Resources, support and training | CPAG

Resources, support and training

Learning lessons from last lockdown: what helps school children and families on low incomes

As a second lockdown begins, school buildings and playgrounds across Scotland are once again closed, and families face more home learning. We all know 2020 was an incredibly difficult year for many of us, but for those living on lower incomes the extra pressure has made maintaining family life even harder. As we enter a second lockdown what can we do to ensure school at home will work for everyone? From what children and parents told us last time around, we have established a set of actions and guidelines to help us move forward. PDF iconClick here for our key recommendations.

New resources for the 2020 / 2021 school year in Scotland


The Covid-19 crisis means that many more children and young people face new challenges to their ability to participate fully in the school day. Job losses, furlough and drops in income have pushed more families into poverty and we already know the serious effect that financial hardship can have on children and young people’s learning and wellbeing.

So it’s now more important than ever that we are all aware of the effects of poverty on children and young people and what we can do to reduce or remove financial pressures to learning and participation. To build awareness of the issues and help schools make those vital changes to their communities, the Cost of the School Day project has produced a new set of resources for school staff in Scotland. 


The resources are available for you to download and use here: 

Learning from Lockdown and returning to school

Children and families say what helped during school closures and what to consider this term. 

Poverty and Cost of the School Day - awareness raising slide presentation, including a short film  

For use during in service days, at meetings or smaller group sessions, and for individual reflection and professional development. 

Supporting notes for Poverty and Cost of the School Day awareness raising slide presentation

Child poverty estimate slides for each local authority area in Scotland  

Notes to support delivery of the main Poverty and Cost of the School Day presentation and slides showing child poverty estimates for each ward in your local authority.  

Short film - Why Cost of the School Day makes a difference 

Staff and pupils in schools across Scotland tell us what they are doing to reduce the cost of the school day, and why these changes are making a difference in their school communities. 

Cost of the School Day a 'How to' guide  

This easy to use guide lays out the five straightforward steps to successfully tackling financial barriers in schools.  

Essential advice and guidance on how to set up a Cost of the School Day working group 

Guidance on developing an effective working group to help drive change and draw on experiences and solutions from across the whole school community. 


Contact the Cost of the School Day team at [email protected] with any feedback on these resources and to share further good practice and innovative solutions occuring in your school. 


Awareness raising and advisory support 
The Cost of the School Day team is funded to provide awareness raising and advisory support to schools and local authorities through: 
  • Input to local Head Teacher or cluster meetings or local authority wide forums, network meetings or child poverty events.
  • Guidance on starting Cost of the School Day projects in schools.
  • Engagement with council Cost of the School Day working groups.
  • Advice on local authority position statements and Cost of the School Day policies.
  • Support to use resources and materials, including the Cost of the School Day Toolkit.

Get in touch to arrange any of these inputs: [email protected]


Training for school staff
We can deliver professional learning sessions for school staff at Inset days, two hour twilight sessions or half day sessions. Our core Cost of the School Day session supports participants to:
  • Understand the causes and extent of poverty, and its impact on children and families.
  • Reflect on the Cost of the School Day and identify its impact on family budgets, learner wellbeing and participation.
  • Find out about the Cost of the School Day practice taking place in other schools across Scotland, and identify their own good practice.
  • Learn about the resources and support available to take this work forward, including use of the Cost of the School Day Toolkit.
  • Identify practical actions to address financial barriers, which can be taken back to their own settings and shared more widely.

In Dundee, over 300 staff took part in professional learning sessions and reported a deeper awareness of the impact of poverty on children and families, greater motivation and the confidence to address the financial barriers to learning.

“Cost of the School Day awareness led to the school being successful in applying for Magic Breakfast support and has secured two years’ worth of funding to provide free breakfast for all pupils.” 

"I wasn't aware of the scale of child poverty. This has really opened my eyes to want to make people aware of this." 

“As a result of attending, I am much more conscious of asking for money for school activities. I now look for other ways to support funding of events.” 

For those working with children and families in schools we offer Cost of the School Day and the benefits system sessions, delivered by our welfare rights advisors. These sessions provide:

  • An understanding of child poverty and its impact on children and their families.
  • Insight into common financial barriers at school and ways to overcome them, with the opportunity to reflect on these issues in your own settings.
  • An overview of the benefits system with emphasis on how to help children and families in a school setting.
  • Practical tips and advice for supporting families to manage universal credit claims effectively.

“I feel all teachers should do this course.”

“I have more confidence to challenge aspects of school practice that may have negative impact.”

Get in touch with us to discuss your training needs: [email protected]


Direct work in school communities 
We can work directly in schools to consult with staff, pupils and parents on school costs and financial barriers. Schools receive an action report outlining barriers identified, current practice that is working well and areas which the school community think should be addressed further.
Costs depend on the scale of the consultation. Get in touch with us to discuss further: [email protected]