This briefing paper builds on findings from the Cost of the School Day project and wider evidence to consider what actions could reduce costs throughout the school day for families on low incomes.
The paper identifies four key actions that could help address some of these barriers:
- Involve children, teachers and parents in a ‘whole-school’ approach to minimise the impact of costs and to tackle stigma.
- Ensure equal access to resources, such as school clothing, classroom materials and transport, as well as after-school activities.
- Consider the merits of extending universal free school meal entitlement beyond the first three years of primary education to include all primary school pupils.
- Test new ways of maximising family income, such as providing access to money advice services during registration of children entering primary school
Although these are not silver bullets that will abolish child poverty, each individual action, and all together, are positive steps towards ensuring that all children have the opportunity to enjoy growing up, learning and achieving their full potential.