Jan 312019

With only 2 weeks remaining, Education Scotland would like to encourage your setting to apply for the Scottish Education Awards so we can celebrate your achievements and share your success with others.

The Scottish Education Awards recognise publicly-funded early learning and childcare settings and schools that have developed a passion and culture of improvement for sciences, technologies, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and Learning for Sustainability.

In addition to these categories there are a wide range of other awards available including

  • Digital learning and teaching
  • Raising attainment in numeracy
  • Employability and creativity skills across learning
  • Children and young people’s participation award.

Applicants for each award will have the opportunity to outline how they promote respect, ambition and achievement; improve outcomes for all learners; and tackle inequity. Settings will also have the chance to demonstrate how the relevant theme has been embedded across the life of the setting and the four contexts for learning:

• Ethos and life of the school as a community
• Curriculum areas and subjects
• Interdisciplinary learning
• Opportunities for personal achievement.

If you have interesting practice to share then we are very keen to hear from you. Applications and nominations close at 6pm on Thursday 14 February 2019.

To find out more about the Scottish Education Award categories, and how to apply, visit: http://www.scottisheducationawards.co.uk/ 

Download the flyers below:

Scottish Education Awards – Learning for Sustainability Award Flyer 2019

Scottish Education Awards – STEM Award Flyer 2019

Dec 062018

Education Scotland and the Scottish Government are inviting practitioners to complete our annual STEM professional learning practitioner survey by 5pm Friday 11th January 2019. The survey is available online: https://forms.education.gov.scot/s/BZFYE/?dm_i=LQE,5ZV9L,LHKCJ0,NIMBW,1

Your response will play a crucial role in shaping the implementation of the STEM Education and Training Strategy. It will also guide key decisions about the national and local support that is provided through our Enhancing Professional Learning in STEM Grants Programme. The information you provide will ensure that practitioners in relevant sectors, and in various geographical locations, have access to high-quality professional learning that meets their needs. It will also help us to track improvements in the provision of professional learning over the lifetime of the STEM Strategy (2017-2022) and will enable us to identify where further support may be required.

Your individual response will not be shared with other organisations. However, the anonymised findings from the survey will be shared widely to ensure transparency and to help STEM partner organisations align their programmes to your priorities.

Who should complete this survey?
School/centre leaders and practitioners in early learning and childcare settings, primary, ASN and secondary schools are being invited to complete this survey. Other staff in these settings are welcome to complete the survey too, including: classroom assistants, school librarians and practitioners who teach in curriculum areas not normally associated with STEM. Please note: a separate survey has been developed by Education Scotland for the community learning and development sector (closes 7 December). A survey specific to school-based technical support staff is being developed by SSERC and the Science Technicians Advisory Council and will be made available from early in 2019.

The annual STEM professional learning survey for early learning and childcare and school practitioners is available online and should take 10-15 minutes to complete: https://forms.education.gov.scot/s/BZFYE/?dm_i=LQE,5ZV9L,LHKCJ0,NIMBW,1

Please find time to complete the survey to help us get the STEM professional learning offer right for you and for colleagues in your setting. Thank you for any support you are able to provide.

Nov 292018

Help us track progress in the provision of career-long professional learning in STEM so we can meet your needs and ensure equity of access and provision.

  • Early learning and childcare, ASN, primary and secondary sectors – please complete our annual STEM practitioner survey by 14 January 2019.
  • Community learning and development practitioners – please complete the STEM CLD survey by 7 December 2018.
  • Organisations that provide STEM professional learning – please help us capture your contribution.
Nov 192018

Does your organisation provide career-long professional learning support in STEM (sciences, technologies, engineering, mathematics) and digital skills to any or all of the following groups and/or sectors?

  • Early learning and childcare practitioners
  • Primary school practitioners
  • Additional support needs practitioners
  • Classroom assistants
  • Secondary school practitioners
  • School-based technical support staff
  • College/FE practitioners.

If so, then we’d be very grateful for your support in helping us to recognise the contribution your organisation makes to this.

2.Why are we asking for this data?

In 2017, the Scottish Government published the STEM Education and Training Strategy for Scotland. A key ambition of the strategy is to enhance the provision of high-quality career-long professional learning (CLPL) to the groups listed above.

Education Scotland consulted many of the target groups to find out more about their STEM CLPL needs and the findings are now being used to shape the national offering. A new Enhancing Professional Learning in STEM Grants Programme has recently been launched by Education Scotland to promote innovation in this area and build further delivery capacity.

On an annual basis, we will be gathering data to track progress against the following STEM Strategy Key Performance Indicator: Increase the cumulative hours of STEM professional learning accessed by early years, schools, college and CLD practitioners annually. If your organisation provides STEM CLPL to the target groups listed above, then we’d be very grateful for your support in helping us measure progress against this KPI.

