T-Level Capital Funding: Everything you need to know

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T-Level Capital Funding: Everything you need to know

If you’re interested in offering technical study programmes (known as T Levels) in your school or college, you’ll probably have some questions about funding. So, we’ve created this simple resource with everything you need to know. 

What are T Levels?

T Levels are a two-year qualification for 16 to 19-year-olds that focus on vocational skills and give students a head start towards the career they want. Equivalent to three A levels, they combine classroom learning with extended industry placements to provide skills and experience across a range of industries.  

T Levels are currently available in 18 subjects in fields such as business and administration, agriculture, engineering and manufacturing, health and science, and legal, finance and accounting. Carrying the same UCAS points as three A Levels, T Levels can lead to further study in university, skilled employment or a higher level apprenticeship.   

They were launched in September 2020 and are available at selected schools, colleges and other providers across England. Over 280 colleges are offering T Levels for the 2023/24 academic year, with more than 450 due to offer them from September 2024. 

Who can deliver T Levels?

All providers that are funded to offer classroom-based study programmes to 16 to 19-year-olds can register to deliver T Levels. Registration is open to offer T Levels from September 2025. The closing date to register is 22 March 2024.

Is there funding available to help providers deliver T Levels?

Yes. More than £400 million has already been made available via the T-Level Capital Fund to support schools, colleges and other further education providers who want to offer T Levels. The funding helps providers make the necessary improvements to their buildings, facilities and equipment.  

What is T-Level Capital Funding?

T-Level Capital Funding is a government-funded support package to ensure young people have access to world-class facilities and industry-standard equipment. It’s available to T-Level providers to help them upgrade their buildings and purchase the specialist kit to deliver these programmes. 

There are two elements of the fund:

  • Buildings and Facilities Improvement Grant (BFIG) – You must apply for the BFIG through a bidding round. You can use the money to finance estate improvement projects and expansions.
  • The Specialist Equipment Allocation (SEA) You can use the SEA to buy industry-standard specialist equipment. It’s awarded to providers offering T Levels for the first time and is allocated automatically based on a formula, so there’s no need to apply.

The Buildings and Facilities Improvement Grant (BFIG) is available to schools, colleges, academies, sixth-form colleges, university technical colleges and higher education institutions, but not independent providers. It can support the delivery of new T-Level routes or existing routes that have not been funded previously.  

How much T-Level Capital Funding can we get?

In the previous round of funding (Wave 5), the minimum value threshold for the Buildings and Facilities Improvement Grant was £250,000. The maximum value depended on the route you were applying for, ranging from £600,000 to £1.6 million. If you offer multiple routes, you’ll be able to apply for a maximum of £4 million per site. 

Do we have to contribute towards T-Level Capital Funding projects?

In previous funding rounds, T-Level providers were expected to match funding for each T-Level route and contribute 50% of the total capital project cost, subject to an affordability assessment. However, the requirement for an affordability assessment was dropped in the most recent round of funding (Wave 5). 

In Wave 5, all applicants were asked to contribute 50% of project costs if they could afford to do so. If they couldn’t, applicants were encouraged to consider what level of contribution they make, with points awarded based on the level of their match funding contribution. 

Eligible sources of match funding include:

  • Your own cash reserves
  • Commercial loans
  • The value of land or buildings you have acquired for the project (subject to an open market valuation)
  • Locally managed grant funding

How can I apply for T-Level Capital Funding?

You can apply for T-Level Capital Funding once you have registered to deliver T Levels for the 2025/26 academic year. You must submit the application and supporting material via the DfE 

eTendering Portal. Although you must submit the application yourself, you can use technical advisers and consultants to help you prepare the application and deliver the work. 

Important stages in the process include:

  • Launch of funding round (information published online and application window opens) – Autumn 2023
  • Deadline for all BFIG applications – Winter 2024 (subject to change)
  • Project Assessments – Spring 2024 (subject to change)
  • Notify applicants of outcomes – Summer 2024 (subject to change)

Why should I use an external consultant for my T-Level Capital Funding application? 

Applying for T Level Capital Funding is a complex and nuanced process. For example, the guidance explains that “applications should be supported by robust, quantifiable and achievable information” and “you must develop your project to the point where the costs, benefits and delivery risks are clear and realistic”. Using a technical adviser can help you cut through this complexity and increase your chances of submitting a successful application.    

You can include the fees of the technical adviser in your funding application. They are typically between 5% and 10% of the total project value, although the technical complexity of larger projects may justify higher fees.

Who can help with our T-Level Capital Funding application?

At Eddisons Education, we can help you with all aspects of your T-Level Capital Funding process, from completing the application to managing the works once funding has been granted. We’ve already obtained over £100 million in funding for schools, colleges and multi-academy trusts (MATs) and can help you develop world-class facilities to teach your new T-Level subjects. Find out more about our T-level funding service and get in touch to arrange your free consultation.

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