A further 17 colleges been awarded funding totalling £2.5 million from the third and final round of the Strategic College Improvement Fund (SCIF), Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton has announced.

Colleges including Northampton College and Cheshire College South & West have been successful in their bid for funding from the final application round. They will now partner up with a high performing college to share their knowledge and expertise to help tackle issues – such as raising the standard of teaching or boosting learner attendance

The results of the final application round come as a new report is published reveals that the SCIF has been widely welcomed by the sector. Colleges reported a number of positive benefits including how the programme has helped boost attendance rates, as well as the quality of teaching and learning and supported college-wide improvements in culture and leadership. The report also underlines the strong support for the collaborative working approaches, with many college partnerships pledging to continue this work even though the programme has come to an end.

The SCIF was first launched in October 2017. In total 80 colleges across England have been successful in securing funding totalling £12.3 million. This includes Macclesfield College and Sir George Monoux Sixth Form College in London have been successful in securing funding from the fund.

Almost three quarters of eligible colleges applied for the fund and 91% of applicants were successful in securing funding ranging from £60,000 to £500,000.

The fund has played an important role alongside the Government’s National Leaders of Further Education (NLFEs) programme which also aims to share best practice and boost standards throughout the further education sector, giving more people the opportunity to access high quality education and training.

For more information on the SCIF, visit here