The commitment in the STEM Education and Training Strategy is to enhance the existing provision of professional learning in STEM. As we progress with our plans we want to be sure that there is an equity of provision across all sectors and geographical areas and that the needs of various groups are being met. The tracking process and annual return survey will help us to allocate resources to where they are needed most to address gaps and imbalances.

What will we do with this data?

We will produce an overall analysis of the data provided to us and will be sharing this with key partners such as Scottish Government and Scottish Funding Council to inform decision-making and planning in relation to the STEM strategy. The analysis will also be shared widely with the education system through Education Scotland’s communication channels.

The data provided by your organisation will not be identifiable from the analysis. However, you will be given the option of being listed as one of the participating organisations.

3.About the tracking process

The following two-step process is designed to make the on-going capture of this data as easy as possible. If you already have systems in place to capture the relevant data (as outlined in Appendix 1 in the attached Guidance notes) then please disregard Step 1 and proceed straight to Step 2.

Step 1: Collate your STEM & digital skills CLPL data throughout the year

  • We have created a CLPL Tracker Template (attached) to help you track the STEM professional learning your organisation provides. This Excel-based tool automatically tallies data on your CLPL activities; making it easy for you to capture the quantitative information required.
  • Instructions on how to use the Tracker are contained within the document itself – see the How to use this tracker worksheet/tab. Further notes have been embedded in the sample table and the Enter Data worksheet. Just hover your mouse over the relevant table heading to reveal the notes.
  • We are inviting your organisation to use this Tracker on an on-going basis to capture data on your CLPL activities from 1st August to 31 July each year. If you are willing to support this then we’d be grateful if you could start this process by entering data on your CLPL activity from 01 August 2018.

Step 2: Enter your cumulative CLPL data totals in our annual return survey

  • In August each year, we will send you our annual return online survey to complete.
  • If you have been using the STEM CLPL Tracker, then you can find the data to be entered into the survey in the My Totals worksheet/tab in the Tracker.
  • If you will be using your own internal processes to track the professional learning your organisation provides, then please refer to Appendix 1 in the attached Guidance Notes to see the data that will be required.
  • The annual return survey that we will issue will also contain free-text options for you to enter any qualitative data you would like to share.
  • Please ensure that you only enter data on the CLPL that your organisation has led on. We are keen to avoid any duplication or double-counting of CLPL activity undertaken.
  • We will send you more details about the 2018/19 annual return in due course.

4. Help us to establish a baseline with your retrospective CLPL data

We are also keen to establish a baseline of activity for academic year 2017/18. We, therefore, would be very grateful if you could provide us with retrospective data for STEM CLPL you provided between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018. We appreciate that this may be a challenge given the time that has elapsed since then, so we have created a simple survey to capture this data. We are happy to receive estimated figures.

The survey can be accessed at: https://forms.education.gov.scot/s/STEM20172018/

We would be very grateful if you could complete this retrospective survey by the new extended  deadkline of Friday 11th January.

This online survey also asks if you would like to be included in this annual data return process so that the contribution your organisation makes to STEM learning in Scotland can be captured on an on-going basis. If you would like to be involved in the coming years, then please complete the relevant section to ensure that we have the most up-to-date contact details.

You may be interested to know that we also have issued a survey to practitioners in early learning and childcare settings and schools to capture information about the professional learning they have accessed and to identify their priorities for the year ahead.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for the support you provide for STEM learning in Scotland. If you have any questions then please get in touch.

Click on the following links to access the Tracker and Guidance notes referred to in this document:

Guidance Notes STEM CLPL Tracker

STEM CLPL Tracker Template

Oct 112018

Tomorrow’s Engineers Week  provides a unique opportunity for engineers, employers, universities and schools to help inspire the next generation of engineers.

Download toolkits of ideas on how to take part.

This year’s plans include the first Tomorrow’s Engineers Week Big Assembly; offering schools across the UK the chance to take part in the same assembly at the same time.

Oct 112018

The PSTT Children’s Conference at PSEC is an exciting and unique opportunity for schools to participate in a dedicated primary science conference. The event will take place on Friday 7th June 2019 at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre as part of the international Primary Science Education Conference (PSEC).

The theme of the conference is Climate Change, Sustainable Living and Environmental Science. Schools will be encouraged to develop their own projects focused on finding a local issue and developing solutions for it and then share their work: either by attending the Conference or submitting a poster/film of their activity.

Schools can register their Interest at https://www.primaryscienceconference.org/childrens-conference and download the free Climate Change Teachers’ Project Pack. The pack has ideas for projects in ten different areas; as well as advice on developing partnerships, planning projects and a Climate Change Special Topical Science Update.

