Secondary Education: eligibility criteria and application process

Secondary Education: eligibility criteria and application process

This information does not apply to special schools, which should apply under our Health & Disability programme.

Eligibility criteria

Our Secondary Education Programme supports schools and colleges that have reached a level of excellence. This is determined by a combination of criteria, but mainly through the receipt of an outstanding Ofsted  assessment (or regional equivalent). For this reason, new schools are not eligible for funding and we only accept applications from schools that have at least two years of exam results and have been inspected by Ofsted (or equivalent).

In making an application, schools are asked for confirmation of non-discriminatory entry policies in respect of religious allegiance. Schools that are predominantly denominational or faith based may be supported but assurance should be provided that a significant number of pupils of other denominations, faiths or none, are admitted and that the school sees such a group as a positive asset for all the pupils in the school.

Your project should be for (a) a new build, refurbishment or equipment project related to the teaching of science and technology, or (b) information or communications technology directly related to learning for projects involving libraries, languages, music or the arts. Applications for building projects should focus on a discrete element within the project and 50% of the total capital cost must have been raised or be clearly in sight.

All projects must be ongoing at the time the Trustees consider it.

Once a grant has been awarded, schools should not reapply for seven years.

Application process

The Wolfson Foundation has a two stage application process for schools that would like to apply for grant funding.

Stage 1 application process

Stage 1 applications should be submitted via our online application form. (To see a list of the questions asked at Stage 1, click here). If approved, we will invite you to submit a Stage 2 application. Occasionally outstanding schools carrying out excellent work in disadvantaged areas are selected by us to apply directly to Stage 2 of our funding process.

Stage 2 application process

If you are invited to Stage 2, you will receive an email asking you to log into your online account to complete your application. The questions you answered in Stage 1 will be carried forward. (To see a list of the additional Stage 2 questions, click here).

Most schools that are invited to the second stage of the application process will be visited by a member of our Schools Panel at a mutually convenient time. The Panel will then meet to discuss your application and make a recommendation to our Trustees.


Applications under the Secondary Education programme follow a different schedule to our other funding programmes. There are two deadlines for Stage 1 applications each year: 10 January and 10 June. Schools and Colleges applying to our January Stage 1 deadline will, if successful, be invited to submit their Stage 2 application by 15 February and will be considered by the Schools Panel in May and the Trustees in June. Those applying to our June Stage 1 deadline will, if successful, be invited to submit their Stage 2 application by 15 July and will be considered by the Schools Panel in November and the Trustees in December.