Our Access Without Limits SEND and Alternative Provision schools funding – working with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport – is set to enable more young people from a marginalised background in England to access the DofE at school. To reach these young people, our objective is to engage and support their SEND, Pupil Referral Unit, or Alternative Provision school to offer the award.

We not only offer grant funding but support schools every step of the way. This includes working collaboratively to support training and to monitor the progress of the young people on their DofE journey.

Grant applications can be submitted between 1st November 2022 and 28th February 2023.

Funding for Schools Blog

What are the funding criteria?

To apply for the funding a school must fulfil the following criteria:

  • It is a state funded SEND school, Alternative Provision school, or Pupil Referral Unit that receives funding through their local authority or directly from the government
  • The school does not currently have a DLC licence to deliver DofE
  • The school has not terminated a DofE licence in the past six months at the point of application
  • Independent schools are not eligible to receive funding
What can the funding be used for?

Eligible schools can apply for funding to support with the following:

  • Licence fee support
  • Training for staff
  • Bronze, Silver and/or Gold Participation Places
  • Sectional and specialist equipment

Additional Participation Places

Further funding is available for schools which are confident they will enrol over 20 participants in a year. The application form includes the opportunity for schools to request additional places. This will be assessed on a first-come-first served basis by the DofE Project Team.


All equipment purchased is owned and retained by the school and should be loaned but not given permanently to participants. All items should be purchased within the first year of receiving funding. Invoices/receipts will be requested at the end of the first year.

The school must record all assets in its Assets Register. Assets are defined as an item which has a useful life of more than one year and is an item with a purchase price in excess of £500, or a group of items purchased which exceed £500.

We will only fund reusable equipment. Requesting to fund single-use items, such as gas canisters, will cause grant applications to be rejected.

Action Plan

The Operations Officer and incoming DofE Manager at each school are required to create an Action Plan, which sets out how the Licensed Organisation or Centre will develop their provision over the first year, which will then be updated and re-submitted as part of the annual reporting requirements. This must be submitted to the Project Manager within eight weeks of receiving funding.

Annual Report

DofE Managers within each school will be sent an annual report, which they are responsible for completing with support from their Operations Officer. The following steps need to be taken:

  1. 10 months after their grant award date, the DofE Manager will receive an email requesting a monitoring form is completed. They will have two months to complete and submit the report. The Operations Officer will be copied into the email.
  2. The Operations Officer supports the DofE Manager to complete the form and raises any issues with their Operations Manager and the Project Manager.
  3. The report is reviewed by the Project Officer and approved or returns with a request for further information.
  4. Once approved, the Project Manager requests Award Scheme Ltd to issue the following year’s Participant Places to the Licensed Organisation or Centre’s eDofE account and issues the second year’s licence fee instalment payment.
  5. This process is repeated on an annual basis. In the final year the Project Officer reviews the final report and, if happy, closes the grant, notifies the relevant Country Director, Operations Manager, Operations Officer and DofE Manager.

The annual report requests information on the following:

  • Five bullet points on the impact of the grant on marginalised young people.
  • An updated version of the Action Plan, showing progress and future plans, which is agreed by the Operations Officer and DofE Manager.
  • The number of Participation Places that are required for the following year (unless the report is for the final year) and whether the Licensed Organisation still requires the second-year licence fee contribution of 25%.
  • Two quotes from either a participant, parent / guardian, DofE Manager, Headteacher or Licence Signatory.

A summary of financial spend and the submission of evidence of expenditure. The evidence of expenditure required is as follows:

  • Receipts/invoices for all expedition equipment purchased.
  • Receipts/invoices for training courses purchased.

Evidence of expenditure for licence fees and Participation Places will be provided internally by the DofE.

How to apply:

Please get in touch with your local DofE office or contact us via email – [email protected].

Read about DofE participants who have been positively impacted by the Access Without Limits Funding:

DofE enabled Summer to discover a new side of herself READ MORE
Naeema’s confidence grows through her DofE READ MORE
DofE allows Mia to share her love of books with others READ MORE

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