Parent carer participation grant and monitoring (England)

Contact administers a grant of up to £15,000 available for one parent carer forum in each local authority area of England, funded by the Department for Education (DfE). The grant is used to strengthen parent carer forums, so that parent carers can participate in the strategic planning and decision-making for services in their area.

Grant myth-busting

  • Put in your application as soon as you can - your 2018-19 monitoring does not have to be signed off before you can apply for the first half of the 2019-20 grant.
  • Local Authorities do not endorse grant applications, they agree to recognise the DfE funded forum and to work with them as a strategic partner - the new MOU agreement that we are introducing this year will provide clarity on this issue.

Important information for forums with a new or different bank account

Due diligence checks by the Department for Education on new bank accounts may delay receipt of parent carer participation grant by up to six weeks.

If your parent carer forum has changed bank account since submitting the 2018-19 grant application, is a new parent carer forum, or will be changing bank account before applying for the 2019-20 grant, the forum will need to complete and send a proforma with the new account details to the DfE. 

The sooner this is done, the less delay there will be in receiving the first grant payment as the checks can be underway or complete by the time your application is submitted.  For further information and to request the proforma, please contact the grants team -

2019-20 grant applications

The application process for 2019-20 is now open.

Applications can be submitted at any point between now and the closing date of Monday 10 June 2019. We encourage you to submit your application at the earliest opportunity to ensure that you receive the grant in the first quarter of 2019-20.

If you think your forum will have a large underspend from the 2018-19 grant that could be larger than the first half of your 2019-20 grant application (which is usually £7,500), please discuss this with the grants team before you apply.

The grant 2019-20 grant application form, terms and responsibilities and managing your grant document (which has been split down into more manageable chunks) can be downloaded below:

2019-20 - Grant application form

2019-20 - Terms and responsibilities

2019-20 - Managing your grant

2019-20 - Grant application 2019-20 - guidance notes

The Grant Guidance is now incorporated into the online application form to make it easier to read as you go along.  See the (?) button on the form for further details.

2018-19 grant monitoring

Forums that received the DfE parent carer participation grant for 2018-19 must submit a grant monitoring form and associated proofs of expenditure.

The grant monitoring form for 2018-19 is now available and must be submitted by the closing date of Tuesday 30th April 2019.

The online monitoring form and guidance on completing it can be accessed here:

2018-19 Grant monitoring form

2018-19 Grant monitoring guidance [PDF]

If your forum will struggle to meet the 30th April deadline, discuss this with your regional advisor or a member of the grants team as soon as possible.

Changes to grant documentation this year

We have produced a document to explain the changes  that were necessary to both the grant application and grant monitoring form this year, and to highlight what they are.

Grants webinar

See the recording of our webinar which guides forums through all they need to know about the grant application and monitoring process.  See the FAQ document from the webinar. Please note that the monitoring section of the webinar starts at 21 and a half minutes.

Additional claims/discretionary grants S 2019-20

Second tranche grant payments

We will accept claims for the second tranche payment of the 2019-20 parent carer participation grant as soon as a forum's 2018-19 grant monitoring has been approved and signed off. All second tranche claim forms must be received by Monday 11th November 2019. 

Go to the 2nd tranche claim form

Read second tranche grant payment FAQs.

Regional discretionary grant applications

Regions may apply for a regional discretionary grant as soon as the host forum's 2018-19 grant monitoring has been approved and signed off. Applications must have the support of the regional advisor and the regional NNPCF steering group member. 

To enable all regions to apply, we will ring-fence nominal funds (of £3,000) for each region until the application deadline date (11th November). After which time, if the money is unclaimed, it will be released to forums applying for the discretionary grant

Apply for a regional discretionary grant (this is the same as the discretionary grant form.)

Discretionary grant applications

Your forum might want to apply for a discretionary grant in order to complete an additional piece of work, a consultation, host an event or training, buy new equipment - or something else which has arisen and is a new priority for your forum since the original grant form was submitted. 

Forums whose 2018-19 grant monitoring has been approved, and who have already successfully claimed the second tranche of the grant, can from Monday 1st July also make a discretionary grant application - if they wish to.

Once we have confirmed under spend from the 2018-19 grants, money will be released for discretionary grants on a first come, first served basis* until the under spend money is used up, or the deadline for applications has passed. 

*There is an additional condition this year- we will be introducing a cap of £10,000 on discretionary grant applications from forums and regions who have submitted large (above £10,000) discretionary claims in one, or each of, the preceding 2 years*.  This is to enable forums who really need this additional support, who may not know that they need the funding until later in the year, to access some of this money.

*This does not include regional discretionary grant applications for which the forum has been the grant holder. However, the same capping conditions apply to regional discretionary grants.

We recommend that forums put in discretionary grant claims as they would normally but be aware that if it is a large claim, we may have to award a smaller amount and come back to you at a later date to award funding for some of your lesser priorities, if there is money still available after the deadline has passed.  It is therefore vital that you prioritise your claim in order of importance.

Note - Forums putting in large discretionary claims each year need to be aware that the discretionary grant is not a reliable or sustainable source of funding as the under spend available is variable.  These forums may benefit from finding alternative more reliable sources of funding, please contact your regional advisor to discuss.

Applications must be received by Monday 11th November 2019 and be discussed with and supported by your regional parent carer participation advisor.

The same grant conditions apply as to the main grant. Discretionary grants are dependent on enough funding being available.

Go to the discretionary grant form.

Queries and further information

If you have any queries about the grants process, please contact your Regional Parent Carer Participation Advisor or email

Managing your 201920 grant

If you are successful in your application for the parent carer participation grant, you will find these documents helpful when managing the grant:

Managing your parent carer participation grant

Terms and Responsibilities of grant award - parent carer participation grant 2019-20

Proofs of expenditure guidance 2019-20

2019-20 Excel spreadsheet to record grant spend