New evaluation of school holiday food provision

New Public Health research looks at school holiday food provision pilots taking place in four of the Cardiff schools and 2 schools from Southern England.

The study looks at the benefits of holiday club participation including access to food; access to activities; social opportunities; familial support; informal learning experience; and positive experience for staff.

It also looks at the factors that need to be considered in the development of holiday club provision and areas for improvement including: staffing considerations; prior planning; widening participation; and holiday club setting.

Food Cardiff who piloted the School Holiday Enrichment Programme (SHEP) in Cardiff schools has for its second year addressed some of these issues and already brings some insight into what works and what doesn't:

1. Widening participation
We opened the scheme this year to all KS 2 children at the schools involved
We increased opening times from 9.30-1pm to 9am – 3pm
We remained on 3 days a week for 4 weeks and feedback from this year from staff and parents suggests that this is a good level to target

2. Prior Planning
Last year’s pilot was delivered very quickly. With more planning time this year we have engaged and involved:
Teaching Unions
Head teachers conference and steering group
Communities First, Families First, Flying Start
Public Health Wales (e.g. design to smile)
External agencies (e.g. Music workshops, Growing/gardening, RSPB)
And many others locally and nationally
We facilitated the joining up of schools and external agencies but schools were left to plan and make their own arrangements. Activities for parents and children were provided.

3. Staffing
To eliminate inconsistencies in staff pay we created 3 new posts which went through Job evaluation as required:
SHEP Kitchen Manager
SHEP Co-ordinator – with overall responsibility for running SHEP
SHEP assistants
On consultation with staff and Head Teachers, staff were employed on the basis of 1 member staff to 15 children. In the special school this was 1 to 3.

Download the full evaluation

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