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RCT’s School Holiday Enrichment Programme agreed for summer 2021

RCT Council has now agreed its expanded School Holiday Enrichment Programme (SHEP) for young people across 15 settings this summer, which will include daily activities and the provision of healthy meals.

The Programme, also known as the ‘Food and Fun Programme’, will take place in 13 mainstream schools and two special schools from July 21 to August 5 – a full list of those settings is included below. The Programme will be delivered from 9.30am to 1.15pm each day, and will provide healthy meals, food and nutrition education, physical activities and enrichment sessions.

SHEP is targeted in some of the County Borough’s most socially deprived communities, taking place in the school summer holidays when free breakfast in primary schools and free school meals are unavailable. It is a time when some families face financial hardship struggle to afford or to access the food required for a healthy diet.

Each mainstream setting will have a maximum capacity of 40 pupils (aged 5-11) and 20 pupils (aged 7-19) in special schools. Places will be applied for via an online booking process and will be subject to availability – with prioritisation based on need. The 15 settings were selected due to a high percentage of pupils accessing free school meals provision in parts of the County Borough and access to on-site facilities.

Welsh Government has committed to supporting children who are eligible for free school meals throughout school holidays until the end of the current academic year. Funding for SHEP will also be made available across Wales, with its roll-out being coordinated by the Welsh Local Government Association. It is anticipated that the Programme’s cost in Rhondda Cynon Taf this summer will be £178,000.

The details of the Council’s School Holiday Enrichment Programme have now been agreed via a Delegated Decision made by Officers.

Councillor Joy Rosser, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Inclusion Services, said: “I’m very pleased that the Council has agreed its School Holiday Enrichment Programme for 2021 – to provide vulnerable young people with much-needed support during the summer break, which can be a challenging time for families. It will provide a number of opportunities for extended learning, social interaction and physical activities when invaluable term-time contact from schools is not available.

“The Council has successfully engaged in the Programme for the last four years and it is especially important in the pandemic, to help parents and carers meet the additional costs of the school holidays. Welsh Government has continued its support for free school meals up until the end of the school term, and a key part of SHEP is its provision of a healthy breakfast and lunchtime meal for those pupils in need during the summer holiday period.

“The 15 school settings have been chosen based on the high percentage of free school meals provision locally, and others for use of their facilities – with the Programme set to be of significant benefit to 560 young people and their families in some of our County Borough’s most deprived communities. The booking process will be communicated to parents and carers in due course.”

The 15 schools which will host the SHEP in summer 2021 include:

  • Craig-yr-Hesg Primary (pupils from the Glyncoch area).
  • Darran Park Primary (pupils from the wider Ferndale area).
  • Glenboi Primary School.
  • Hawthorn High (pupils from Hawthorn Primary and the wider Rhydyfelin area).
  • Llanharan Primary School.
  • Mountain Ash Comprehensive School.
  • Penrhys Primary School.
  • Perthcelyn Primary School.
  • Penywaun Community Primary School (pupils from the wider Penywaun area).
  • Porth Community School (pupils from the wider Porth area).
  • Tonyrefail Community School (pupils from the wider Tonyrefail area).
  • Ynysboeth Primary School.
  • Ysgol Nantgwyn (pupils from the wider Tonypandy area).
  • Ysgol Hen Felin.
  • Ysgol Ty Coch.