Cost of the School Day - research and action for change

The Cost of the School Day approach is based on research in Glasgow schools into financial barriers to participation and children’s views on the best ways to overcome them. Find out about our initial research and the actions taken in response.

The Cost of the School Day research report presents learning and recommendations from children and staff, along with resources to support poverty proofing in other schools and local authorities:

  • From uniform and travel to lunch, trips, clubs and home learning: the key financial barriers affecting children’s participation and experiences at school
  • Existing good practice measures which reduce costs, ensure equal access to opportunities and reduce poverty related stigma, along with ideas about what more can be done
  • Recommendations to local authorities, schools and other stakeholders
  • Resources to support poverty proofing, including reflective questions and sample sessions for children
  • Examples of simple initial changes made by schools participating in Cost of the School Day, including removing the need for expensive badged uniform, improving communications with parents about financial support and starting homework clubs.

Read the Executive Summary

Read the full Cost of the School Day Report


Action taken in Glasgow in response to the report

Following publication of the research in 2015, funding from Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership and Glasgow Centre for Population Health supported action around several recommendations made in the report, including:


Learning from the Cost of the School Day project - Briefing paper 49 - Glasgow Centre for Population Health

This briefing paper from Glasgow Centre for Population Health builds on the Cost of the School Day project and wider evidence, including research on education and literacy, public health and social policy, and national data, to consider further actions to reduce barriers across the school day.

 Tangible actions identified in this paper include:

  1. a ‘whole-school’ approach that involves children, teachers and parents in the process of minimising the impact of school costs and tackling the stigma around poverty 
  2. a need to ensure equal access to resources, such as school clothing, classroom materials and transport, as well as extra-curricular activities, at a school, local authority and national level 
  3. consideration of emerging evidence on the merits of extending universal free school meal entitlement beyond the first three years of primary education to include all children in Primary 4 to 7 
  4. maximising family income to address cost barriers by testing out new partnership models, such as providing access to money advice services during registration of children entering primary school.

Read the briefing paper here.


For more information about Cost of the School Day get in touch costoftheschoolday@cpagscotland.org.uk