top of page
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

Stoke-on-Trent HAF
(Holiday Activities and Food) Programme  #HAF2023 


On Sunday 8th November 2020, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced the significant expansion of the Department for Education’s Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme across England. In October 2021, the Chancellor of the Exchequer committed to a further investment for 2022/23. This significant extension of the HAF Programme across England will enable all Local Authorities, including Stoke-on-Trent City Council, to continue to work together with Partners to provide free healthy meals and enriching activities to families of children in receipt of Free School Meals (FSM) and other targeted groups during Summer, Winter and Easter 2023. 


What is the Programme? 

Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) is a Department for Education (DfE) funded programme. 

It provides physical and enrichment activities and healthy food to children aged 5 to 16 years (including 4-year-old children enrolled in reception at Stoke-on-Trent schools) who are eligible for benefits related free school meals (FSM).  


The 2023 programme is through the Spring, Summer (Tuesday 25th July – Friday 1st September), and Winter holidays. 

Aims of the programme 

There are many benefits for children who attend the HAF programme. We want to encourage all HAF providers to ensure a high-quality experience that will result in children: 


  • receiving healthy and nutritious meals 

  • maintaining a healthy level of physical activity 

  • being happy, having fun and meeting new friends 

  • developing a greater understanding of food, nutrition and other health-related issues 

  • taking part in fun and engaging activities that support their development 

  • feeling safe and secure 

  • getting access to the right support services 

  • returning to school feeling engaged and ready to learn 

Families can also benefit, when HAF providers include their needs in planning and delivering their programme. This could be through: 

  • providing opportunities to get involved in cookery classes 

  • ensuring they are signposted towards other sources of information and support, such as health services or employment and education opportunities 


Who is the programme for? 

This holiday provision is for school aged children from reception to year 11 (inclusive) who receive benefits-related free school meals. 

Benefits-related free school meals (FSM) are available to pupils if their parents are in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits, and have a claim verified by their school or local authority. 85% of the overall attendance must be eligible for FSMs 

Further information on eligibility for free school meals is available

Universal infant free school meals 

All children in reception, year 1 and year 2 in England’s state-funded schools receive a free meal under the Department for Education (DfE) universal infant free school meal (UIFSM) policy. 

Infant pupils who receive a free meal under UIFSM must also be eligible for benefits-related FSM to be able to access a place on the HAF programme. 

Other children and families 

Additional funding can cover provision of free or subsidised holiday club places for children who are not in receipt of benefits-related free school meals but who the local authority believe could benefit from HAF provision. 

This may include, for example: 

  • children assessed by the local authority as being in need, at risk or vulnerable 

  • young carers 

  • looked-after children or previously looked after children 

  • children with an EHC (education, health and care) plan 

  • children who have low attendance rates at school or who are at risk of exclusion 

  • children living in areas of high deprivation or from low-income households who are not in receipt of free school meals 

  • children in transition phases between nursery and primary school or primary and secondary school 

(The above eligibility is subject to change, in consultation with the Department of Education.) 

This list is not exhaustive, and it is open to the local authority to decide which children should benefit from the 15% flexible funding element of their HAF funding. Please note, even your child is within one of the above categories this unfortunately does not automatically mean they are eligble toaccss the programme for free.) 


DfE Guidance: 


Who can deliver? 

Programmes can be led by a range of organisations from across the public, private and community and voluntary sectors. To become an approved provider, partners must be able to meet minimum operating standards and sign up and adhere to a service partner agreement.  

What needs to be delivered? 

The DfE has outlined a Framework of standards  

The Hubb Foundation, as the HAF programme coordinating partner to Stoke-on-Trent City Council, will work with provider to ensure all DfE standards are meet through delivery of the Programme. Consideration will be made for providers who wish to offer the programme but do not meet All the standards. Enabling a varied approach of delivery and funding models to ensure partnerships and support for these providers.


What needs to be delivered? 

The DfE has outlined a Framework of standards  

The Hubb Foundation, as the HAF programme coordinating partner to Stoke-on-Trent City Council, will work with provider to ensure all DfE standards are meet through delivery of the Programme. Consideration will be made for providers who wish to offer the programme but do not meet All the standards. Enabling a varied approach of delivery and funding models to ensure partnerships and support for these providers.  

