Raising the Bar Community Fund

Grant Type Project costs
Status Closed
Applications accepted from Social Enterprises? Yes
Maximum grant available £20,000

Brief Description

Grants to support children and young people in ‘coming to school ready to learn’. The fund is aimed at projects which focus on raising aspiration and attainment that are working towards the following outcomes:

  • Every child reaches their potential
  • Every child is given the best preparation for life before and beyond school


This grant programme has been created by Suffolk County Council as part of its Raising the Bar Programme. The fund supports Raising the Bar’s aim to improve levels of educational attainment and ensure that every child in Suffolk can achieve their full potential.

This fund is in recognition of the valuable contribution that the voluntary and community sector can make to the education of children and young people.

The next round of the Raising the Bar Community Fund supports schemes and projects focussed on parental involvement, particularly supporting those who are disadvantaged or deprived.

The objectives of this fund are to support the involvement and engagement of parents and carers, to provide a positive home environment where learning is valued and children are encouraged and supported according to their individual needs, in a way that is complementary to the school curriculum/ Early Years Foundation Stage framework and the learning in their educational setting.

A grant of up to £20,000 is available to spend over the course of one year but lower cost projects will be equally welcome.  We would generally expect for the higher cost projects to involve more than one school and be more transformational.

Proposals are invited under three key themes, which have been identified by feedback from schools and early year’s providers where support would really have impact:

  • Enabling parents to support their children with their learning at school/nursery, through additional learning in the home (e.g. reading with their children).
  • Helping parents to value their children’s education and engage with their school.
  • Building parental skills and confidence in supporting their children’s education and development.

The following two criteria have to be met as part of your application:

  1. School/early years setting involvement – to be successful, applicants need to have partnered with one or more schools/early years settings and need to show how the project they are delivering will dove tail with the child’s learning at school/early years setting. Where projects are delivered in the community, they should still demonstrate links with schools/early years settings, to identify need and capture outcomes.
  2. You need to identify 3 key measurable outcomes for your application to enable robust monitoring; the school/early years setting will need to input to these outcomes to demonstrate impact.


This funding is open to groups who have as their purpose charitable objectives. Constituted community groups or registered charities can apply as can social enterprises and community interest companies. Applications are also welcome from supplementary schools, and parent teacher associations.


Key Points:

  • Projects should provide value for money in terms of the outcomes expected to be achieved.
  • Projects will need to provide a clear evidence of need and demand and show where the interaction they propose clearly addresses the identified need.


Eligible costs:

We will fund project costs at full cost recovery. Generally, for the type of projects we would be likely to support, project costs would typically include:

  • Staff costs for their time on the project and related operational costs at full cost recovery
  • Costs of materials, equipment, expenses such as venue hire, licenses etc. which are required for the project (but we would be less likely to fund investments into an organisation’s/school’s equipment stock, such as book stock or IT devices)

This round of the funding programme offers a grant of up to £20,000, to spend over the course of one year, for larger transformational projects. This may be a scaling up of a smaller project that has delivered success or the development of new work based on evidenced good practice. In either case, applicants should clearly demonstrate both the need for and impact of their project. We are looking for projects that take approaches further, building in stronger interaction with schools and parents and communities, innovating approaches and disseminating good practise.

Please see our website for further details of exclusions that apply. Suffolk Community Foundation

Selection criteria

Eligible project applications will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Evidence of need for the project: Why is the project required?
  • Evidence based proposal: What evidence does the proposal have that suggest that it is likely to succeed in achieving its outcomes?
  • Transformative (particularly important for higher cost projects): In how far will the project be able transform parental engagement, create a real step change compared to current practise, leave a sustainable legacy?
  • Value for money: In how far does the project provide value for money in terms of expected outcomes?
  • Impact and evaluation: Does the project application provide a framework to allow for a robust evaluation of its impact?


Further information

Raising the Bar is Suffolk’s programme to improve levels of educational attainment across the county. Suffolk’s results are improving at a faster rate than those nationally, but there is still more work to be done.

By working together with education providers, families, communities and businesses, Raising the Bar will ensure that every child can achieve their full potential, build a strong reputation for Suffolk education and deliver wider benefits for the county and its economy.

For more information on the Raising the Bar programme, please visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/rtb


For more information on the schools that have already shown an interest and an overall Suffolk perspective from the Education & Learning LSEO’s can be viewed here.


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