The Cost of the School Day project

Cost of the School Day logo

Addressing financial barriers at school for families, children and young people

"Children who are unable to participate in the same activities as their peers will very often not feel included and this can have a negative impact on health and wellbeing. The key is finding possible solutions to ensure all children have the same opportunities." (Primary teacher)

School costs can put pressure on low-income families and put children at risk of missing out on opportunities and feeling different, excluded and unhappy. The Cost of the School Day involves children and young people, parents/carers and school staff in identifying financial barriers and in taking action to remove them.

  • Ensuring equal access to opportunities at school and removing barriers to learning and participation for children and young people from low income households
  • Minimising opportunities for poverty stigma and exclusion amongst children and young people
  • Reducing the pressures which school costs place on low family incomes and supporting families to access financial entitlements and maximise their incomes
  • Ensuring that Pupil Equity Funding is accurately used to remove financial barriers at school for children and young people from low income households.

Cost of the School Day is recommended as an Intervention for Equity in the Pupil Equity Fund National Operational Guidance, as a priority in the Scottish Government's Fairer Scotland Action Plan.and as a key theme in the Scottish Government's Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan 2018-22.

The main impact of the project in our school is a change of mind-set. Rather than going ahead and doing things, we’re really thinking carefully about costs and financial impact on our children and families - the phrase ‘cost of the school day’ comes up constantly now in our planning and discussions. It’s not just an initiative or project where we go back to normal after it’s finished, there’s been a real shift in our thinking.” (Head Teacher, Glasgow)

Find out more about our work, use our resources and learn about the support we offer to local authorities and schools interested in addressing the Cost of the School Day:
For more information about Cost of the School Day get in touch costoftheschoolday@cpagscotland.org.uk.

Support for Cost of the School Day: Scottish Government (2018-present), Dundee City Council (2017-present), NHS Health Scotland (2017-18), Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (2014-16), Glasgow Centre for Population Health and Glasgow City Council (2014-15).