Look out for more information in late 2018 when schools will be able to apply to present their projects at the PSTT Children’s Conference at PSEC in June 2019.

Keep up to date with what’s going on:

Follow @pstt_whyhow on Twitter


Join our ‘PSTT Children’s Conference at PSEC’ Facebook group

Aug 222018

SLF 2018 is taking place this week and we cannot wait for our STEM Live Expo! –  a fantastic new, interactive experience with STEM demonstrations and inspirational keynote speeches.

SLF 18 STEM LIVE Demo Programme

Please  note: the sessions below may be marked as ‘full’ when you register but stand-by places are usually available – just stand outside the relevant room on the day to make use of the free spaces!

Hosted by award-winning science communicator, Dr Heather Reid, the action starts at 09.30 on Thursday 20th September in the Lomond Auditorium, and the programme is as follows:

09.30 – 10.15:             ‘Making Scotland a STEM Nation’

Hear the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Mr Richard Lochhead MSP, set out the Scottish Government’s vision for STEM and the ambitious plans in the national STEM Education and Training Strategy published last year.

You’ll also hear from three inspiring young people who’ll share their STEM experiences with you.

10.45 – 11.30:             STEM Expo – Part One

Get STEM-inspired! Take part in our wide range of STEM demonstration sessions; hosted and delivered by children, young people, practitioners and experts from across Scotland. In a first for this festival, these sessions are packed full of practical ideas to inspire and motivate STEM learning across early years, primary, secondary and community learning settings.

12.00 – 12.45:             ‘Improving engagement with STEM: A science capital approach’

How do we improve, increase and widen engagement with STEM – particularly once learners leave formal education? Join Professor Louise Archer from University College London to hear more about an exciting ‘science capital’ approach which is having a significant impact on young people’s understanding of and engagement with STEM.

13.15 – 14.00:             STEM Expo – Part Two

If you enjoyed Part One, then be sure to come along to Part Two to take part in even more interactive demonstration sessions from another selection of inspirational children, young people, practitioners and experts from across Scotland.

14.30 – 15.15:             ‘The Art of Science Communication’

Join Dr Jamie Gallagher – scientist, science communicator and salsa dance teacher – as he explores how to make STEM subjects memorable, exciting and accessible for all. Discover how fusing STEM with storytelling, art and dance can empower everyone – including even the most STEM-phobic learners and practitioners! – to connect with STEM in new and interesting ways.

15.15:                          Closing remarks

STEM Live! 2018 will be brought to a close by Gayle Gorman, the CEO of Education Scotland.


Click here to find out all you need to know about STEM Live! and the 2018 Scottish Learning Festival.

Aug 202018

Just weeks after unveiling the outcome of a £2M fundraising campaign, in the form of a new exhibition and science learning suite, Dundee Science Centre has secured £1.45M to transform the visitor attraction into an even more accessible community hub.

The Inspiring Science Fund is co-funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Wellcome. The scheme supports science centres to rethink what they do and what they offer to the public. Dundee Science Centre is currently fundraising for an additional £340K to reach its ambitious targets.

The news comes hot on the heels of the re-opening of the top floor following an ambitious redevelopment which doubled the upper floor space through a mezzanine extension, now housing the Medical Marvels exhibition and much improved facilities for the Science Learning Institute.

This latest tranche of funding will transform Dundee Science Centre into an inspiring community hub and lifelong learning resource which brings people together and attracts new audiences within the region. The spaces and programmes will be co-designed with communities from the design stage right through to prototyping and testing, and influenced by their needs to ensure it will feel welcoming, safe and accessible for people of all backgrounds.

Rebecca Erskine, Head of Development, Dundee Science Centre said, “We are incredibly excited to build on our existing relationships with our dynamic partners and community groups and invite in new audiences who may feel as though science isn’t for them to join us on a journey to truly shape and co-design exhibits, environments and programmes which are all influenced by their needs.”

Not only will the ground floor be developed into a custom-built hub with improved scope for events, talks and workshops celebrating community work, but made more user-friendly to those affected by sensory and other conditions.

The transformation will also see the creation of a brand new welcome / reception area, dedicated under 7’s exhibition area focused on child development, a sensory zone and new exhibition space with exhibits which encourage social interactions.

The coffee shop will also be replaced by ‘The Gathering Place’ where visitors can socialise and relax with intriguing injections of science, again all shaped by the community.

Linda Leuchars, CEO, Dundee Science Centre said, “We are absolutely delighted to have secured this new funding which will allow us to take all the work we’ve done over the last 18 years to the next level.  We are already proud to be leaders in the field of community engagement but now it’s about exploring where we can take that, and really pushing the barriers of science engagement.”

