Exceptional costs associated with COVID-19 and how to claim them

Jun 25, 2020 | Finance Posts

This week the Department for Education published guidance to help schools, Academies, Local Authorities and Multi-Academy trusts claim exceptional costs related to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Who is eligible to submit a claim?

Claims must be submitted by individual schools or academies.

They can also be made via a single claim, collectively by multi-academy trusts on behalf of their academies.

Local authorities will have read only access to the claims made by their schools and will not be able to submit claims themselves.

Claims will need to be made via an online form from the following establishment categories:

  • primary/secondary/all through maintained schools, academies, and free schools
  • 16 to 19 academies and maintained schools
  • maintained special schools
  • special academies and free schools
  • non-maintained special schools
  • pupil referral units
  • alternative provision academies and free schools
  • maintained hospital schools and academies

When should I make a claim?

If you have already incurred actual costs you should claim now.

There is no need to claim for estimated costs beyond the date you submit your claim.

There will be another opportunity in the autumn where you will be able to claim for further costs incurred, during the period up to the end of summer term in July.

More details will be published nearer the time.

How to make a claim

Claims for exceptional costs should be made online via your DfE account by 21st July 2020.

Once logged in you be able to access the online claim form here.

You can then choose the organisation for whom you are completing the form and fill in the form as instructed.

To access the form for another organisation, sign out and follow these steps again.

If you do not have a DfE Sign-in account you will need to create one.

Tips for filling out the form

  • There is no save facility on the form.  If your claim times out before you click submit, you will lose any information entered to that point and will need to log in again.
  • Forms are likely to time out after an hour and forty five minutes. If you are submitting a claim as a multi-academy trust on behalf of individual academies, submit your claim in smaller batches if you think your claim make take longer to complete.
  • The initial page explains who is eligible to make claim against this funding and which categories of costs are covered. It’s worth reading the link with the published guidance before making your claim to make sure you are eligible.
  • The pages will be in a slightly different format depending on whether you are claiming as a single establishment or as a multi-academy trust.

When will payments against claims be made?

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) will aim to pay against claims within funding limits and for identified cost categories received by that date to local authorities at the end of August.

Academies will be slightly later at the beginning of September.

They have advised that there will be no opportunity to request extensions to this claims window or to resubmit a claim after that date.

Further claims will be possible in a subsequent claim window in the autumn and details regarding that process will be published later in the year.

For full information and steps on making a claim visit the published guidelines here.