Access Options
Edward Heneage School - towards KS1 lending library and study support areaKenton Bar Primary School - towards the development of library facilities to support out of school hours learningNorton Primary School - to create a new library for the pupils

The Foyle School Library Scheme

Who Can Apply

The Foyle School Library Scheme accepts applications from state funded schools in the United Kingdom.  The scheme recognises that there is no statutory requirement for schools to have a library and that many school libraries are in a poor state through underfunding and underdevelopment.  Encouraging children to read widely from an early age will provide a major boost to improving literacy levels, which is a key educational objective. 

Priority is given to primary schools.  We do not consider applications to the Foyle School Library Scheme from nursery/early years only establishments.

Secondary schools and sixth form colleges are eligible, but primary schools are a higher priority.  Given that secondary schools are usually larger than primary schools with more resources, we would recommend submitting a more targeted application (please contact the Grants Team if you would like further advice).

Newly set up schools with little track record or detail of literacy needs are less of a priority and we advise waiting until you have this information before applying. 

PTAs are not eligible to apply.  The application needs to come directly from the school. 

How Much Can You Apply For

Schools can apply for between £1,000 and £10,000.

What We Fund

The Foundation understands that schools are now operating within very different circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are keen to be as flexible as possible in our support of school libraries during this difficult and constantly changing ongoing period.

Priority, and the majority of given funds, will continue to be awarded for physical library/reading books.  In light of the current situation we will be more flexible when considering requests for e-readers and electronic reading resources, however a strong case for support and explanation of need will have to be made within the application.   We will not fund textbooks or curriculum books, nor will we fund classroom dictionaries and thesauruses (your request may include just a couple of dictionaries/thesauruses for the library to support reading skills). 

The Foundation will also consider contributions towards library software, necessary IT equipment and furniture etc. in order to create a suitable library space, although ideally the majority of funding should be requested for books/reading materials.  We do not generally fund salaries or training costs.  Structural building costs will not usually be considered.

For other school projects, please refer to the Guidelines for the Main Grants Scheme and contact the Grants Team if necessary to discuss further.

Factors Which Will Strengthen Applications

  • You will need to explain what changes the school has made to library provision in order to comply with COVID related restrictions.
  • Preference will be given to schools which can clearly demonstrate a commitment to renewing and maintaining their library provision in the future. 
  • We will also take into account local deprivation levels, the Ofsted report, current literacy levels at the school and the impact of the pandemic lockdown on pupil’s learning when assessing applications. 
  • We are keen to support schools that are working in partnership with other local primary/secondary schools to improve reading standards.  

When Can You Apply

The school can apply at any time, although it can take up to four months to receive a decision. 

Please note that any grant awarded should be spent within six months of being awarded and copies of purchase receipts will be required.  If a grant is awarded it can only be used for purchases after the award date - the Foundation does not award retrospective funding. 

If an application is declined, the school is eligible to reapply 12 months after the previous request date. 

If an application is approved, the school is ineligible to apply to the Foundation for three years after the approval date due to intense competition for limited funds.  If the school has experienced significant change, on occasion we may consider a reapplication before three years, but this should be discussed with the Foundation Grants Team prior to submission.

Other Information

Please note that we purposely do not have a word limit to allow applicants the space to give us the information necessary to explain the project and the need for funding, but please keep answers relevant, clear and somewhat succinct.  

Further information regarding the scheme, attachments and the application from can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions.

How to Apply

Please refer to the How to Apply page on the website.  


Thank You Video

Please find below a link to a thank you from Russell Scott Primary School in Greater Manchester awarded £6,000 from the Foyle School Library Scheme in November 2019.