Echoing the sentiment of inclusion is Paul Clancy, Executive Director of Children and Families Service from Dundee City Council, one of Dundee Science Centre’s partners – “Dundee Science Centre’s ambitious plans will play an important role our aims to tackle social inequalities and provide our children and young people with the best start to life. CONNECT will be an excellent opportunity for Dundee Science Centre and Dundee City Council to explore new and greater ways of working together and to learn from each other’s practice. CONNECT will firmly place Dundee Science Centre and science within the tourism, education and cultural fabric of the city and we are excited to be involved in this journey.”

In addition to the physical transformation, a new website will also be developed, again underpinned by the themes of CONNECT – inclusion, accessibility and diversity.  The Science Centre team will also be trained  by specialist organisations to ensure that the products and programmes on offer are fit for purpose, accessible and address local needs.

It is hoped that talks with local community groups will commence during Dundee Science Festival in October 2018.  The new look Centre should be unveiled in Spring 2021.

The project partners bring expertise from a range of sectors from community learning and development, academia, formal education and health care. They are – Dundee City Council, Education Scotland, Dundee and Angus ADHD Support group, V&A Dundee, University of Dundee, Abertay University, University of St Andrews, Dundee and Angus College and NHS Tayside.

For more information, telephone (01382) 228800 or visit www.dundeesciencecentre.org.uk.

May 102018

Action: “We will work with early learning providers and schools from June 2018 to help them recognise and address unconscious bias and gender stereotyping and tackle inequity. This will include the development and delivery of new professional learning programmes on equity in STEM for practitioners. We will seek to embed good practice from the successful Institute of Physics Improving Gender Balance project across all schools by 2022. We will create a dedicated resource to lead, manage and support this work and will involve equalities experts in the third sector.”   STEM Education and Training Strategy for Scotland.                             

About the event

Register now to attend the launch event for the new phase of the Improving Gender Balance in Scotland Programme. This event will be opened by ShirleyAnne Somerville MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, and will run from 10:00 to 15:30 on Thursday 7 June 2018 in the COSLA Conference Centre, 19 Haymarket Yards, Edinburgh EH12 5BH.

The focus of the day will be to launch the exciting new phase of the Improving Gender Balance Programme in Scotland. This work will progress the National STEM Education and Training Strategy action to challenge inequality by addressing unconscious bias and gender stereotyping in all early learning and childcare settings and schools.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear about the innovative partnership involving Skills Development Scotland, Institute of Physics and Education Scotland that led to the establishment of the Improving Gender Balance Pilot Programme in Scotland in 2015. The partnership engaged six school clusters in Glasgow, Fife, North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and West Lothian to develop practical approaches to tackling gender stereotypes and promoting gender balance in early learning, primary and secondary settings.

Learners and staff involved in the pilot programme will share with participants the experiences, approaches and strategies they developed to tackle gender stereotypes in relation to STEM subjects and careers and to promote whole school, centre and cluster approaches to gender equality. The findings of the pilot evaluation will be shared with attendees and programme partners also reflecting on the learning from this important work.  

The STEM Strategy action is ambitious and will involve a concerted effort to promote effective practice and to address deeply-held cultural beliefs and norms. The success of this work going forward will very much depend on the strength of the partnership working between government agencies, Regional Improvement Collaboratives, local authorities, third sector organisations and also practitioners, families and young people themselves. The launch event will provide an important opportunity for all partners to reflect on the challenges and opportunities and to consider ways in which we can collectively work in partnership to promote gender balance and improve outcomes for all our learners.

Please complete our online registration to book your place: https://forms.education.gov.scot/s/Z2007/.  Early registration is advised.

The programme for the day is available from the link below:

IGB Conference 7 June 2018 Programme


Nov 062017

See last month’s blog post for further information about grants.

Funding for Heritage Projects (UK)

Grants of over £100,000 are available to support a wide variety of larger heritage projects. The funding which is being made available through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Heritage Grant Scheme is available to not-for-profit organisations; and partnerships led by not-for-profit organisations for any project relating to national, regional and local heritage. This can include:

  • Archaeological digs
  • Preserve a historic places of worship
  • Helping people learn long-lost traditional skills
  • Look after rare species and habitats, etc.

Projects supported in the past include:

A grant of £730,000 to the Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust Limited to transform Richmond Station in North Yorkshire into a self-sustaining heritage and leisure attraction for the local community. Heritage Grants applications go through a two-round process. This is so that organisations can apply at an early stage of planning their project and get an idea of whether they have a good chance of getting a grant before they send a proposal in greater detail.

The next closing date for applications is the 7th December 2017.


