David Butterfield

1. How did you distribute the COVID Winter Grant to vulnerable families, i.e. cash, food parcels or retail supermarket vouchers?
2. Did you use this grant to distribute financial support to families of children eligible for free school meals?
3. How many children were eligible for Free School Meals and how many children claimed financial support via the grant scheme?
4. Did you use the grant to distribute support to other vulnerable families / individuals and if so, which groups, i.e. homeless etc.?
5. If using supermarket vouchers
(a) which supplier(s) did you use to distribute the vouchers?
(b) how did you choose a supplier?
(c) what were your top 3 mandatory requirements for the service?
(d) did you coordinate the ordering to all beneficiaries/recipients, or was access delegated to schools to administer and order?
(e) did you enter into a direct contract with the supplier or call off via a framework?
(f) when does your contract end?
6. Following Government's extension of the COVID Winter Grant, will you continue to fund Free School Meal vouchers in May half-term and summer holidays?
7. Which role(s) and job functions manage the contract for this service?

FOI, Cambridgeshire County Council

Dear David Butterfield
 
Re: Freedom of Information Request - Ref 1579796.
 
Thank you for your email. Your request will be dealt with in line with the
Freedom of Information Act and its regulations. In accordance with the
Act, the Council aims to respond to all requests within 20 working days,
in this instance by 21/05/2021.
 
If we require further information, clarification or a fee in order to
fulfil your request we will contact you again. Please quote the reference
number above in all future correspondence concerning this request.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Steve Thompson
Information Management Analyst
 
Information Governance Team
Cambridgeshire County Council
OCT 1224, Shire Hall, Castle Hill, Cambridge CB3 0AP
T: 01223 699137
 
 
 

show quoted sections

FOI, Cambridgeshire County Council

Dear David Butterfield

 

Freedom of Information Act request response – Ref 1579796

 

Cambridgeshire County Council has now considered your request under the
Freedom of Information Act. We can confirm that we do hold the information
requested by you. Please find our response as set out below.

 

 

Your request:

 

1. How did you distribute the COVID Winter Grant to vulnerable families,
i.e. cash, food parcels or retail supermarket vouchers?

 

2. Did you use this grant to distribute financial support to families of
children eligible for free school meals?

 

3. How many children were eligible for Free School Meals and how many
children claimed financial support via the grant scheme?

 

4. Did you use the grant to distribute support to other vulnerable
families / individuals and if so, which groups, i.e. homeless etc.?

 

5. If using supermarket vouchers

(a) which supplier(s) did you use to distribute the vouchers?

(b) how did you choose a supplier?

(c) what were your top 3 mandatory requirements for the service?

(d) did you coordinate the ordering to all beneficiaries/recipients, or
was access delegated to schools to administer and order?

(e) did you enter into a direct contract with the supplier or call off via
a framework?

(f) when does your contract end?

 

6. Following Government's extension of the COVID Winter Grant, will you
continue to fund Free School Meal vouchers in May half-term and summer
holidays?

 

7. Which role(s) and job functions manage the contract for this service?

 

 

Our response:

 

1. How did you distribute the COVID Winter Grant to vulnerable families,
i.e. cash, food parcels or retail supermarket vouchers?
A blended model of delivery has been developed with support being offered
through food vouchers, fuel tokens, small cash payments accessed via
PayPoint outlets, physical items including food, essential supplies, white
goods etc.

2. Did you use this grant to distribute financial support to families of
children eligible for free school meals?

Our primary cohort was: 

o Funded Childcare and Education for 2-year-olds under the income
based criteria (children aged 2)  
o Early Years Pupil Premium under the income based criteria (children
aged 3 and 4)  
o Free School Meals (children and young people aged 4 to 16)  
o 16-19 students in Sixth Forms eligible for Free School meals or for
the 16+ bursary (young people aged 16 to 19).

However, we also worked with schools and other professionals to support
families and individuals identified as 'just about managing'. 

3. How many children were eligible for Free School Meals and how many
children claimed financial support via the grant scheme?

 

As of the January 2021 census, Cambridgeshire has 15,803 children eligible
for Free School Meals. Throughout the scheme, 59,574 children have been
offered support. It is important to note these aren't unique requests for
help for individual children as many will have been supported at
Christmas, during February half term and the Easter holiday.

4. Did you use the grant to distribute support to other vulnerable
families / individuals and if so, which groups, i.e. homeless etc.?

 

Yes, in addition to the primary cohorts above, we also targeted households
as follows:

·        

o Households who receive income-related benefits
o Households facing financial hardship – who Councils are aware of
o Families identified as ‘just about managing’ by schools
o Anyone with an Education, Health and Care Plan
o Care Leavers
o Young Carers
o People with 'no recourse to public funds'

 

5. If using supermarket vouchers

(a) which supplier(s) did you use to distribute the vouchers? 

Wonde.

(b) how did you choose a supplier? 

We engaged with a number of suppliers who can distribute vouchers through
their system once data from schools has been provided and uploaded into
their system. We proceeded with Wonde because they were already being
utilised by 80% of our schools, considerably reducing the administrative
burden. This has reduced the need to share substantial amounts of personal
data due to the existing relationships with schools. There was also an
effective system to make payments to families who are not accessing
schools. ​

(c) what were your top 3 mandatory requirements for the service? ​

A system that ensured we can deliver at speed to ensure families quickly
and easily received support.

Cost effective to ensure as much of the grant goes to support families
(e.g. no administrative charge for vouchers).

A process that doesn't create too much of an administrative burden to the
schools or local authority.

 

(d) did you coordinate the ordering to all beneficiaries/recipients, or
was access delegated to schools to administer and order?

We took a blended approach to delivery, working closely with the schools
and education settings whereby the local authority would order most
vouchers but work with schools and settings to ensure they were being sent
to the right place for families. 

 

(e) did you enter into a direct contract with the supplier or call off via
a framework?

Direct contract.

 

(f) when does your contract end?

As a result of the extension, a year-long contract is in place.

6. Following Government's extension of the COVID Winter Grant, will you
continue to fund Free School Meal vouchers in May half-term and summer
holidays?

Plans are still underway to see what funding is available for May
half-term support but it is our intention to continue to provide food
vouchers. 

7. Which role(s) and job functions manage the contract for this service?

This contract is managed within the Education service.

 

 

Complaints:

 

We hope this information is helpful but if you are unhappy with the
service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a
complaint or request a review, you should write to Information Management,
at either [1][Cambridgeshire County Council request email] or by post at Box No. OCT 1224,
Shire Hall, Cambridge CB3 0AP within 40 days of the date of this e-mail.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF, or via their website: [2]https://ico.org.uk/.

 

Generally, the ICO will not undertake a review or make a decision on a
request until the internal review process has been completed.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

Steve Thompson

Information Management Analyst

 

Information Governance Team

Cambridgeshire County Council

OCT 1224, Shire Hall, Castle Hill, Cambridge CB3 0AP

T: 01223 699137

 

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References

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David Butterfield

FAO Steve Thompson
Information Management Analyst

Hello Steve,

Thank you for your most comprehensive response which is hugely appreciated.

Best regards,

David Butterfield
Managing Director