Funds and freebies: monthly highlights

Find a selection of the grants available to schools across a range of areas, and details of freebies your school can access. You can also learn about cost-of-living support available for your school and community.

updated on 19 May 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
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  1. Cost-of-living support
  2. Grants and funding opportunities
  3. Freebies
  4. For future reference

Cost-of-living support

Encourage your leaders to share these ideas to support pupils and families

The government’s cost-of-living payment is available for those receiving certain benefits or tax credits. Those who are eligible can get up to 3 different types of payment depending on their situation:
  • A cost-of-living payment, for people receiving a qualifying low-income benefit or tax credits
  • A disability cost-of-living payment, for people receiving a qualifying disability benefit
  • A pensioner cost-of-living payment, for people entitled to a winter fuel payment for winter 2023 to 2024

Citizens Advice has guidance for people who need help with school costs. This includes advice on how to get:

  • Free school meals (FSM)
  • Help to pay for activities and uniform
  • Help with transport to and from school

The Warm Welcome Campaign has a searchable map to help people find a warm welcome space near them. The campaign is supporting more than 3,000 organisations that have opened their doors to those struggling to heat their homes. 

Consider these ideas as a school

Get more in-depth information about how to support your school through the cost-of-living crisis.

With more families feeling the strain, breakfast clubs are increasingly important to help feed pupils. Magic Breakfast works with schools to offer healthy breakfasts to pupils in the UK. You'll need to submit an expression of interest form – if your school meets the eligibility criteria, Magic Breakfast will get in touch when it has sufficient funding.

The breakfast club programme run by the Greggs Foundation is open to all primary schools in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland if you meet the following criteria (there's a waiting list for new clubs, but there's no application deadline):

  • At least 40% of pupils at your primary school are eligible for FSM
  • You can demonstrate a commitment to engaging parents/carers or other volunteers
  • Your breakfast club will be offered for free to make sure all pupils can attend

Child Poverty Action Group has published a 'cost of the school day' toolkit to help schools identify where pupils might face cost barriers to participation in school activities across the academic year. It also suggests alternative activities and provides examples of best practice from other schools.

Help support school staff's mental health over the next few months, with our guidance on questions to ask about wellbeing and how to monitor and support headteacher wellbeing.

You can also consider offsetting some of your school's energy costs by exploring alternative energy production, such as solar panels. Solar for Schools helps to finance solar panel systems for schools. There's also guidance on the benefits of solar PV for schools from the government.

Grants and funding opportunities


The Teacher Development Fund from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation aims to support primary school arts-based teaching.
  • Offers around 6 grants of up to £150,000 each year to partnerships between arts/cultural organisations and 5 to 10 schools
  • Applications open in September

Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM)

The Microbiology Society gives grants to schools to support relevant science teaching or promotion initiatives, or to support developments likely to lead to an improvement in the teaching of any aspect of microbiology. 
  • Applications only open to members of the society, so check if any of your staff are members first
  • Grants up to £1,000
  • 2 deadlines for 2023: 10 April and 2 October


The Royal Society offers grants to schools to carry out climate and biodiversity research projects in partnership with STEM professionals from academia or industry. 

  • Grants up to £3,000
  • 3 deadlines for 2023: end of April, June and November
The DfE offers premium payments for chemistry, computing, mathematics and physics teachers in state-funded secondary schools.
  • Payments between £1,500 and £3,000 
  • Applications open from September to January of each academic year, up to 2024/25
The Waterloo Foundation supports schools in Wales to increase STEM skills.
  • Grants typically between £5,000 and £25,000, but there is no upper limit
  • Applications currently by invitation only

Modern foreign languages

State-funded secondary schools that teach Mandarin can apply to the Institute of Education's Mandarin Excellence Programme for funding to support developing the school into a centre of excellence for the teaching of Mandarin.
  • Schools that participate receive at least £20,000 per academic year
  • Schools can express their interest in joining throughout the year