Grants to Protect Biodiversity and Ecosystems (UK / Worldwide)

Outdoor clothing company Patagonia has funding of up to $12,000 available for projects that address the root causes of environmental problems. Small, grassroots, activist organisations around the world, working on action orientated and multi-pronged campaigns to preserve and protect biodiversity and the environment, can apply for grants to run projects that protect local habitats. Applicants must be able to produce measurable project results, and Patagonia are particularly keen to support efforts that force the government to abide by laws. Creative methods to engage communities to take action, including film, photography and books will only be supported if they are tightly linked to a direct-action campaign on the issue, with specific goals that go beyond education and awareness.

The deadline for applications is the 31st January 2018.


Wren – FCC Scottish Action Fund (Scotland)

WREN, a Land fill operator and Environmental Body has announced that the next closing date for applications to its FCC Scottish Action Fund is 5pm on the 22nd November 2017. The FCC Scottish Action Fund makes grants of between £2,000 and £50,000 to the following types of projects:

  • Land Reclamation
  • Community Recycling
  • Public Amenities and Parks
  • Biodiversity
  • Historic Buildings.

For Public Amenity, Biodiversity and Historic Buildings, projects must be within 10 miles of any landfill site or transfer station. Funding can be used for contractors, materials, capital items, small items of equipment used by volunteers and staff to deliver the project, architect or design fees up to a maximum of 5% of the WREN funding request. Charities, parish councils, church or community organisations and voluntary groups can apply for funding as long as they are operated on a not-for-profit basis and have a formal constitution and bank account. In addition, Local Authorities can also apply.


Funding to Promote Events in Scotland (Scotland)

Note that 2018 is the Year of Young People. The Year of Scotland’s Coasts and Waters will be celebrated in 2020 while the focus in 2022 will be the Year of Scotland’s Stories, both led by VisitScotland.

EventScotland, the national events agency which aims to strengthen and promote Scotland’s events industry, has announced the National Events Programme round 38 is open to applications.

The National Events Programme complements the International Funding Programme and is important in developing domestic tourism across Scotland. Through the programme funding is available to support events (outside of the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow) that showcase Scotland and help to generate tourism.

Previous events supported through the programme include: The Wigtown Book Festival which received a grant of £12,205 to create a new infrastructure for the event to increase audience capacity and grow the event and the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival which received a grant of £25,000 to target visitors from outside Scotland to help grow their audience numbers.

The closing date for applications is the 2nd February 2018.



Funding for Groups Facing Discrimination (UK)

The Edge Fund, which was initiated by a small group of philanthropists and activists in early 2012, has announced that the next deadline for applications is midnight on the 12th November 2017.

The aim of the fund is to support communities, campaign groups and activists struggling for social, economic and environmental justice. Groups facing discrimination and injustice because of their class, ability, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or other factors can apply for grants to challenge injustices and create just and healthy communities. The Edge Fund is a very small fund. The maximum grant for groups is £3,000 and £1,000 for individuals. The Edge Fund will only support very small groups and have not supported any group with an annual income of over £25,000.

Previous projects supported include:

Hammersmith & Fulham Coalition Against Cuts (£2,800). Hammersmith and Fulham Coalition Against Cuts (HAFCAC) is a campaign group led by and for disabled and older people in the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham formed to challenge cuts that are marginalising communities and targeting the poorest and most disadvantaged members of society.

For further information on previously funded projects please click here


Young Environmentalists Grant Scheme (UK)

Thanks to funding from The Jean Jackson Charitable Trust Field Studies Council (FSC) has £5,000 per year for three years to support young people in need to attend specific FSC courses to develop environmental skills and understanding at a time when they are making career and life choices. When the funds are spent, no further grants will be offered until the start of the next year. Individuals between the ages of 16 and 25 years old who live in the UK and can demonstrate a need for financial support can apply for up to 50% off the course fee and can ask for help with travel costs for the following courses:

  • Summer camps
  • Duke of Edinburgh Conservation
  • Biodiversity focused residentials
  • And a selection of the FSC’s Natural History Courses.

Applications can only be accepted for support for one residential course or a maximum of three-day courses per year. Please see the FSC website for further details of eligible courses. Applications must be received at least two weeks before the start of the course but are accepted at any time.


Funding to Protect the Marine Environment (UK)

Sea-Changers has announced that the next deadline for applications is the 31st March 2018.

Sea-changers vision is to create a world where the seas and shores are clean and healthy and marine species are protected. Funding is available for a range of UK based, marine conservation charities and not-for-profit organisations with projects in one of the following areas:

  • Marine Reserves/Protected Marine Areas
  • Direct Marine Clean-up Action
  • Education, Campaigning and Awareness
  • Species Protection and Research.

