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DfE outlines priorities of £60m grants programme

Edward Timpson, the children's minister, set out details of the fund, which will focus on early education, disadvantaged young people, safeguarding, special needs and speeding up adoption

Edward Timpson
Edward Timpson

The Department for Education has set out the priorities for its £60m voluntary sector grants programme over the next two years.  

Edward Timpson, the children’s minister, set out details of the scheme, which also includes £60m of contracts over the period, in a written ministerial statement in parliament on Friday.

The National Prospectus Grants Programme 2013-15 focuses on five priorities. These include promoting excellence in early education and childcare, and focusing and developing local services to support improved outcomes for young people, particularly the most disadvantaged and vulnerable.

The other priorities are developing and reforming safeguarding services that protect and support children at risk of harm, services that support children with special educational needs, disabilities and other health needs, the care system and speeding up the process of adoption.

Voluntary and community sector organisations, social enterprises and other not-for-profit organisations can apply now for a share of the funding on the department’s website.

The department said there was no maximum or minimum level of grant funding, but it expected the majority of bids to be between £100,000 and £750,000 in each financial year.

Grants can be used for revenue funding such as staff costs, but not for any capital purchases. It said it did not want to fund small-scale projects aimed at meeting local delivery needs.

"We hope to receive new, innovative proposals for work that can make a real difference on the ground and inform and guide national policy in our priority areas," said Timpson.

Funding will be available for two years from 1 April. Organisations must put in their bids by noon on 30 November. 

In addition to the grants programme, the prospectus provides details about a number of contracted services, which the department said it expected to procure in the coming months. It said up to £30m was available for contracts each year. Invitations to tender will be published on its website.

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