Grants – How to apply

Important – please read all these sections carefully before
completing our online application form below.

Small and large grants programme
The application process
How to apply
When to apply
Application form
If an award is made

Small and large grants programme

The small grants programme (grants under £4,000) supports state schools and small registered charities which require a small amount of pump-priming in order for projects to take place. The programme is a rolling one, with meetings at roughly two-monthly intervals throughout the year. Due to high demand you are advised to submit an application at least six months ahead of your project start date.

The large grants programme (grants up to £12,000) is aimed at larger-scale education programmes. These sometimes require support for the salary of an education officer; in such cases the ECT would always expect to be a part-funder. Education projects covering a wide range of environmental and countryside projects have been supported.

The application process

All applicant organisations must be based and working in the UK and should be either state schools, registered charities or other recognised not-for-profit organisations.

Grants are normally awarded for one year only.

It is very important to read the following list of restrictions before applying.


Grants are not made:

  • retrospectively
  • to pre-school groups, individuals, agricultural colleges, independent schools or local authorities
  • for building work, infrastructure or refurbishment work
  • for youth work, social support, therapy and medical treatment
  • for projects related to sports, outward bound type activities or recreation
  • for overseas projects


How to apply

There is an online application form (see below). Before filling in the application form, make sure you have your latest annual report and accounts to hand (schools are not required to provide this). 

It is advisable to read the examples of projects supported before making an application.

Questions (not applications) can be addressed to the Grants Administrator or on 01285 712492.

When to apply

Applicants who have been successful previously are asked to wait three years before re-applying.

Large grants programme:

The Trustees meet twice a year in the Spring and Autumn (in 2018 these meetings are in May and November) to consider grants between £4,000 and £12,000.

Applications for the Spring meeting must be received by 31 January of that year

Applications for the Autumn meeting must be received by 31 July of that year.

Small grants Programme:

Meetings to consider applications for the small grants programme take place throughout the year. This programme deals mainly with requests for support from state schools and small charitable organisations. There is a separate schools application form (see below). Applications from schools must be signed by the head teacher.

There is no specific closing date; suitable applications are allocated to the next available meeting. It is advisable to submit an application at least six months before the start date of the project.

Although the full range of the small grants programme is up to £4,000, due to the huge pressure on the available resources most awards are in the region of £1,500 to £2,500.

Application form

You can now apply online by clicking below for the online application form.

All applications from schools must be submitted by the head teacher.

Standard application form           Schools application form


If an award is made

The ECT aims to let all grant applicants know whether their request can be taken forward or not within a few weeks of receipt of an application.

When applications are taken to a meeting, the organisation will be notified of the result within 10 days and will be asked to complete an agreement which includes the ability to pay the grant by BACS (the Bank Automated Credit System).

The agreement also requires the applicant to submit a report on the funded project; failure to do so within one year will ensure the rejection of any further application and may result in a request to repay the award.