The Royal Geographical Society offer funding for geography teachers at secondary level to develop imaginative and creative educational resources with the help of a university collaborator:
  • 2 grants of £1,000 a year
  • The deadline is 15 February each year

Religious education

The Jerusalem Trust supports the teaching of Christianity within RE by awarding grants to state-funded primary, middle and secondary schools for the purchase of resources.
  • Grants up to £600
  • Applications currently still open for the spring term


The Roman Society offers funding to schools to promote the teaching of Latin and Roman studies. Grants are mainly for purchasing textbooks and resources, but they can also be used for study days – especially if they benefit large numbers of children throughout the year and can be repeated in successive years.
  • Grants from £50 to £600
  • 3 deadlines per year: 1 February, 1 June and 1 November

The Classical Association offers grants to schools to support the study of classical topics. It also provides CPD events for school teachers of classical subjects. 
  • 3 types of grant: schools grant (up to £500), outreach grant (£2,500 or less) and a major projects grant (over £2,500)
  • Applications for the schools and outreach programmes can be made at any time
  • 2 deadlines for major project grants: 1 March and 1 September

Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies usually offers grants to cover the costs of the development of new courses in Greek, teaching materials, Greek plays and Classics days or conferences.
  • Grants usually range from £100 to £500
  • 2 deadlines each year: 1 May and 1 October

Music, heritage and crafts

Music for All offers both individual and community project funding to provide access to musical instruments and lessons.
  • Next round of funding closes on 28 July

The Radcliffe Trust offers grants principally in 2 sectors: music, and heritage and crafts.
  • Grants generally between £2,500 and £7,500
  • 2 deadlines each year: 31 January and 31 July

Youth Music Network offers a wide variety of grants that fund music programmes for children. Take a look at the site to find out which grants you're eligible for and when you'll need to apply. 
  • Smaller grants between £2,000 and £30,000, and larger grants up to £300,000
  • Multiple rounds of funding with deadlines throughout the year


A number of grants are available to schools from Sport England.
The Football Foundation offers grants for a range of improvements and equipment for football pitches.

General educational projects

The Wolfson Foundation awards grants to state-funded secondary schools and sixth-form colleges to improve the teaching of GCSEs and A-levels in science, computer science, design and technology, art, languages, music and performing arts.

  • Minimum grant amount is £15,000 and grants don't normally exceed £100,000, with some match funding required for projects over £50,000
  • 2 deadlines a year for the first stage of the application process: 10 January and 10 June

The Garfield Weston Foundation awards grants to educational projects. The foundation also supports arts, community, welfare, youth and environmental projects. 

  • 'Regular grants' for applications below £100,000 and 'major grants' for applications of £100,000 or more
  • Applications accepted at any time

Blue Spark Foundation offers grants for educational, cultural, sporting and other projects that aim to improve the education and development of children.

  • Many grants under £2,000 and none more than £5,000
  • Applications accepted at any time

The National Lottery Community Fund offers funding to support community projects and also larger projects. Schools must show that their project will involve, and have a positive impact on, the wider community.

  • Community project grants up to £10,000 and larger grants over £10,000
  • No deadline

Benefact Trust awards grants to Christian organisations, including schools, supporting projects that make a positive difference to people and communities.

  • Small grants from £1,000 to £15,000
  • Applications considered at any time

Tesco Community Grants offers funding for projects that focus on food security, children and young people (e.g. breakfast clubs, food banks, library books, etc.).

  • Grants up to £1,500
  • Applications accepted at any time


The Foyle Foundation offers grants to state-funded schools to buy books and equipment for libraries. It may also contribute towards the cost of library software, IT equipment and furniture.

  • Grants generally range between £2,000 and £10,000
  • Applications accepted at any time

Community projects

The UK Community Foundations website has details and links to the 47 accredited community foundations in the UK, each of which has funding streams available that target particular issues in their geographical area.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) Mutual Charitable Trust provides grants for projects that impact rural communities. The trustees meet twice a year to consider applications.

