Cost of the school day

Making festive fun more inclusive

02 December 2021
For many children, the run-up to the Christmas holidays is packed with excitement, twinkling lights and glitter. However, this fun and festivity also means additional school-related expenses for families. Our blog explores how these cost pressures can affect families and children, and how schools can shift towards a more inclusive festive season.

Cost of the School Day Advent Calendars

In December, school calendars are packed with additional events and activities, which often come at a cost. Our Advent calendar has daily thinking points and ideas for schools to help them support low-income families and make sure the lead-up to Christmas is full of inclusive fun for pupils.

Let’s not stop at school uniform

20 November 2021
The release of the new statutory guidance for schools in England on uniform on Friday was welcome news, but let's not stop there.

Cost of the School Day calendar 2021-22

The Cost of the School Day calendar aims to help schools identify possible cost barriers during the academic year and think about some alternatives to make sure all children and young people can fully participate in education. Throughout the calendar, we’ve included ideas and good practice examples from schools across England, Scotland and Wales who have taken part in the Cost of the School Day project.

Challenge Poverty Week guest blog: Reducing the Cost of the School Day with #YSAttain

06 October 2021
At the Cost of the School Day project we know that costs throughout the school day can pile pressure on families and affect young people’s participation, learning and wellbeing. This Challenge Poverty Week, we hear from our partners at Young Scot about how their #YSAttain project is helping young people take part and saving their families money.

Time for Lunch: why children in poverty are currently denied free school meals

03 September 2021
For children living in poverty, school should be a place where they can access learning and essential opportunities in the same way as their peers. Free school meals should be available so children can eat during their school day without any worry and parents have one less thing to think about. That way, children can focus on learning, playing and fully participating in their education. Unfortunately, for more than a third of children in poverty in the UK, access to a free daily meal at school is denied.

Back to school – supporting pupils from low-income families in England

01 September 2021
For many pupils, families and school staff, excitement has been building for the start of the new school year. However, for some families experiencing poverty, this can be a time of anxiety. A time of increased costs as uniforms, PE kits, travel cards and stationery are needed. But there are some straightforward steps that schools can take to ensure that all families and children get off to a great start.

One million children in poverty miss out on free school meals in the UK

31 August 2021
A new report from Child Poverty Action Group and Covid Realities shows that 36% (about 1 million) of all school-aged children in poverty in the UK are not entitled to a free meal at school. The analysis shows that despite a rise in the number of children claiming FSMs between March 2020 and March 2021, restrictive eligibility criteria still prevent many in poverty from accessing any form of free school meal provision.

Fixing Lunch: The case for expanding free school meals

31 August 2021
Free school meal (FSM) provision has been thrust into the media spotlight during the pandemic. But how widespread is FSM coverage? How do parents feel about FSM provision? And what do they think could be done to improve it?

Working Group guide for schools in England

A Cost of the School Day working group can support, guide and monitor your school’s efforts to reduce costs and remove barriers to participation in education for children from low-income families.