Physical Activity 

Overview: Min 1hr Physical activity – sports, games, forest school, etc. 

Detail: Providers are required to facilitate physical activities daily that meet the Physical Activity Guidelines, set out by the United Kingdom’s Chief Medical Officers' Report for a minimum of an hour.  


Overview: Enrichment and wellbeing activities - yoga, arts & craft, STEM etc 

Detail: Providers are required to facilitate fun and enriching activities that provide children and 

young people (and in some instances their families) to: 

  • Develop new skills or knowledge 

  • Consolidate existing skills and knowledge 

  • Try out new experiences which could include: creative activities, for example, putting on a play, junk modelling or drumming workshops or experiences 


Increasing awareness of healthy eating, healthy lifestyles, and positive behaviours 

Overview: Making lunch, tasting new foods, planting veg, understanding food labels, baking, shopping to make a meal etc 

Detail: Providers are required to include an element of nutritional education each day aimed at improving the knowledge and awareness around healthy eating for children (and their families). This nutritional education is not required 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  

  • taste tests 



Overview: Provide advice, guidance, and referrals  

Detail: Providers are required to provide information, advice, guidance, signposting or referrals to other agencies, services, organisations, or networks of support which benefit the children (and their families) who are attending the Providers activities. This could include:  

  • Citizen’s Advice  

  • Child Health and Wellbeing Services, School Nurses, Dentists or Other Healthcare Practitioners  

  • Family Support Services and/or Children’s Social Care, Housing Support Officers  

  • Jobcentre Plus 

  • Organisations providing financial education, information, advice and Guidance 


The Hubb Foundation will work with successful providers to identify and provide key agency contact or make arrangement for providers.  




Overview: Provided by food partners  

Detail: Each venue is required to provide a minimum of one meal a day. This could be Breakfast, Lunch or Tea/Dinner.  

All Food (including snacks) provided through the activity must meet 

the School Food Standards, developed through the Department of Education.  

Most of the food served through the Programme should be hot where possible. There may be exceptional circumstances where a hot meal is not possible, and a cold alternative may be appropriate.  


Food provided through the Programme must: 


  • Comply with appropriate Legislation, Regulations, Policies, Procedures and Guidance in relation to food preparation. 

  • Take into consideration allergies and dietary requirements. 

  • Consider any religious or cultural requirements for food. 

  • Provider must be a registered food business. 


Providers can view the School Food Standards on the Government's website. 


Food standards including hygiene and food standards qualifications and allergy information etc is the sole responsibility of the provider. Allergy awareness and cultural options should always be available, this is the responsibility of the provider. 


From October 2021, Providers need to be aware of and adhere to the new the requirements of the UK Food Labelling reform known as Natasha’s Law 


Policies, Procedures and Guidance 

Detail: All organisations delivering the HAF programme must be able to demonstrate that they have in place relevant and appropriate policies and procedures for: 

safeguarding, including the recruitment of staff and volunteers 

health and safety 

relevant insurance policies 

accessibility and inclusiveness 

Providers must have relevant and appropriate Policies, Procedures and Guidance in place in relation to: 


  • Safeguarding 

  • Health, Safety and Wellbeing 

  • Liability Insurance 



Detail: Quality Assurance and monitoring of the activities and providers will be completed on an informal basis by both the Hubb Foundation Team and Council commissioning Team and may include: 


Peer assessment 

Quality assurance visits 

Feedback from children, parents/carers (via online surveys or questionnaires) 

Case Studies  

Information to the Steering Group 

Evaluation & Data  

Detail: Lead Providers will be required to submit attendance records & any other evaluation information outlined within partner agreement to The Hubb Foundation by midday on FRIDAY 15TH SEPTEMBER. 

Other Key deliverables and requirements will be set out in our partner handbook and agreement. 

How can HAF be delivered? 

We have found that there is no one single solution that works for everyone. Just as there is a need for unique local delivery providers, each community has its own needs and the best approach for the community it serves.  