The maximum grant size is expected to be £600, although for exceptional projects funding of up to £1,000 may be considered. Projects that have previously been supported include:

The installation of a 2minutebeachclean station in Portrush, Northern Ireland and a long-term monitoring programme for local volunteer divers to contribute their observations of the health of the seagrass bed in Porthdinllaen, North Wales. Click here to view more projects supported.


Funding to Use Digital Technology to Enhance the Environment (UK)

Individuals and teams of young people based in the UK aged between the ages of 17 and 24 will be able to apply for funding of up to £10,000 for projects that use digital technology to make a positive impact on the environment. O2 – The Environment Now initiative is funded by O2 and the National Lottery, and is part of the Our Bright Future programme. As well as funding the programme also offers mentoring, work experience and insight days with industry professionals to help bring ideas to life. To be eligible the project must have a positive and measurable environmental impact in areas such as:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Waste and recycling.

Projects funded in the past include LettusGrow:

A company on a mission to reduce food waste around the world through soil-free gardening

Virtually There: an app that will contain different virtual reality experiences highlighting the impact of global warming, waste and deforestation.


B&Q Community Re-Use Scheme for Schools and Community Groups (UK)

DIY store B&Q operates a community re-use scheme through all its branches across the UK. The scheme donates unsellable products and materials for re-use by local schools, other educational institutions and community groups, for the benefit of the local community and the environment.

All items are donated on the understanding that they will be re-used or disposed of responsibly if they aren’t used. Eligible groups include:

  • Schools and colleges
  • Child minders, playgroups and nurseries
  • Allotment associations, community gardening projects
  • Youth groups including scouts, guides and cadets
  • Registered charities; Hospices
  • Conservation groups including The Conservation Volunteers and Forest Schools
  • Community projects organised by local churches and other religious groups
  • Women’s Institute, Lions Clubs, Rotary, Townswomen Guilds
  • Royal British Legion
  • Adult education projects, University of the Third Age
  • Other local community groups.

B&Q also works with Community Repaint, a network of schemes that collects any surplus, re-usable paint and redistributes it within their communities to individuals and families on low income, charities and community groups. For more information please contact your local store directly and speak to a duty manager.


Wolfson Foundation Health and Disability Grants Programme (UK)

The Wolfson Foundation has announced that the next closing date for stage 1 applications to its Health and Disability Grants Programme is the 5th January 2018.

Through the programme, the Wolfson Foundation, makes grants of between £15,000 – £100,000 for new buildings, refurbishments and equipment for a range of organisations delivering excellent care and support. The funding is focused on:

  • Palliative Care and Hospices
  • Older People
  • Transitions and Independence.

Match funding is required for projects over £50,000. The Foundation does not provide funding for clinical care which might be considered the proper responsibility of the National Health Service (e.g. refurbishment of hospital wards or other facilities, or provision of surgical equipment). The Foundation also encourage applications from all parts of the UK, especially regions that have few alternative sources of funding.


British Science Week Community Grant Scheme (UK)

The British Science Week Community Grant Scheme is providing grants of £500-£1000 grants to community groups to run their own science activities during British Science Week (9-18 March 2018).

The mission of the British Science Week Community Grant Scheme is to expand the audiences that engage with science and the grants are available community groups that work directly with audiences who are traditionally under-represented and currently not engaged in science activity. This can include:

  • People who are Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME)
  • People with low socioeconomic status (SES), including people disadvantaged in terms of education and income
  • Young people facing adversity, including those not in education, employment or training (NEET)
  • People with a disability
  • People living in a remote and rural location, defined as settlements of less than 10,000 people.

Community grants cannot be used for events or activities with school groups unless they are a special needs school.  For school activities, the schools themselves, if they meet the eligibility criteria, should apply for our Kick Start Grants.

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on the 13th November 2017.


Royal Society of Chemistry – Outreach Fund (UK)

Individuals and organisations such as researchers, museums, schools, community groups, not-for-profit organisations, arts groups and libraries can apply for grants of up to £2,000 to run chemistry-based events and activities for public audiences and in schools.

Priority will be given to projects that raise awareness of the place of chemistry in people’s everyday lives, especially those not already interested in chemistry, and/or develop the science communication skills of people who are already highly trained in chemistry.

Previously funded projects include:

“Cool chemistry at the seaside” where the Society awarded a grant of £2,000 to volunteers in Ramsgate who transformed an empty town-centre shop into a makeshift theatre, delivering free chemistry demonstrations to anyone.

The closing date for small grants is the 2nd October 2017. The large grants programme is currently closed and will re-open for applications in January 2018.


Equipment Grants for Mentally & Physically Disadvantaged Children (UK)

Schools and not for profit organisations have the opportunity to apply for funding through the Wooden Spoon Society’s Capital Grants programme.

