Opening School Facilities: Year 3

Provided by the Department of Education, we are currently accepting applications for year 3 of The Opening School Facilities fund. The aim of the fund is to help schools to open their existing sport facilities. Grants of £5000 upwards are available for schools in Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire.

*** Our application window for this fund is now closed however if your school is interested in the programme, please register your interest by e mailing ***

Please read the guidance below carefully before applying


The objective of the fund

Opening School Facilities (OSF)  is a is a Department for Education (DfE) investment programme that aims to meet the goals of the Government’s School Sport and Activity Action Plan.

The aim of the fund is to help schools to open their existing sport facilities, including school swimming pools, for a broader range of young people and to support the wider community by partnering with sporting organisations, who can help deliver activities in these settings.

OSF focuses on the following:

  • Driving a youth informed community offer of activity on a school site in the most underserved communities.
  • The upskilling and capacity building of schools to create longer term plans to open their facilities for the benefit of the community.
  • To provide inspiring (young people want to), accessible (they can) and meaningful (they benefit) provision that helps improve physical activity levels and participation in their area.

OSF is a three 3 funded programme which ends in March 2025.  OSF has recently entered it’s year 3 phase (April 2024-March 2025).

*** Our open application window for this fund is now closed however if your school is interested in the programme, please register your interest by emailing ***


Programme objectives

  1. To support schools to open their facilities outside of the normal school day
    (evenings, weekends, and holidays) to allow children & young people and the
    wider community to access more opportunities to be physically active.

  2. To open school swimming pools focusing on swimming and water safety
    lessons both during and outside the school day for pupils at their school and
    for pupils at other local schools.

  3. To provide participants with a range of stimulating and enjoyable
    opportunities to take part in physical activity and sport, in addition to that
    experienced within PE lessons and extra curricular activities.

  4. To ensure participants are signposted to take part in the same or similar
    activities in their local community, following the end of their participation in
    the programme


How much will the award be

Awards are from £5,000 upwards per year. We expect most awards to be between £5,000 and £15,000 per year.


Programme timeline

This is a three year programme until March 2025,  We are currently inviting schools to join  for year 3 (April 2024 – March 2025).  All allocated year 3 funds must be spent by March 2025.

The grant should not be used to fund capital expenditure. Where schools have an existing capitalisation policy, this should be used to determine whether proposed spending would be capital expenditure.

Please get in touch with us for more information about the process for applying for this funding.

Funding must be committed or spent by 31st March 2025

Please note that the final decision on all funding to be allocated to schools will be made by the Active Partnerships National Team on receipt of the School Delivery Plan.


Who can apply

Non-fee paying, Primary, Secondary, Special and All-through schools are eligible to apply.

All applications received from schools will be reviewed and scored, with priority being given to schools who:

  1. Are located in areas of higher social deprivation 
  2. Engage young people from ethnically diverse communities, women and girls, pupils on free schools meals and those with special educational needs, long term health conditions and/or disabilities (SEND)
  3. Schools with a Swimming Pool


What can the grant be used for

  1. Supporting schools to open up to the community
  2. Help schools with their own pool on site to safely reopen
  3. Purchase additional sports, activity, and storage equipment (non-fixed items only)
  4. To improve the accessibility of school sports facilities (especially SEND)
  5. Additional short term staffing challenges
  6. Providing CPD opportunities for staff
  7. Develop existing websites
  8. Swimming for schools without pools (secondary top up for those who can’t swim)


What we can’t fund

We can’t fund the following:

  • Capital works
  • Items which only benefit an individual
  • The continuation of a project or a project that has taken place before
  • Projects that take place or incur costs before the date of the offer letter. This includes any form of deposits and costs associated in submitting the application
  • Projects involving travel to another country
  • Sponsorship, endowments or loan repayments
  • Activities promoting religious or political beliefs
  • Activities for children aged under 5


Funding criteria and notes

  1. All selected schools must sign a grant agreement form
  2. Schools should deliver a minimum  12 week programme for indoor and outdoor facilities with opportunities to continue after the initial period and/or a minimum of a 6 week programme for swimming and water safety activities with opportunities to continue after the initial
  3. There should be an emphasis on sustainable change
  4. Schools are required to complete a delivery plan for year 3.  Schools funded in years 1 and 2 will then be invited to submit a delivery plan for year 3.
  5. Indoor and outdoor activities can be delivered before school, after school, evenings, weekends and holidays (not including
    curriculum or current extra curriculum school activities). Lunchtime activities are eligible in Special Schools
  6. Swimming activities can be delivered both during the school day, before and after school, evenings, weekends and holidays
  7. Activities can be delivered in holidays, in conjunction with HAF and other programmes, but must target new participants
  8. Needs to be a new or additional activity to what is already taking place
  9. All eligible items for expenditure, must be paid for first and then claimed in arrears
  10. All activities must evidence through reporting data monthly
  11. All schools must agree to take part in a local and national evaluation of the programme
  12. All schools must take part in the Active Lives Children and Young People Survey annually
  13. All schools must agree to consider the Creating Active Schools Framework


Further Support

For further support or advice regarding this fund please email: