Cost of the School Day in Dundee | CPAG

Cost of the School Day in Dundee

CPAG in Scotland worked with Dundee from 2016 through to 2020, funded through the Scottish Attainment Challenge to support schools and Dundee City Council to understand common financial barriers at school and take action to reduce them. Cost of the School Day in Dundee was a key recommendation of the 2016 Dundee Fairness Commission. It was decided to launch a citywide approach to "identify and remove key cost barriers so that all children and young people from low income households can fully engage in their education."

Dundee City Council launches its 4 Cost of the School Day statements of intent - October 2018

Following the findings of the Cost of the School Day Dundee report, we were delighted to work together with Dundee City Council to launch their four Cost of the School Day statements of intent on Friday 26th October at the new North East campus.

1. No child or young person in Dundee will start school without a breakfast

2. No child in Dundee will miss out on their Primary 7 residential trip due to cost

3. All schools will develop a Cost of the School Day action plan by the end of session 2018/2019

4. All children and young people in Dundee schools will have access to an affordable school uniform

Pupils from Longhaugh Primary School, St Francis RC Primary School and Quarryview Nursery were there to help launch the pledges. CPAG staff were joined by Audrey May, Chief Education Officer, Stewart Hunter, Children and Families Convener, Peter Allan, Community Planning Manager and Head Teacher representatives from Longhaugh, St Francis and Braeview Academy.

Councillor Hunter said:

“These four statements of intent form the initial response from the council to a thorough piece of research by the Cost of the School Day project. The report was called for by the Fairness Commission, which is a constant influence on the way that the council goes about its business. We are determined to make Dundee a better city for all and the continuing work of the project will assist us in tackling the financial barriers faced by many families “

Sara Spencer, Cost of the School Day Project Manager at CPAG in Scotland, said:

“We are delighted that Dundee City Council has responded so swiftly to the challenges described by children and families in the Cost of the School Day Dundee report and set out such a clear statement of intent. Meaningful action from the council in these different areas will mean that all children in Dundee make the most of everything school has to offer them without financial barriers standing in their way.”

Dundee City Council continues to fund Cost of the School Day and over the next few months we will be working with schools to implement these pledges alongside the report’s recommendations. CPAG in Scotland is excited to see the difference these can make for children, young people and their families in Dundee.


Cost of the School Day Dundee report - June 2018

  • Consultation with pupils and parents in Dundee schools highlights financial barriers to participation for pupils from low-income households and good practice in overcoming them.
  • Work now ongoing with schools across Dundee to act on Cost of the School Day recommendations in report.

We are delighted to share the Cost of the School Day Dundee report and summary report, highlighting the cost barriers children from low-income families face in Dundee schools and setting out the ways those barriers can be removed. Cost of the School Day Dundee was a key recommendation of the Dundee Fairness Commission in 2016.

"Children who are unable to participate in the same activities as their peers will very often not feel included and this can have a negative impact on health and wellbeing. The key is finding possible solutions to ensure all children have the same opportunities."

(Primary teacher)

The report is based on work with pupils, staff and family members in schools and nurseries across Dundee. It sets out how a range of costs across the school day can impact on pupils’ ability to participate, belong and achieve alongside their peers. Particular costs highlighted include lunch, uniform, trips - particularly the P7 residential - and charges for core subjects like Home Economics, Drama and Art.

“£2 a day [for lunch] over a year is a lot... if your mum and dad have two or three kids then that's a lot of money, especially if one of them is in high school.” (Pupil, P6)

“I dread it (school trips), it might just be £5 but you've still got to find the money from somewhere.” (Parent)

“Course fees are just really unfair. It’s not a free curriculum.” (Secondary teacher)

John Dickie, Director of CPAG in Scotland, says

“Many Dundee schools and staff working in them are clearly sensitive to the fact that lots of families are struggling financially, and there is fantastic work happening across the city to keep school costs low and to support families where needed. But cost barriers still remain and are preventing too many children from getting the most out of their education. We look forward to sharing the good practice examples and recommendations in this report, and welcome the real commitment shown in Dundee to ensure all children are able to fully participate at school.”