Wooden Spoon the British and Irish Rugby charity which supports mentally, physically disadvantaged children. Through the programme funding is available for:

  • Buildings and extensions
  • Equipment & activity aids
  • Sensory rooms and gardens
  • Playgrounds and sports areas
  • Transport
  • Soft playrooms.

Since being founded in 1983, Wooden Spoon has made grants of over £20 million to more than 500 projects in the British Isles.

Projects funded in the past have included:

Ashmount School in Leicestershire, which received a grant of £13,500 towards a sensory room.

Enfield Heights Academy in London which received a grant of £23,000 to improve its play areas

The Colehill &Wimborne Youth & Community Centre which received a grant of £8,000 towards a wheelchair lift.

Applications can be made at any time and applicants should contact their regional volunteer group. Subject to an application being approved by Wooden Spoon Trustees, the Society require a minimum of one Wooden Spoon membership to be taken out by a representative of the applicant organisation.  For more information on how to apply, please click on the link below.


Funding for Sports Related Projects Run by Young People (UK)

vInspired, the Volunteering Charity, has announced that its Cashpoint grants scheme is currently open for applications for sport-related projects.

The Cashpoint grants scheme offers grants of up to £500 to give young people (aged 14-25) the opportunity to bring their ideas to life. The funding is available to individual young people (or small groups) who have developed a project idea and will run the project themselves. Projects must be run on a volunteer only basis and funded projects must create at least 2 new volunteering opportunities for 14-25-year olds (in addition to the applicant). vInspired cashpoint must be the only funder for the project.

There are no closing dates for applications and grants will be awarded on a continuous basis until all available monies are exhausted.


£800,000 Support for Cultural Activities (Scotland)

Creative Scotland recently awarded over £800,000 of National Lottery Funding through its Open Project Fund to 40 recipients, including individual artists and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries.

The awards of between £1,000 and £99,445 have been made to festivals, musicians, visual artists, dancers, writers and community arts hubs; etc. The Open Projects Fund is available to a wide range of organisations and individuals working across Scotland in the arts, screen and creative industries. It supports a broad spectrum of activity including creative and professional development, research and development, production, small capital requirements, touring and collaborations, festivals, arts programming, audience development, etc. Support is available for projects of different scale and duration with the maximum period of award being set at 2 years. Awards are made in the range £1,000 to £100,000 (or up to £150,000 by exception).

Applications can be submitted at any time.


Funding for Disability Tennis Wheelchairs and Equipment (UK)

Grants of up to £1,500 are available to special schools, disability groups and associations, etc for equipment and specialist wheelchairs to enable disabled people to play tennis.

Individuals can apply for grants of up to £500. Individuals can receive support for sports wheelchairs, tennis rackets, coaching lessons with a Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) licensed coach or course fees for official LTA development/coaching courses. Groups can apply for: Wheelchairs; Court hire; Coaching fees; and equipment packages which will include:

  • Rackets
  • Balls
  • Mini net
  • Coaching aids such as: cones and throw down marker lines.

In the case of wheelchairs, a deposit will be required; for individuals, the amount of deposit required will depend on the wheelchair type requested, clubs will need to raise a deposit of £250.

The next closing date for applications is the 13th December 2017


Funding for UK-French School Partnerships (UK)

The British Council has announced that grants are available for secondary schools (including sixth form and further education colleges) that have existing partnerships with a school in France.

The funding is being made available through the Charles De Gaulle Trust. The Charles de Gaulle Trust offers a grant of £5,000 per school for students aged between 17 and 19 who will be working on joint projects and study visits that can demonstrate a link to their school syllabus. A minimum of three students must participate in the project work.

The deadline for applications has been extended from the 13th November to the 1st December 2017.


Grants to Promote the Teaching of Greek (UK)

The Hellenic Society Schools Sub-Committee makes grants to schools to assist projects concerned with the teaching of Greek or Greek civilization.

Typically, grants are made for:

  • Books
  • The development of new courses in Greek
  • Teaching materials, classics days or conferences
  • Greek plays by schools
  • Summer schools for pupils; etc.

Applications from schools planning to start courses in Greek are especially welcome.

Applications on behalf of individual pupils or teachers are not normally considered, but a grant may be made to an institution for use as bursaries to individuals at the discretion of that institution. Most grants are in the range £100-£500, but larger awards are occasionally made.

The next closing date for applications is the 1st May 2018.


Government to Launch Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (Scotland)

The Scottish Government has announced that it will launch a new £6 million Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund in early 2018.

The aim of the fund will be to provide investment over two years in infrastructure to support sustainable growth in rural tourism across Scotland. The new fund will support a wide range of improvement projects – such as parking, camping facilities, recycling points and footpath access. The fund will be open to bids from local communities working with local authorities.


