Groups of schools can bid for share of £5m funding, Careers and Enterprise Company confirms

Groups of schools and academy trusts can bid for funding to improve careers advice in their areas, the government’s new Careers and Enterprise Company has confirmed.

Following the announcement of a £5m fund which will be distributed in the form of grants to various organisations, the Company has confirmed that any “network, coalition or multi-academy trust” made up of six or more individual schools or colleges, could submit bids for the cash.

The fund, part of a £20m budget handed to the Company by the government last year, will be given to organisations with a “strong track record in helping young people who have previously lacked good quality careers support” in “cold spots” identified across England. Leps

It comes after the Company published a report which identified the local enterprise partnership (Lep) areas most in need of better careers advice based employer feedback and figures for the number of young people not in education, employment or training (Neet).

In information provided online for would-be applicants, the Company said the fund would “prioritise areas of greatest need, guided by our regional prioritisation indicators”, and focus on hard to reach groups including those with special educational needs and Neets.

Education secretary Nicky Morgan has hailed the fund as a sign of the government’s “commitment to social justice”, while the Company’s chief executive Claudia Harris, pictured, said the fund was intended to quickly scale “approaches with a strong track record and support areas and groups with greatest need”.

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said the £5m fund was “a step in the right direction”, but added that as an employer-led organisation, the Company could “only solve part of the problem”.

She said: “We have said time and again that the Government must provide high-quality, independent, face-to-face advice, careers information and guidance to all students studying at school or college.”

A Company spokesperson said there was no restriction on what type of organisation could apply for the funding, and that every application would be considered on its contents. Potential bidders can find more information and apply until December 4 here.

The company will also hold webinars on October 30 at 12.30pm and November 16 at 2.30pm which will feature live Q&A sessions for interested parties.

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