Cost of the School Day | CPAG

Cost of the School Day

breaking down the financial barriers to education

The Cost of Learning in Lockdown

To understand how lockdown has impacted children’s experience of learning this year, we conducted some research through surveys and interviews. Our Cost of Learning in Lockdown report (March 2021 update) contains our findings and recommendations about what has helped and what more is needed to support families during this period.

Read the UK report 

Read the Scotland report

Why address the Cost of the School Day?

“Education is free but a lot of school things are not.”

Member of the Children’s Parliament, age 11, Children’s Parliament The Weight on our Shoulders report

Families living on low incomes often struggle with the cost of the school day. Uniforms, trips, school lunches, gym kits, pencils and pens, and dress down days can be difficult or impossible to afford. When children and young people can’t take part in opportunities because of financial barriers, they not only miss out but feel different as a result, and it is harder for them to learn, achieve and be happy at school.

At the same time, we know that poverty has a ferocious and long lasting effect on children’s health and wellbeing, and affects their ability to learn. Children from low-income households are also more likely to report feeling useless and hopeless about their future. There is currently a significant and persistent gap in attainment between children from lower and higher income families, yet we know that if children can do well at school they can have better employment prospects. Education can represent a route out of poverty, but crucially only if children can fully access that education.

“Well I think if all of your friends or people you know go to the after school clubs, school trips, that kind of isolates you from them. You're singled out, you're not with them, just a spare person.

Boy, age 15

How does the Cost of the School Day project work?

 

The Cost of the School Day helps school communities identify and overcome cost barriers that shape and limit children’s opportunities at school. This project sees children, parents and school staff identify these cost barriers and take action to remove them. Read about some of the successes so far.

Team photoThis new work builds on our existing Cost of the School Day project in Scotland with the addition of the ‘poverty proofing’ expertise of our partners Children North East.

If we want to tackle poverty, every child from a low-income household must be able to make the most of the school day.

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New Cost of the School Day Films

We've just launched our new films and information for school communities. Find out how schools around Scotland are making Cost of the School Day changes.

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About our team

The Cost of the School Day team works across the UK including in Scotland, England and Wales.

The difference Cost of the School Day makes

Taking a Cost of the School Day approach helps schools to mitigate the effects of child poverty.

Resources, Support and Training in Scotland

How we can support your Cost of the School Day approach.
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COST OF THE SCHOOL DAY TOOLKIT

Helping your school community to address the Cost of the School Day

What’s already happening

Just some of the great Cost of the School Day initiatives in schools.

New evaluation published

New evaluation commissioned by NHS Health Scotland shows the positive impact that Cost of the School Day is having in schools.

A head teacher’s view

A primary school head teacher writes about the impact of this project in his school.
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Local authorities taking the lead

What local authorities around Scotland are doing to address the Cost of the School Day.
Man and child

Parents, carers and Parent Councils

Working together to make a difference to the school day.
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reports and publications

Further reading about the Cost of the School Day.

Latest news

Upcoming webinars - Talking about Costs and Money at School

17 May 2021
Register for one of our upcoming Talking about Costs and Money at School webinars in partnership with National Parent Forum of Scotland and Education Scotland.

Cost of the School Day Spotlight 4: Comhairle nan Eilean Siar/ Western Isles Council

17 May 2021
In the final of four blog posts showcasing different Cost of the School Day approaches in Scottish local authorities, Rachel Macdonald and Donald Macleod of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar/ Western Isles Council tell us about the key role that Education Attainment Apprentices play in tackling financial barriers and supporting children's inclusion, participation and engagement.

Cost of the School Day Spotlight 3: Dundee City Council

17 May 2021
In the third of four blog posts showcasing different Cost of the School Day approaches in Scottish local authorities, Fiona Low of Dundee City Council tells us about their journey so far and the priority this work continues to have in the city.