The Classical Association Grants (UK)

The Classical Association (CA), which awards grants to support classical projects and conferences has announced that the next closing date for applications is the 1st December 2017.

The Association will consider applications for summer schools and to institutions offering extra-mural courses in Greek, Latin and classical civilisation; bursaries for teachers attending courses abroad to support:

  • Their professional development, notably the British School at Athens Easter Course
  • School teaching and outreach work such as Greek and Latin reading competitions, regional Greek/Roman days and school conferences; etc.


Funding to Regenerate Historic Buildings (UK)

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) which supports the conservation and regeneration of historic buildings, has announced that the next closing date for applications to its Project Development Grant scheme (up to £25,000) is the 1st November 2017 to be considered at the mid December Council meeting.

Charities, not for profit companies, CICs, Parish and Town councils can apply for funding to assist with the costs of developing and co-ordinating a project which helps to find a sustainable use for an historic building and takes it towards the start of work on site. The grants are intended to support project development costs only and not for on-site capital works. The AHF also makes Project Viability Grants (PVG) of up to £5,000 to fund studies to look at potential uses for a building and at its current condition.

Applications to the Project Viability grants as well as Project Development grants of up to £5,000 can be submitted at any time and are considered on a quarterly basis.


Funding Available to Bring Fibre Broadband to Remote Communities with a School (UK)

British Telecom has made £2 million available to increase access to super-fast broadband in communities in the final 5% of the UK not covered by fibre broadband rollout plans. The Community Fibre Partnerships grants will cover up to 75% of the cost of the new fibre infrastructure, up to £30,000, so long as that new infrastructure serves the local Ofsted registered (or equivalent) school or learning establishment. The grant is available to UK communities where their proposal for a new co-funded fibre infrastructure serves a school that doesn’t have access to superfast fibre broadband (typically <24Mbps).

Grants will be made on a ‘first come, first served’ basis until the funding is exhausted. Recent beneficiaries include Dunedin secondary school in Edinburgh a small secondary school, attended by pupils who have not coped with mainstream schooling.


Grants to Improve the Lives of Disabled and Sick Children (UK)

The next application deadline to the DM Thomas Foundation for Young People is the 6th February 2018.

The Foundation supports registered charities that work to improve the lives of disabled and sick children and young people by awarding grants for equipment, training, and support. Through the Foundation’s Central Grants scheme, awards of a few hundred pounds and up to £30,000 can be made, although most grants will be under £10,000.

Examples of grants awarded in 2016 include:

£30,000 to Disability Challengers for a sensory room.

£21,033 to Drove Road Residential Centre for a new playground.

£2,932 to Ichthyosis Support Group ISG for residential activity camps for children affected by the condition.


WHSmith Community Grant (UK)

Voluntary organisations, charities schools and pre-schools can apply for grants of up to £500 from the WHSmith Trust. The WHSmith Trust is an independent registered charity that uses the proceeds of the compulsory carrier bag charges across the UK to offer the grants to support good causes in the local communities where WHSmith operates.

There are two application rounds each year. The deadline for the current funding round is the 31st March 2018. Applications can be submitted via an online applications form.


Persimmon Healthy Communities Programme (England, Wales and Scotland)

House builder Persimmon, has 30 businesses across England, Wales and Scotland.

Every month during 2017 each of these businesses will donate up to £750 each to clubs, schools, organisations, charities and individuals who deliver amateur sport to young people aged 21 and under. Organisations who apply must not have more than £100,000 in their bank account and must not be providing sports training on a professional or for profit basis. The main objective is for people to use the funding to purchase sports kits, however entries will be considered for the purchase of other equipment and maintenance of facilities. Organisations may also be entered to win a grand prize of £200,000 to spend on their sport, club or team. In January 2018 all 30 businesses will choose three entries to go forward for the national prize, an independent panel will then choose one entry from each business which will go head to head in an online vote. The first prize is £200,000, there will be two runners up prizes of £50,000 each and 27 finalists will receive £5,000 each.

Applications can be made up to midnight on the 31st December 2017.


VisitScotland Growth Fund Opens for Applications (Scotland)

Visit Scotland has announced that it is now accepting expressions of interest for the VisitScotland Growth Fund.

The fund supports collaborative tourism marketing projects that focus on growth in the tourism sector and ensure that visitors experience the true Spirit of Scotland. It also helps businesses to build their digital capability and to market and measure their outputs and success more effectively. Successful applications must demonstrate:

  • A strong digital focus and creation of digital content
  • Strong strategic alignment
  • An innovative approach
  • Effective partnerships and collaboration
  • Achievable and measurable growth targets
  • A sustainable approach
  • Project viability and delivery.

Applicants must speak with a member of the Growth Fund team prior to making a full application and the deadline for initial expressions of interest is the 22nd November 2017.



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