  • Deadlines for 2023: 26 May and 27 October

Environmental projects and outdoor learning

The Learning through Landscapes: Local School Nature Grants Programme allows schools to apply for outdoor learning resources and a training session. The scheme doesn't give cash grants to schools - you select equipment and training at the application stage. 

  • Selection of outdoor resources worth a total of £500 
  • Deadlines for 2023: 28 April, 9 June, 8 September, 10 November

The Metropolitan Public Gardens Association gives funding and practical assistance to community gardens and green sites across London.

  • Grants up to £1,500 
  • No deadline, but applications will be considered at the trustees' quarterly meetings at the end of February, May, August and November

The Nineveh Charitable Trust offers grants to schools and other organisations for UK-based projects that benefit the general public. Education, access and preservation of the countryside are common themes.

  • No funding limit
  • Applications welcome at any time, but are considered at the trustees' quarterly meetings

Trips, holidays and international understanding

UK-German Connection gives funding to UK schools that have a partnership with a German school. Funding streams usually centre on work-focused programmes, project-based programmes and visits. 

  • Grants up to £1,000 (partnership visit fund and school partnership bursaries), up to £2,500 (instant impact fund), and up to £10,000 (flexible funding scheme)
  • Applications for school partnership bursaries open from the end of April
  • Flexible funding scheme has 3 deadlines a year: 31 January, 31 May and 31 October
  • You can apply for the other funds throughout the year at least 6 weeks in advance of your visit

The Daiwa Foundation offers grants to promote and support interaction between the UK and Japan.

  • Grants between £2,000 and £9,000
  • 2 deadlines each year: 31 March and 30 September

The Henry Smith Charity runs a holiday grants programme that aims to provide access to recreational trips or holidays for groups of children aged 13 or under who experience disadvantage or who have disabilities.

  • Grants between £500 and £2,750 
  • Applications open throughout 2023, with deadlines depending on when the trips or holidays are due to take place

The YHA's Educational Breaks Programme can provide support to schools struggling to meet the costs of residential trips. To be eligible, your school must have 20% or more of pupils registered for free school meals or the pupil premium. It also offers similar support to special schools and alternative provision settings.


Happy Days Children's Charity has funding available for day trips and group activity holidays aimed at children and young people with additional needs.

  • No deadline

Grants for disadvantaged children 

BBC Children in Need – emergency essentials programme is for children and young people who are facing exceptionally difficult circumstances. It funds critical items such as clothing and bedding.

  • Applications open

Children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)

Special schools and colleges can apply to The Wolfson Foundation for capital funding for building refurbishments, new buildings and equipment.

  • Minimum grant amount is £15,000 and match funding required for projects over £50,000
  • Deadlines 5 January and 1 July

The Clothworkers’ Foundation offers capital projects. Grants can be used for building renovations, or to purchase fixtures, fittings, equipment or vehicles.

  • Applications accepted at any time

Variety, the children's charity, offers grants for specialist equipment that will directly benefit or support children with disabilities.

  • Grants usually less than £5,000
  • Applications can be submitted at any time, but there is a limit of 1 application per year


Air quality monitors

Schools' Air Quality Monitoring for Health and Education (SAMHE) is a project offering schools a free air quality monitor and learning resources. The monitor will provide evidence for national policies and practice to make schools healthier for pupils.

Period products

The period products scheme is available to all maintained schools in England. It provides free period products to any pupils who need them in school. 

Access support from school hubs

The DfE has published new guidance regarding access to hubs that support school leaders and teachers in different areas of pedagogy. A hub is a strong school or group of schools that help other schools improve their practice.

Cyber defence tools

Schools can sign up for the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)'s Web Check and Mail Check services to protect their websites and email servers from cyber attacks. 


The BBC Micro:Bit - the next gen campaign offers a set of 30 'micro:bits' (pocket-sized computers) to primary schools across the UK to help teach children basic coding.

