The neaco school grant scheme is now closed.

Grants were available to enable innovative approaches by target schools and 6th Forms in achieving neaco's mission of supporting target students to make informed decisions about their future – particularly around progression to Higher Education – and to embed systemic change around Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) provision in target schools.

Download a preview of our application form. Applications were made via neaco’s grant application portal (formerly FluidReview).


Applications were accepted until Friday 20th November 2020. All projects funded through the schools grant scheme must be completed and data returned by Friday 26th March 2021.

table of dates for submissions


Read more about the school grant review process.


The grant scheme was open to neaco target schools and sixth form colleges who were confirmed by their partner University as sufficiently engaged in the neaco project. Any staff member could apply on behalf of the target school/6th form, provided they had first discussed and agreed their project with their HEC and school/6th Form leaders. FECs were not eligible to apply.

Schools and sixth form colleges were able to make multiple applications; however, the maximum grant funding available to an institution is £4000. Unless otherwise advised, unsuccessful applications should not be re-submitted without significant changes.


All applications are scored against the following criteria. Applications should clearly evidence:

  • A detailed description of the solution they wish to implement, or innovative approach they wish to explore in their project, and the value they and neaco will gain by doing so.

  • The objectives and outcomes of the project, and how the programme of activities contributes to neaco’s overall mission of supporting target students’ informed decision-making on their futures and progression to higher education.

  • Their project’s alignment to neaco’s values.

  • How the school or 6th Form will engage neaco’s primary audience living in our target wards (our postcode tool is available to check who may live in target wards) and collect participant data to enable our evaluation (neaco will provide forms and templates to enable data collection and ensure compliance with data protection legislation).

  • The experience and ability of those delivering the project to provide a valuable, engaging project, beneficial to neaco’s target audience and aligned to neaco’s goals.

  • The allocation of time, resources and logistics to achieve the project and that the approach will be an effective use of the funding. Collaborative applications bringing together multiple schools are welcome and encouraged.


The funding available per individual project is £1500 to £4000. Schools and 6th Forms may collaborate with neighbouring institutions and/or funded service providers (e.g. CEC, NCS) on joint projects to combine their funding, and are encouraged to do so.

Each individual school or 6th Form can receive a maximum of £4000 grant funding. Successful applications are funded in two stages. Applicants may invoice:

  • 50% of the total on confirmation of the grant, following their initiation call.

  • 50% after the project has been completed, and the data and reporting is fully and correctly submitted to neaco.

Should this funding structure jeopardise your ability to deliver a grant project, please contact neaco Central Team to discuss your needs.

Schools and 6th Forms must submit applications for progressive activities. Bids featuring ‘one-off’ activities such as by third party providers are discouraged, but if submitted must demonstrate such provision is part of a series of connected interventions, the project includes a legacy component for the school/6th form beyond the funded activity, and data and reporting requirements will be met for the full programme.

Schools and 6th Forms can bid to fund CPD for permanent school staff and/or investment in equipment where they meet the below criteria;

  • The school/6th Form are responding to a need of target pupils to enable progression.

  • There is a planned project to engage target pupils with the equipment/training outcomes purpose within the project lifecycle and towards neaco goals.

  • The project enables neaco data gathering and reporting to take place.

  • The training/equipment is integral to the project and will be used beyond the project lifetime to support progression to higher education pathways.

  • The equipment is not provided directly to pupils to address digital disadvantage. Schools and 6th Forms should access the DfE programme for this support.

Grant applicants can apply to deliver activity across the 2020-21 academic years or over the Summer holiday – to do so they must evidence a stable delivery team, and contingency plans should a key member depart between Summer and Autumn term.

All successful applications will be required to submit participant data and an evaluation report within four weeks of completing the delivery of their project.

All approved projects (including data and evaluation returns) must be completed no later than Friday 26th March 2021. We recommend completing the delivery component of projects by w/c Monday 8th March 2021 to allow for completion of data and evaluation returns.



  • Bid to fund existing provision, (but can bid to extend or increase capacity of that provision).

  • Use the funding for delivery of the curriculum, curriculum resources (such as textbooks) or attainment raising activity.

  • Use funding to provide prizes over a cumulative value of £100, or bursaries of any amount.

  • Use the funding for on-going salary costs or recruitment to new roles. Funding may be used to cover costs of existing staff time.

  • Use neaco funding for trips abroad.

  • Fund trips or activities that increase Covid-19 transmission risks or do not adhere to the most up to date government guidance for schools and 6th Forms in response to Covid-19.

  • Apply solely to cover transportation, subsistence or resources (e.g. stationery) for target pupils to participate in an existing higher education activity – schools/6th forms should speak to their local partner higher education institution and/or Higher Education Champion for this funding.


Successful applicants will:

  • Agree to our terms and conditions on the application form.

  • Be paid in two instalments, at the beginning and end of the project (should this funding structure jeopardise your ability to deliver a grant project, please contact neaco Central Team to discuss your needs).

  • Conduct a mid-point review call with neaco so as to inform of progress and any barriers that are affecting their project’s delivery or may require a change of approach.

  • Complete a project review at the end of the project to capture learning and provide feedback.

  • Comply with our evaluation and data requirements, using forms and templates provided.

  • Inform neaco of any publicity opportunities, acknowledge neaco in any press releases, and use our logos on any marketing materials produced, either in print or online.

Resources for grant applicants