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Friday, 21 December 2018

Free meals among measures announced to support disadvantaged children during holidays

Written by Nina Massey

Activities for poorer children during the school holidays are to receive a multimillion-pound funding boost.

Thousands more disadvantaged children are set to benefit under the £9 million programme announced by the Department for Education (DfE).

Organisations from across England are being invited to bid for a share of the money to deliver holiday clubs for children eligible for free school meals during the 2019 summer break.

Local co-ordinators will ensure there are enough high-quality clubs in their area, working with providers to improve what is on offer, and raising awareness of what is available for the families who need it most.

It follows a £2 million programme in the summer of 2018 which saw charities and community groups provide meals and activities such as football, play sessions and cooking classes for more than 18,000 children.

Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: "We supported more than 18,000 disadvantaged children through our investment this summer - giving young people access to nutritious meals and fun activities and helping us to understand how we can best support them during the holidays.

"Following this successful programme we have increased funding to £9 million for next year and will tailor the scheme so that it has the most benefit for young people and their families.

"This will help deliver on our ambition for every child, regardless of their background, to reach their potential - building on our work to shrink the attainment gap in our schools and continue protection of the £2.4 billion a year spent on the pupil premium for those who need it most."

The bidding process is open now and will close on February 7 2019.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Chris Radburn / PA Wire.