019. However, the Department for Education is keen to look at ways to sustain this activity beyond this date, and we are exploring how we ensure sustainability in the long-term.

Grant allocations have been worked out according to the criteria below. All schools are allocated at least £2500 in funding, though most schools will receive more:

  • Primary and secondary schools are funded according to number of pupils in receipt of pupil premium funding
  • Colleges and sixth forms are funded using the same proportions as 16-19 disadvantaged funding
  • Special and Alternative Provision schools are funded according to the number of pupils on roll

Schools will be informed of their grant allocation amount/s in the letter.

In order to ‘draw down’ grant allocations, schools/colleges are asked to complete an application form outlining proposed activity.  You can complete it an easy version of the form online.

Please submit the application form to by 9th March 2018.


We would encourage schools to work together across neighbourhoods, academy trusts and local partnerships to achieve economies of scale and to provide better outcomes for local needs. We are keen to make this process as helpful as possible, and recognise that there will be common interests across schools, both in the type of activity planned and in the cohorts that activities will target. For this reason, you will notice in the grant funding application that we are also offering a collective purchasing approach, in which the Local Authority can use your schools/colleges funding allocation to deliver activity on your behalf. You may opt out of this if you would prefer to deliver or purchase activity yourself.

Supporting documentation is now available to assist you in completing your application.

If you require further information, then please email

We are running two briefing sessions for schools in Bradford and Keighley on 21st February with the aim of helping you understand the requirements of the funding, how to apply, and understanding how activity needs to link with the Pathway Essentials of the Bradford Pathways Framework)

Event 1 - Bradford 10am-12pm at Indus Hall, Kala Sangam,

Book your place

Event 2 - Keighley 2pm-4pm at Keighley College

Book your place 

Places are limited due to venue size so priority will be based on a first come first served basis

If you have an urgent query you can contact us at:

We can also be found on Twitter at @BradfordOppArea

Page owned by Kathryn Loftus, last updated on 22/02/2018. This page has been viewed 1,583 times.