Surrey Educational Trust funding

The Surrey Educational Trust has supported innovative and ambitious ideas that help children, young people and other learners in Surrey. It has helped schools, organisations and educational projects to use bright ideas and new ways of doing things in their work.

The trust focuses on:

  • Increasing children's, young people's and families' resilience, wellbeing and personal growth.
  • Reducing the gap in education, health and wellbeing outcomes for children experiencing social and economic deprivation compared with their peers.
  • Enabling children with complex individual needs to have the best life chances.
  • Promoting participation in and enjoyment of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • Raising children's and young people's aspirations, extending opportunity to all.

The trust is funded by proceeds from a joint venture between Surrey County Council and Strictly Education 4S.

Who can apply?

The trust wants to hear from schools, organisations and educational projects using innovation and ambition to improve the education sector. Grants of up to £25,000 can be awarded. To apply for funding please contact

Interested in applying?

Submission deadline: 6 March 2024

Decision made by the Trust: 18 April 2024


Submission deadline: 6 September 2024

Decision made by the Trust: 16 October 2024

To discuss your project please email

Recently funded projects

These have included:

  • To develop resources for schools around whole school wellbeing following an initial pilot model (based on the Islington Mental Health and Resilience in Schools model). To expand provision and reach schools to enable delivery of a range of resources depending on need and aspiration. Assist schools to strategically develop wellbeing and resilience for young people and co-ordinate a programme of peer learning where best practice is shared across schools - The Eikon Charity, £25,000
  • Transportation costs for 30 primary schools to and from the Planetarium facility at The Winston Churchill School, delivery of a two hour programme exploring the solar system, which would support pre and post visit activities in their own school. - The Winston Churchill School, £17,500
  • To tour a new production to at least 30 schools, reaching young people with a powerful preventative message about knife crime. Workshops, each for or up to 30 young people, are unique as they give young people an opportunity to learn about the dangers of knife crime and the emotions associated with living the experience in a safe space - Peer Productions, £20,000.
  • Engage female learners with innovative, interactive self-paced learning in a single sex environment. Bringing families together to solve real-world problems using digital literacy skills and computing skills. Enable females to achieve nationally recognised computing qualifications to raise their aspirations and improve their prospects - Broadwater School, £20,000.
  • Free performance for 10 new schools for 'Zoom!' which was a new play for children aged 3 to 8 years with music, songs and puppetry. A gentle introduction for young children into ways they can help to protect their environment - The Pied Piper Theatre Company, £5,000.

Funding criteria and guidance

The Trust was established with the purpose of encouraging innovation and creativity into educational practice in Surrey. As a result, the Trust's core founding principle which has helped guide the standard for successful applications has been in supporting the exceptional, rather than the everyday.

1. What kind of projects are the Trust looking to fund?

The Trust is seeking to fund a range of projects. Projects must be related to one of the following:

  • Surrey state-funded schools;
  • educational projects and organisations;
  • families, children, young people and learners from Surrey, aged 0 to 25.
  • and support at least one of the following areas:
  • educational innovation and research;
  • attainment and achievement for educational excellence;
  • broadening horizons and increasing aspirations.

2. Core themes

The project should initially help with at least one of following core themes:

  • increasing the resilience, wellbeing and personal growth of children, young people and families.
  • reducing the gap in education, health and wellbeing outcomes for children experiencing social and economic deprivation, compared with their peers.
  • supporting the improvement of outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and those who meet the definition of disadvantaged.
  • promoting participation in and enjoyment of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • raising the aspirations of children and young people and extending benefits from education, skills and employment opportunities that prepare them for their futures.

Evidence will need to be provided to show how the proposed project will add value, that it aligns with statutory provision and that it does not duplicate a service already being delivered in Surrey.

3. What criteria will be used to assess applications?

Applications for funding will need to meet the following criteria:

  • show clear timescales, baseline position and intended outcomes (with measures);
  • show what additional resources (people or money) are available from partners to complement any grant received from the Trust;
  • be consistent with the best practice principles of the Surrey Compact (where working with Voluntary, Community and Faith groups);
  • projects which benefit Surrey children and families and support the aims of Surrey's Corporate Strategy 2020 to 2025;
  • can evidence commitment to equality and diversity in staffing, management and project delivery;
  • involve users in the development and management of projects;
  • be for new provision or services and not for projects which have already been completed or partially completed;
  • demonstrate an exit strategy which indicates how the project will be sustained beyond the initial funding period.

Alongside meeting the criteria, the following factors will be used to assess which bids are successful:

  • best alignment of the project with the themes and associated statutory service provision.
  • the range of bids received.
  • partnership, networking and liaising with schools, statutory and voluntary bodies within the County.

