ASCL responds to £170m Covid Winter Grant Scheme

08/11/2020
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders comments on the announcement of a £170m Covid Winter Grant Scheme and the expansion of the Holiday Activities and Food Programme in 2021.
 
Commenting on the announcement of a £170m Covid Winter Grant Scheme and the expansion of the Holiday Activities and Food Programme in 2021, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“We welcome the announcement of more funding to support disadvantaged families, particularly during school holiday periods

The commitment of £170m channelled via local authorities to the end of March appears to address the immediate need to ensure that children do not go hungry over the Christmas and February half-term holidays. 

We are at a loss to understand why this scheme could not have been introduced in time for the October half-term holiday which has recently finished.

Nevertheless, the commitment over the next few months is a positive step forward and should help to address the fact that the financial circumstances of many struggling families will have worsened as a result of the Covid emergency. 

We would like to see more detail about the longer term plan to greatly increase the funding available for the holiday activities and food programme.

It will be important to ensure that children in the greatest need benefit from this programme and we will be seeking assurances about the processes to ensure this will be the case. 

It is a huge spending commitment so it must be delivered as effectively as possible.”