Nicola Higgins, Principal Teacher of Pastoral Care. says:
”As a school we are fully committed to supporting our pupils and parents wherever possible. Reducing the Cost of The School Day is in our school improvement plan, and it has been a big priority for us for several years.”
To make sure that families were aware of the support offered, the Cost of the School Day working group compiled an information booklet in consultation with Senior Leadership Team and the Pupil Support Team. Nicola says that:
“The main purpose of the Information Booklet was to bring all of the supports available together, in the one place, to make it easier for everyone. Contact details and weblinks were inserted where appropriate. We wanted the information booklet to have enough detail in it, however it was also important that the document wasn’t too content heavy or too long.”
The information booklet forms a key part of the S1 enrolment pack to help support families as soon as children arrive at the school. There are a few other essential items:
“The pack includes an enrolment checklist, which is used by the Depute Headteacher who is conducting the enrolment meeting. Based on the family circumstances this checklist can be used to ensure the pupil and their family has everything they need for starting school. It also ensures that we are sharing all of the supports at this initial meeting and that they have the documents to look over later too, if required. Also included in the pack is information on free school meals, the clothing grant, our Financial Inclusion Support Officer information booklet and an information leaflet and a comprehensive list of free school activities that are on at lunchtime and after school.”
Raising awareness with pupils is also a key part of the school action plan. Staff have been delivering presentations in year group assemblies and delivering lessons on poverty awareness during Challenge Poverty Week.
There have been follow up Personal and Social Education classes with all pupils with surveys to gauge awareness of current support and find out what more can be done to reduce the cost of the school day.
“It was crucial for us to remove any barriers where possible and make sure that our whole school community know the supports available, where to access them and who to talk to if they have any questions, worries or concerns.”