We welcome expression from providers to deliver Full provision where all DfE standards of delivery can be provided by school or delivery provider. 

Or Partial (can provide some elements of standards) provision,

The Hubb Foundation will coordinate through Partnership (working alongside other organisations) to provide elements to compliment and to fulfil delivery standards at each session. (Shown in Joint approach model detailed below) 


School/Community Venue Led 

School/Community staff deliver all activities.  


Food is produced on site at the school/community .  


Sessions are promoted and booking made by the venue through own system or utilising coordinate sport platform 

Provider Led

Providers lead sessions from school or community facilities.  


Food provided by provider or external catering company.  


Sessions are promoted and bookings taken through provider system or coordinate sport platform.  

Joint Approach

School/Community host the activities. 

School/venue staff and local activity providers deliver session activities between them jointly.  


Food externally provided or produced onsite by venue or provider. 


Promotion done through both the school/community and delivery partner 

We have found the Joint-delivery Model as the most impactful, with venue staff & external activity providers offering a variety of activity to meet the needs of young people. & meals being supplied through a third-party catering partner. 

  • We welcome expression to provide sessions which can be classed as either closed (school offering places for their pupils only to access) or Open (i.e. community groups/schools identifying signposting and inviting Children & Young People from local community to attend). 



How does the funding work? 

Similar to the delivery model approach, we recognise a flexible approach is required to work with partners to achieve the required delivery. We recognise that not single solution works for all. 

A pre-agreed hourly rate (approx. £25 per hour) is in place between provider and the Hubb Foundation. Ratio is agreed proportional to the number of places available in your provision. & made up of both venue &/or core provider. This works effectively in the Joint Delivery approach.  

In circumstances where providers are proposing to deliver all (or most) of the delivery standards themselves, funding can be awarded via a pre-agreed per head cost (amount determined in proportion to the level of delivery). This model is paid on performance- linked to number of eligible places booked and then the actual attendance at the service session(s). 



Along with evidence of required policies and procedures, partners will be sent a copy of our Partner Agreement prior to the provision to read and sign. This includes a data processing agreement, our SLA, payment terms, etc. Within this agreement, there is also information relating to minimum standards on health & safety, food provision, safeguarding, policies, etc.  

There are several deliverables (such as booking forms, marketing steps, and attendance records) which must be completed for each event. Further details of this will be provided in our ‘Partner Handbook’.  


Key Points: 

Eligibility: the provision is aimed at free school meal eligible (income related or universal) children, this cohorts needs to make up 85% of the attendance. However, there is addition opportunity available to support children deemed as disadvantaged/vulnerable/at risk (historically we have used our partnerships with schools who have pre-existing relationships with these families to help us target them by stealth) 

Activity Providers: The Hubb Foundation will link you with wider enrichment providers and activity instructors ranging from adventurous activities, art, physical activities and music etc.  

Food: The Hubb Foundation will coordinate the provision of Food, from third party providers, as required 

Evaluation Data: After each holiday period, specific data returns will need to be returned by the led provider, to ensure reporting to the local authority allowing them to report back to the funding body the department for education: what the cost of the programme has been. how many children participated in your programme during the last holiday period including, but not restricted to: the overall number of unique children who participated in the programme the overall number of unique children in receipt of FSM who participated in your programme the number and proportion of children who are in the: primary school age range secondary school age range any children outside of those age ranges who attended the programme. (more detail can be found in the Data Processing Agreement within partner agreement) 


How to get involved

Expression of interest is now open for schools, community groups and providers to express interest in leading HAF activity during the Winter school holidays (Wednesday 27th December - Friday 5th December).

Please complete the relevant link to express your interest in leading HAF activiites -

Schools based–

Community venue/provider based –


We also welcome providers, who we would catergorise as 'enrichment providers' who are placed into various HAF sessions, and commissioned to deliver activities or experiences, to express and interest in being involved in the Winter HAF programme. If you would like to be considered as an enrichment provider please complete the below link-

Provider –

Initial deadline to submit an expression is 5pm on Friday 6th October 


bottom of page