The DfE has recently announced that the holiday activities and food (HAF) programme will be expanded across the whole of England in 2021.
Funds have been made available to every local authority in England to coordinate free holiday provision, including healthy food and enrichment activities. The programme will cover the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays in 2021.
Who is the HAF programme funding for?
The funding for this holiday activity and food programme is for children who are in receipt of benefits-related free school meals (Reception to Year 11).
The programme may be available to some children not eligible for free school meals, who can pay to attend, but priority should be given to eligible children.
We are working with providers to establish places and provision with local stakeholders and partners to ensure a localise response is at the heart of decision making.
The programme is currently being overseen by the Children and Learning directorate within the city council.
The Easter Holidays
Due to the short timescales of the project and the current situation with the pandemic, we have had to adopt a unique solution for the provision for the Easter holidays. Working closely with schools and key partners we will be focusing offering a small face to face delivery to support the most vulnerable pupils. Further provision including a virtual offer for all pupils will also be provided for all pupils. In order to fulfil the food support element of the programme, Southampton City Council has decided to continue the supply of food vouchers to all pupils in receipt of eligible Free School Meals for the full two-week break.
We have invited Expression of Interest (EOI) proposals from providers who can deliver holiday activities during the Easter holidays to support demand and need. Each session would need to run for at least 4 hours a day, across 4 days of the school Easter holidays 2021. The 4 days of session delivery do not have to run consecutively and can be delivered split across both weeks of the Easter holidays.
Whilst we would prefer activities to be delivered face-to-face, however the limitations around the mixing of pupils may mean we will have to run provision differently. However, we recognise the need to work flexibly during the pandemic and will support providers to adapt as required by Covid-19 restrictions.
The Summer and Christmas Holidays
If you wish to submit an EOI for this period, please use form below and submit this to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org
We are hoping that during these holidays we are able to offer face to face provision across the city for the summer and Christmas holidays. For that purpose, we are hoping to establish interest from partners/stakeholders who would wish to support the project by providing additional provision or to assist in funding existing model for pupils with FSM.
We recognise that it may not be possible to present completed proposals at this stage. However, we are keen to learn as much as possible about your organisation, its track record and your potential ideas; we can then best assess the opportunities we have to maximise the funding we will receive. Most importantly, we want to ensure we provide a quality service and reach as many FSM families as we can, including those we may not have reached before. Provision during the summer needs to be over a period of at least 4 hours a day, 4 days a week for 4 weeks. For Christmas the requirement is at least 4 hours a day, 4 days a week for 1 week. The 4 days of session delivery do not have to run consecutively and can be delivered split across the weeks or in half day sessions.
We are interested in proposals from providers who can deliver within one or more of areas of the city – and from providers who would be interested in ‘scaling up’ their current provision, to meet the needs of a wider cohort of children and families within Southampton. We would be delighted to discuss ideas providers might have, at this stage, for any support they may need to scale up their provision – and to discuss what this might entail.
The deadline for EOI submissions for the summer and Christmas holidays is 12 noon Friday 23 April 2021.
Support through the process
We anticipate that you will have questions about the programme and how it will work. We hope to continue to have regular partnership briefings to keep communities up to date. We will also be offering the following:
- A Frequently Asked Questions document that will be continually updated via this webpage
- Support sessions with our team to discuss your proposals – dates TBC
In the meantime, if you have pressing questions about the HAF programme or how to complete an expression of interest for summer or Christmas, please contact our team on HAF.email@example.com.
Equality, diversity, and inclusion
Providers will be asked to consider and identify how they propose to meet the needs of diverse groups i.e. food provision which cater for religious beliefs, activities which are gender-aware and inclusive for children with additional needs or disabilities.
Southampton is a city that is rich in diversity and we also welcome and encourage groups/organisations to work with us from all communities within the city.
Where to find more information about the programme
Visit the government website for more information on the national programme.
Completing your expression of interest application
We would like to encourage applications via the EOI below. Please read through the information provided alongside the summary guidance document
We are interested in proposals from providers who can deliver:
Enriching activities: clubs must provide fun and enriching activities that provide children with opportunities to develop new skills or knowledge, to consolidate existing skills and knowledge, or to try out new experiences. This could include physical activities such as football, table tennis, cricket; creative activities such as putting on a play, junk modelling, drumming workshops; or experiences such as a nature walk, visiting a city farm etc.
Food: clubs must provide at least one meal a day (breakfast, lunch or tea) and all food provided at the club (including snacks) must meet school food standards. The expectation is that the majority of food served by providers will be hot, however, we acknowledge that there will be occasions when this is not possible and that a cold alternative should be used. All food provided as part of the programme must comply with regulations on food preparation and take into account allergies and dietary requirements and preferences as well as any religious or cultural requirements for food.
Physical activities: clubs must provide activities which meet the Physical Activity Guidelines on a daily basis.
Nutritional education: clubs must include an element of nutritional education each day aimed at improving the knowledge and awareness of healthy eating for children. These do not need to be formal learning activities and could for example include activities such as getting children involved in food preparation and cooking, growing fruit and vegetables, and taste tests.
Food education for families and carers: clubs must include at least weekly training and advice sessions for parents, carers or other family members which provide advice on how to source, prepare and cook nutritious and low-cost food.
Signposting and referrals: clubs must be able to provide information, signposting or referrals to other services and support that would benefit the children who attend their provision and their families. This could include sessions, information provided by external organisations.
Policies and procedures: Providers must be able to demonstrate and explain their safeguarding arrangements and have relevant and appropriate policies and procedures in place in relation to:
- Health and Safety
- Accessibility and inclusiveness, including addressing equality and diversity
- Where appropriate, clubs must also be compliant with the Ofsted requirements for working with children. For more information please visit Ofsted’s website
The aim of the programme is to make free places available to children eligible for free school meals for the equivalent of at least 4 hours a day, 4 days a week, 6 weeks a year. The HAF programme needs to cover 4 weeks in the summer and a week’s worth of provision in each of the Easter and Christmas holidays. We are not looking for one provider to cover all of this provision and understand it is likely to be a collective effort. It is also envisaged that we will be able to target more FSM families, age ranges and areas as well as diversify the content, if we divide the provision between various organisations.
One of the main requirements is to provide food and activities. For those providers who are unable to facilitate food, we may have options to partner you with other organisations and local partners. We welcome applications from joint organisations, and we will look to partner organisations if we feel your applications could be stronger together and/or if in order to satisfy the HAF criteria, you need to collaborate with another organisation. Where possible we will support agencies to
Organisations can therefore apply just to deliver the enrichment element of the programme, or the food element – but decisions on funding will therefore need to take into account of appropriate linking across different projects to ensure that there can be a coordinated approach to delivery for those children and families involved.
Organisations can also apply for only one or all of the holidays, for instance, schools may be interested in educational activities for just the Easter and other organisations may be set up for outdoor activities in the summer and Christmas period. We welcome applications for different age ranges - the HAF provision needs to cater for all school aged children and activities need to be age appropriate. We are open to all suggestions and proposed plans that meet the HAF aims and objectives.