Early in 2018, the government announced a programme of work to explore how best to ensure more children from disadvantaged families benefit from enrichment activities and healthy meals during the school holidays.
The Department of Education (DfE) is now inviting organisations to bid for grant funding to take on the role of testing the coordination of free holiday provision (including healthy food and enriching activities) for disadvantaged children during the 2019 summer holidays. Up to £9m is available in 2019-20 in this grant fund. They want to establish local coordinator projects in up to 9 local authority areas across England.
Organisations will have considerable flexibility and freedom as to how they deliver this project in local areas, provided they reach certain aims and objectives, set out in the invitation to bid document. The objectives for the local coordinators will be to:
- Develop a local plan for provision in their area based on what they know about the supply and demand in their area.
- Award funding to holiday club providers (through the provision of grants) in order to ensure there is enough provision to meet demand and in order to support providers to improve the quality of their offer and to meet a new set of minimum standards (as set out in paragraph 25 of the invitation to bid document).
- Support these providers to meet the new minimum standards and to improve the quality of their provision.
- Promote and advertise provision, including working with local schools and other agencies to encourage the most disadvantaged to attend.
- Work with local services and agencies to ensure a joined-up and efficient approach (e.g. signposting, sharing resources). Bidders will need to consider how best to handle referrals to and from other agencies and services and develop sustainable approaches to meeting need (e.g. bringing in funding from other sources such as local businesses; sharing learning and good practice).