Funding Guidelines and FAQs
Funding can only be used for eligible FSM children (with 15% flexibility to support groups previously identified), and activities and meals should be free for those eligible.
Do providers need to be Ofsted registered?
We encourage all providers to explore becoming Ofsted Registered, holidays clubs may need to register with Ofsted and there are associated benefits of doing so. We know that not all will need to at this stage and there is no current requirement to do so if you do not meet Ofsted Requirements:
Guidance on the exemptions to Ofsted registration are set out here: Registration exemptions GOV.UK (opens in a new window)
How much funding should be allocated to meals, and will there be any funding restrictions in terms of the split between paying for food vs. activities?
There is no fixed amount however we recommend around £5 per head. For reference, DfE allocate around £2.34 per pupil per meal for free school meals during term time. Previous HAF providers have provided food through a variety of arrangements, for example, using school or community kitchens, food delivered and prepped at the club, use of food intervention charities, the approach will often depend on the set up of the individual provider. We expect a cost per place for activities to reflect that of a standard holiday club place (in the region of £25 per day).
What are the session length guidelines?
Guidance for holiday clubs is 4hrs per day with lunch included but providers are given flexibility to offer the times that work best for their families: this could be 8am-12pm with a breakfast club, or later in the evening for older young people.
For sessions over 4hrs please check Ofsted requirements.
What are the expectations around the provision of food?
We expect that the food will meet the school food standards, ensuring all children receive a healthy, balanced meal. There is no requirement for the meals to all be hot, however it may be tricky to provide a good variety of food if sticking only to cold meals, and we would encourage hot meals where possible.
How do the changes to the 2014 Food Information Regulations affect providers?
From 1 October, changes to the Food Information Regulations 2014 mean there are new labelling requirements for food that is pre-packed for direct sale (PPDS). Full information is available at the Food Standards Agency website (opens in a new window)
We expect all providers to continue to take robust steps to ensure that special dietary needs can be met, and that any allergen ingredients are not introduced where substitution of food products has taken place. Providers should also maintain processes to demonstrate due diligence over the handling of substituted ingredients or products.
This can be done, for example, by seeking full advice from suppliers over product changes, scrutinising labelling and product information and ensuring the allergen matrix is reviewed to maintain accuracy.
Allergen guidance for institutional caterers, including schools, can be found at Food Standats Agency Allergen guidance for institutional caterers (open in a new window).
Further sources of advice on allergens can be found on the school food resources page of GOV.UK (opens in a new window).