The Depute Head Teacher at Brunstane Primary School in Edinburgh believes that being transparent about help available to families to reduce costs helps parents develop trust in the school.
“When attempts to reduce school costs were first introduced to parents the ideas around this were new, but now that parents have seen the various ways in which we seek to help, like the uniform bank, the grab and go food for instance."
"And what we do is out in the open and we are matter of fact about that, parents can see that the school isn’t making a judgement about them. Parents can get help and it isn’t painful to get help and there is no judgement.”
The benefits of this work are that the children are now more included and have the same opportunities in school. The school is seen by parents as an ally that does not seek to judge and that they don’t have to be suspicious about. School staff are keen to get more parents involved to generate ideas, so that families have ownership and get involved in activities like the breakfast club or filling in application forms. Staff feel that it's important to make sure that activities are done with parents and not done to them, acknowledging in particular that everyone's experience can be very different.