The Scottish Parliament Education and Skills Committee has made a number of recommendations relevant to Cost of the School Day following its inquiry into the impact of poverty on attainment and achievement of school-aged children and young people.
The Committee recommends a range of activities focused on removing cost barriers to education and supporting families on low incomes.
- Scottish Government to survey all education authorities to establish which authorities sanction charging for in-school activities and the level of these charges and to undertake a review of which elements of the experiences offered by schools may attract a charge and the cumulative impact of these charges
- During standard review processes of their schools, education authorities should undertake impact assessments on existing policies and associated practices to assess the impact on low-income families.
- Education authorities ensure that school leaders are mindful of potential impacts of school practice on families with low incomes and are equipped to undertake equality impact assessments if necessary
- Excessively expensive or unnecessary pieces of school uniform should not be required. Reducing the complexity of school uniforms would reduce the cost burden of education on families. The Committee recommends that education authorities invite schools to poverty-proof their uniform policies and ensure that schools should have an emphasis on supportive policies that are mindful of young people who, due to poverty, do not have the full school uniform
- Scottish Government should undertake a cost-benefit analysis of rolling out a system of using more schools as hubs for income maximisation advisory services.