Grants & monitoring

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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.

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

  • Put in your application as soon as you can – your 2020-21 monitoring does not have to be signed off before you can apply for the first half of the 2021-22 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 MOU between forums and the local authority provides clarity on this issue.

2020-2021 grant monitoring

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

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 will be taking place on 14th April 2021.  See the link below to pre-register for this session;

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.

When: Apr 14, 2021 12:00 PM London. Please register in advance for this session using the below link;

Pre-register for this session.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Please note that if you are unable to attend the session a recorded version will be available to view within a few days on this page.

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 – pcfgrants@contact.org.uk.

Queries and further information

If you have any queries about the grants process, please contact your parent carer participation adviser or email pcfgrants@contact.org.uk. 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: