"Claim ‘school isn’t free’ as pupils miss out on subjects due to costs" - The Scotsman, 19 April 2018
John Dickie, director of the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, giving evidence at the Scottish Parliament Education and Skills Committee's inquiry into poverty and attainment, highlighted Cost of the School Day evidence of the impact of having to pay for curriculum costs in subjects such as home economics, art and design, technical studies, English and drama and music.
“The reality is that too often education isn’t free; what’s offered in school isn’t free, pupils and families are being charged for it...There is real evidence of young people actually making subject choices influenced by cost...There’s two things: pupils are actually missing out on those subjects, not being able to participate, or their ability to enjoy those subjects, knowing that is causing a stress for them and their families to participate, is diminished.”
In response, a Scottish Government spokeswoman made clear that charging pupils should not be happening in Scottish schools.
“All children should expect to be able to access all subjects. It is not acceptable for schools to ask pupils to pay for a core part of their curriculum... Councils have a legal responsibility for providing an adequate and efficient education, suitable to the needs of every child. Within this settlement, sufficient resource should be made available to schools for supplies and equipment, with specific levels of funding for schools determined by individual councils.”