Proposed decision –
As Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, I agree to:
i) Authorise the Corporate Director Children, Young People and Education to accept the Holiday Activity and Food Grant for 2023-24 (£5.56m) in full for use in accordance with the grant determination letter issued by the Department for Education and the relevant terms and conditions.
ii) Authorise the Corporate Director Children, Young People and Education to accept future allocations of Holiday Activity and Food Grant in full for use in accordance with the grant determination letter which will be issued by the Department for Education and the relevant terms and conditions, provided these remain substantially the same as the current.
iii) Delegate authority to Corporate Director Children, Young People and Education to manage and deploy the accepted Holiday Activity and Food Grant in accordance with the grant conditions and arrangements detailed in this report, including entering into contracts, grant agreements and any other legal agreements, and be the nominated Authority Representative within the relevant agreements and to enter into variations as envisaged under the contracts.
Reason for the decision
The Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF) has been successfully delivered in Kent for the past two years, under the wider Reconnect: Kent Children and Young People Programme. It has been growing in popularity with eligible families, and has provided an invaluable form of support during school holidays to children and young people who ordinarily receive benefits related free school meals.
The grant determination letter was received from the Department for Education on 20 December 2023, setting out the Authority’s funding allocation and the grant terms and conditions. The grant needs to be accepted swiftly and authority delegated to enable the necessary arrangements to be made to deliver HAF provision during the Easter holidays, which commence 3 April 2023.
The preferred option is to accept the grant and to continue to delegate authority to the Corporate Director Children, Young People and Education to deploy the funding and manage arrangements in order to delivery Kent’s HAF programme. The Education People are currently commissioned to manage the programme on behalf of the County Council and this arrangement will continue in the immediacy.
The Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Services has been consulted and supports acceptance of the grant and future service delivery.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;
Decision status: Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)
Division affected: (All Division);
Notice of proposed decision first published: 19/01/2023
This decision will be taken under urgency procedures.
Reason for urgency:
The DfE wrote to the LA on 20 December 2023, with the grant determination letter. KCC are being asked to accept the grant and terms and conditions by 16th January. The next HAF delivery period is Easter 2023, which starts 3 April. The work to ensure provision is in place and enable parents to book in good time is already underway. KCC will need to begin making financial commitments using funds from the 2023-24 allocation in February. The LA have contacted the DfE to request an extension to the deadline to accept the grant term and conditions to allow for the governance procedures.
Decision due: Not before 27th Jan 2023 by Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Lead member: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Lead director: Christine McInnes
Department: Education & Young People's Services
Contact: David Adams, Area Education Officer - South Kent 03000 414989 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01233 898559.
Financial implications: The HAF grant, £5.56m in 2023-24 and similar in 2024-25, can only be used for the stated purposes – delivery of HAF provision. Up to 10% can be spent on management and administration, and up to 2% on capital items. Expenditure is audited by the DfE to ensure it is compliant with the grant conditions. The S151 Officer has to sign off the County Council’s expenditure return to the DfE. Unspent funding has to be returned to the DfE. As demand for HAF places increases further the risk of exceeding the funding envelope available materialises. This will be managed by only commissioning the number of places that can be afforded.
Legal implications: The grant conditions will need to be adhered to.
Equalities implications: An Equalities Impact Assessment has completed. This indicates there are positive impacts in delivering a HAF programme, and the positives outweigh any negative impacts for any particular group.