Learning lessons from last lockdown: what helps school children and families on low incomes
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:
Children and families say what helped during school closures and what to consider this term.
For use during in service days, at meetings or smaller group sessions, and for individual reflection and professional development.
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.
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.
This easy to use guide lays out the five straightforward steps to successfully tackling financial barriers in schools.
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
- 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
- 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]