An investigation of holiday club provision: impact on children's educational attainment, nutritional intake and wider family benefits

Shinwell, Jackie (2019) An investigation of holiday club provision: impact on children's educational attainment, nutritional intake and wider family benefits. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

Text (Doctoral Thesis)
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The aim of the current thesis was to investigate the potential benefits, uses, and impact of holiday club provision with food on disadvantaged children’s nutritional intake, educational attainment and the social well-being of attendees and their parents and carers. A sequential mixed methods research design was adopted for this thesis. An initial qualitative study informed the development of hypothesis and variables to be used in two subsequent quantitative phases of data collection.
Study 1 was a qualitative investigation of the views of key stakeholders regarding holiday club provision, the findings of which are described and interpreted using the socio-ecological model of health. Study 1 found that organisations were motivated by concerns that children may be at risk of holiday hunger due to changes in UK Government policy relating to welfare and benefit reform. However, Study 1 found that the benefits of holiday club provision extended beyond just providing access to food. Benefits were demonstrated at an organisational, community, interpersonal and individual level in multiple ways. It was considered that the UK Government needed to be made aware of the issue of holiday hunger, the need for holiday clubs to address this need but that lack of appropriate funding hindered provision.
Study 2 provides a detailed analysis of the effect of holiday club attendance on children’s nutritional intake. Data on the nutritional intake of N = 21 children aged 3-11 years was recorded in a retrospective food diary, covering a 26 hour period, including lunch the day before they attended holiday club, up to and including lunch on the day they attended holiday club. The results showed that holiday clubs may have a positive effect on the type of food children eat for lunch. Overall however, there was no effect of attendance on the amount of energy or macronutrient content of the lunches children ate and the majority of children did not eat enough food at lunch time on a day they did not attend and a day they attended holiday club. This suggests that clubs need advice and guidance on food to be provided in holiday club settings. Furthermore, on a day children did not attend holiday club, the majority children did not meet recommended intake 5 levels for fruit, vegetables, water or sugar sweetened beverages but what they did eat and drink reflected UK children’s intake as reported in the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS).
Studies 3a, 3b, 3c and 3d provide a quantitative investigation of the effect of a six or seven week summer holiday on children’s educational achievements in spelling, word reading and maths computation and the effect of holiday club attendance on children’s performance in these domains. Participants were aged 5-11 years of age and lived and attended primary schools in areas of high deprivation in Scotland and the North East of England. Results suggested that a stagnation in learning occurred across the summer holiday in each of the domains investigated and that attendance at holiday club had no effect on educational achievement.
The studies presented in this thesis are timely and offer useful insight for practitioners and policy makers involved in the development and delivery of holiday clubs. However, they also highlight key areas for consideration in future research on holiday club provision for disadvantaged children.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Holiday hunger, holiday provision, summer learning loss, socio-ecological model of health, holiday club
Subjects: B400 Nutrition
L300 Sociology
L500 Social Work
X300 Academic studies in Education
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2020 15:36
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 20:01

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