Careers education

Founders4Schools is a free service that connects business role models with schools (in person or virtually) to talk to pupils about possible career paths.

Film club

All state-funded schools in England are eligible to set up an Into Film Club to gain access to thousands of free films, educational resources and access to exclusive events, including Into Film Festival. 

Animal welfare

The Dogs Trust offers free workshops that are linked to the National Curriculum for Key Stage (KS) 1 and KS2 pupils. The trust aims to encourage positive attitudes and safe behaviours towards dogs.

Day trips

The charity Merlin's Magic Wand offers tickets to Merlin Group attractions for young people with disabilities, serious or long-term illnesses; those in care or foster homes or adopted; those impacted by domestic violence, abuse, bullying or serious crime; those with a terminally ill or recently deceased parent/guardian or sibling; and young carers.

English Heritage has over 400 sites that schools can book a free self-led visit to.


The Oxford Owl website offers free, tablet-friendly eBooks and resources for primary schools to support children’s learning.

PSHE lessons

Winston’s Wish offers free lesson plans and assembly content on loss and bereavement for Key Stages 1 to 4.


The Woodland Trust invites schools to apply for trees to plant in their grounds. There are 2 delivery periods, in March and November. Applications for delivery in November 2023 will close in August or sooner depending on stock availability.

LEGO magazine

Children aged between 5 and 9 can get a free quarterly LEGO Life magazine subscription.

Level 3 qualifications for adults

The DfE has published a list of level 3 qualifications available free to anyone aged 19 or over who doesn’t already have a level 3 qualification. It’s being updated as more are added and includes a list of colleges and training providers offering the courses.

Supporting children and young people from Ukraine

The DfE has gathered resources and recommended materials to help Ukrainian children settle into school in the UK. Topics include explaining the education system, learning English as an additional language, and supporting wellbeing and mental health.

Sustainability training and resources

The Green Schools Project runs the Zero Carbon Schools programme every year. It's a cross-curricular programme for years 4 to 8, and includes 2 staff CPD sessions to:

  • Help your staff better understand the climate crisis
  • Create opportunities for staff to get involved with action in your school to address climate change
  • Support teachers to enhance their lessons


WWF offers a free course on driving change towards sustainable schools. They also run the following free courses for teachers:


Transform Our World offers a short online training course as an introduction to social action for primary teachers. It's designed to help you introduce social action to primary-aged children.


The Open University offers a catalogue of free online courses. Your staff can work through them individually or as a group. Topics include:


Outdoor and Sustainability Education Specialists (OASES) runs a 'Climate Friendly Schools' programme. It includes free lessons, assemblies and teacher training on climate change. You can also complete a school sustainability audit to create a climate action plan.

For future reference

Currently closed

The Tree Council's 'Branching Out' fund is for projects between £200 and £2,000 involving young people planting trees, hedges and orchards. Applications are currently closed, but will reopen in July/August 2023.

Growseed offers free seeds for science projects, class activities and school garden clubs. Applications are currently closed, but there are plans to offer fixed grants and new support programmes for gardens, green spaces and education resources in 2023.

B&Q runs a community reuse scheme across its stores, donating “unsellable materials and products” to be reused by local schools and community groups. It's not accepting any new registrations at the moment, but hopes to reopen.

The Primary Latin Project offers grants to state-funded schools to help with the cost of teaching materials. There are normally 3 deadlines each year: 15 February, 15 June and 15 October, but the grants are currently on hold.

The Kellogg's Breakfast Club Grants Programme offers grants of £1,000 for school breakfast clubs. Priority is given to schools with high numbers of disadvantaged pupils or in disadvantaged areas. Applications are currently closed but will reopen later in the year.

The Primary Awards for Green Education in Schools awards prizes of between £100 and £2,000 for work that promotes environmental education for young people aged 5 to 11. Applications are closed for 2023.

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