Grants and monitoring

Contact administers, and pays a grant of up to £17,500 available to 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 around services for children and young people with SEND in their area.

In this article

2021-2022 grant applications

The grant application process for 2021-22 is now open.

Applications can be submitted at any point between 1st April 2021 and the closing date of Monday 7th June 2021.

We encourage forums to submit applications at the earliest opportunity to ensure that you receive the grant in the first quarter of 2021-22. If your forum will struggle to meet this deadline, let us know and we can negotiate a revised deadline with you.

Note: flexibility around the carry forward of underspend that was agreed last year, will not be extended to the 2021-22 grant year – any underspend from 2020-21 will be deducted from the 2021-22 grant.

The grant 2021-22 grant application form and managing your grant document can be downloaded below:

2021-22 – Grant application form – which includes revised declarations and conditions of grant – we recommend that forums read these carefully prior to submitting their applications

2021-22 – Managing your grant  – all forums will receive a copy by email

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

Please find attached two example grant applications which may help new forums draft their first application:

Example A

Example B

Example C

Grant myth busting

Additional claims 2nd tranche applications:

Your grant application for 2021/22 is paid in two tranches (payments) you get your first half when your grant is approved and then you’re able to apply for your 2nd half when your 2020/21 grant monitoring has been approved. You will receive a grant monitoring approval letter from the grants team to let you know this has been approved.

The 2nd tranche form is below. Please be aware that the form must have the Conditions of Grant signatory’s email address provided on your grant application form. 2021/22. Failure to do this will delay your payment.

The amount you can apply for on your 2nd tranche application is minus the confirmed underspend in your grant monitoring 2020/21. For example if you had a £1000 underspend and you applied for the full £17,500 then you will only be able to apply for 7750 for your 2nd tranche. (£8750 – £1000)

Please be aware that all underspends will be deducted from your 2nd tranche payment, no matter how big or small.

You can apply for the 2nd tranche payment here:

Additional claim for 2021-22

The deadline for 2nd tranche applications is : 8 November 2021 (if you miss this deadline you may not be able to apply for the 2nd tranche of your grant.)

2020-2021 grant monitoring

The grant monitoring form for 2020-21 is now available and should be submitted by the closing date of Friday 30 April 2021.

We understand that many forums may struggle to meet this deadline given the ongoing Covid-19 situation. Keep in touch and let us know if you will need to arrange for an extension.  The participation team is here to support you.

Forums that received the DfE parent carer participation grant for 2020-21 should submit a grant monitoring form and, if requested, the associated proofs of expenditure (POEs). Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we will not be able to accept posted POEs again this year.

If your forum will have difficulty submitting POEs, speak to a member of the grants team and they will assist you.

The online monitoring form can be accessed below:

2020-21 Grant monitoring form – guidance for completion is included in the form as hover text. See the (?) button on the form for further details.

Priority Grant (previously called The Discretionary Grant)

When forums don’t access the full amount of the grant allocated to them, either due to them applying for less money or having an underspend from the previous year, this provides a pot of money for other forums to access for important projects/workstreams during the following grant year.

We are accepting regional applications from 14 June and forum applications from 30 June.

The Priority Grant process is open to regions whose 2020/21 Discretionary Grant monitoring has been approved (who have £3,000 ringfenced funding to apply for) from 14th June. Regions can apply for more than £3,000 and approval will depend on whether there is funding available.

The Priority Grant will be open to all forums who have had their grant monitoring for 2020/21 approved, and who have applied for the first and second tranches of the 2021-22 grant who wish to apply, from 30th June.

The deadline for all Priority Grant applications will be 8 November 2021.

Forums and regions can apply using the link below:

Priority grant application form

Regions, please be aware that any underspend from the 2020/21 regional Discretionary Grant should be incorporated into this year’s Priority Grant application.

The Priority Grant will be on a first come, first served basis, as the pot is finite and to enable forums to have the best chance of meeting their outcomes rather than waiting until November when the final underspend figure for the year is confirmed.  The deadline for all Priority Grant applications will be 8th November 2021, and applications will be capped at £10,000.

*Note – funds may be used up before then, so we recommend getting applications in as soon as possible.

Please be aware that only applications that demonstrate that there is an urgent need for the funding, will be approved. Applications should be discussed with your Parent Carer Participation Adviser prior to submission. 

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 and why they were necessary.

Grants online learning session

The annual grants online training session has now taken place, however you can see a recording of the session on YouTube. The Grant’s teams Rachel King also shared a number of notes during the session which attendees found useful, you can also download these notes.

Fraud resources

We strongly recommend that every forum reads our webpage on fraud for forums which has pointers and signposting to useful sources of information on fraud guidance. Use the tips to protect your forum from the possibility of fraud if you are not already doing so.

Important information for forums with new or different bank accounts

Note that if you are a new forum that will be applying for the grant for the first time, or if your forum has a new bank account, Contact will need to carry out due diligence checks and to set the forum up on the payment system.  This may result in a small delay – therefore we recommend that you get your application in as soon as possible so that the grants team can get the checks started to minimise any delays.

For further information, please contact the grants team –

Queries and further information

If you have any queries about the grants process, please contact your parent carer participation adviser or email We are here to support all forums through the ongoing Covid-19 situation, and we realise that forums may still be impacted by the pandemic this year.

Information about second tranche claims and the regional, and forum Supplementary grant will be uploaded in due course.  We expect that second tranche applications will open in early July and forums whose 2020-21 grant monitoring has been approved, will be able to apply.

Managing your 2021-2022 grant

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