4. Monitoring and evaluation

Successful applicants will be asked to produce provide information to show:

  • progress reports, including the outcomes of the project against the stated objectives (with measures).
  • how the money was spent and the impacts of the project.
  • statements of accounts, and any remaining balances held.

As the funding is public money, successful applicants may be asked to provide additional information for audit purposes.

5. Restrictions

Funding received from the Surrey Educational Trust may not be used for:

  • capital works, including building or refurbishments.
  • garden building projects
  • general school appeals.
  • playgroups or pre-school groups.
  • requests for vehicles.
  • ongoing revenue funding of organisations.
  • core business of Surrey County Council or schools.
  • IT equipment, including iPads and laptops (excluding suggestions listed in the frequently asked questions section below).
  • religious or political purposes.
  • debts / expenses that have already been incurred.

Further details about the types of bids which might be successful or unsuccessful can be found in the following frequently asked questions section.

Eligibility - frequently asked questions

What kind of projects is the Surrey Educational Trust looking to support?

The Trust is looking to support innovative projects, particularly in relation to one of the core themes identified in section 2. We are looking for projects which complement and add value to existing provision and services and allow organisations to deliver additional outcomes. In order to maximise the impact of such innovation, Trustees are particularly keen to see how the project will be shared with, or replicated by, other institutions and groups. It will useful to Trustees for applicants to outline their plans for such dissemination. The Trust does not believe that successful applicants should make financial profit from the spread of projects that have been funded or part funded by the SET.

What kind of projects would the Surrey Educational Trust not support?

This can be potentially more difficult to answer, as the Trust is keen to encourage and support innovative thinking. The Trust would not be looking to support any projects which involve the items listed under Restrictions in section 5. Particular scrutiny will also be given to the extent to which proposed projects will build on the existing offer across the county and employ methods which are proven to benefit children and young people and their families.

What would be covered under a definition of core business?

This would relate specifically to anything that would constitute the daily running and function of the organisation. In most instances there would already be funding allocated for this activity within the organisation's budget. For example, support on behaviour management would not be considered, unless it was believed to take an entirely innovative approach and organisations could demonstrate that it could not be funded through existing funding streams. Similarly, funding for additional IMT equipment for use in the classroom would fall under the category of core business. It is worth noting that proposals for resources purchased for the classroom without being linked to specific work and core themes would not be considered.

It can sometimes be difficult to delineate, and it may be worth focusing on what additional benefit the proposed project would bring to the chosen theme (or themes) when completing the application.

What sort of projects has the Trust funded in the past?

Successful applicants were able to link their projects clearly to a set of measurable outcomes that supported the core themes. The Trust takes into consideration how each applicant proposes to ensure a wider community engagement and benefit. There is a strong emphasis on partnership working with other schools and community groups.

Furthermore, the Trust takes great pride in enabling projects that continue to have a positive impact on the development of our young people. Therefore, for applications to be successful, it is essential that they present strong evidence to support all aspects of the project; this may include why the project is necessary, who will benefit, what the wider impact will be, the sustainability of the project and what about it is progressive and innovative.

A list of previously successful projects is available above

Would projects supporting primary to secondary transition be considered core business?

The Trust would consider this core business, and therefore not eligible. However, projects which propose an innovative approach to supporting the most vulnerable young people to make a smooth and successful transition through the provision of services or support which are not ordinarily possible would be welcomed.

What might constitute capital works or refurbishment?

Capital works are works undertaken to create a new asset or space, or to change the use, function or layout of an existing asset or space.

Capital works may include:

  • provision of new building infrastructure.
  • provision of site infrastructure associated with and integral to a building, such as a new electrical sub-station, new lift, new water main or new landscaping.
  • renovation of an existing building or space.

Would the Trust consider applications to purchase IT equipment?

As a general rule, bids for IMT equipment are considered part of core business and therefore outside the criteria of the Trust. However, applications will be considered on the merit of the project proposed. Applications would need to show a clear benefit to both the school and students. The proposed procurement of additional resources such as iPads or software would need to be linked closely to the Trust's themes and would need to be particularly innovative and far-reaching to warrant consideration.

Would the Trust consider funding of events?

The Trust is keen to ensure that there is a legacy associated with any project it chooses to fund. To this effect any application for an event would need to demonstrate that it was liable to have a lasting impact, beyond the event itself and those who were in attendance. Equally, there would need to be a particular focus on evidence and outcomes so as to outline the requirement for an approach of this kind.

What sort of Career and Professional Development (CPD) opportunities would the Trust consider funding?

Applications for CPD opportunities would need to be linked to the Trust's themes, and would be required to demonstrate how they proposed to extend the learning and good- practice into a wider community of schools. It would also be necessary to demonstrate how these proposals could be distinguished from training that would take place as part of core-business.

Files available to download

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