Funding Schools’ Football

In short, this page will be updated with useful resources for schools, partners and Schools’ FA’s in order to support them in finding funding. This page will range from local and national grants, ideas for fundraising events and opportunities or offers that come from the ESFA in order to support the development of the game.

ESFA Development fund 2021/22- Case Studies 

In the 2021/22 season, the ESFA provided the opportunity for County Schools’ FA’s (CSFAs) to utilise funding from the Football Development Fund to encourage players who didn’t already represent their school to take part in schools’ football. Additional funding was available to provide Continual Professional Development (CPD) for both teachers and Adults other than Teachers (AOTTs). The Football Development Fund facilitated the opportunity for over 5,000 new players to take part in schools’ football activity and for 80 teachers to attend CPD courses, to improve the standards of
coaching in schools. Activity took place in North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Cheshire, Merseyside, Leicestershire & Rutland, Lincolnshire, Cornwall, Devon, Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Sussex.

Take a look at some case studies from the 2021/22 development fund and some key statistics that show the impact and reach that the fund creates. 

Football Development Fund Case Study 1

ESFA Development Fund- Closed to applications for 2021/22

Courtesy of the Football Association, the ESFA is pleased to confirm that football development grant funding is now available to support ESFA Members to create opportunities for those children not already playing for their school to take part in ESFA football, learn to love our game and, hopefully, encourage new players to take up the sport. Your events must create:

  • Opportunities for both boys and girls who don’t already play for their school to play football. This can be at primary or secondary age, or both, across your CSFA area. Teams created during the events can be of any size appropriate to that age group
  • Opportunities to engage SEN pupils in at least one of your planned activities
  • A social media record (with appropriate consents from parents) of at least one event which is shared with the ESFA; or a photographic or video record otherwise shared with the ESFA
  • A safe environment for children to play, with a named (and qualified) Child Welfare Officer in attendance.

Grant funding, on a sliding scale, will be provided to CSFAs on behalf of themselves and their Members Districts (or LFOs) to put on festivals so that individuals, classes or multiple groups from schools in your area can attend your event, be put into teams and enjoy their introduction to football. 

This funding is flexible in its use – once allocated, you may decide how best to use that funding to meet the basic conditions laid down below, but CSFA collaboration with their Districts is imperative so that opportunities to take part (and funding which supports that) are as widely spread as possible.

Funding levels:

Sufficient children attracted to create up to 15 teams playing in your events = £600, with £450 paid up front and £150 released on return of team/player counts

Sufficient children attracted to create 16-25 teams playing in your events = £800, with £600 paid up front and £200 released on return of team/player counts 

Sufficient children attracted to create 25-36 teams playing in your events = £1000, with £800 paid up front and £200 released on return of team/player counts

CPD event for teachers/coaches (one per CSFA) = £200


Form A activity planner

ESFA Funding Entitlement Team Data Competition Sanction Form