The Deputy Head Teacher at Brunstane Primary School in Edinburgh highlights how Pupil Support Officers, supported by Pupil Equity Funding, are key to reducing school costs and helping families take up their entitlements.
“We have hired three Pupil Support Officers (PSOs) - two part-time and one full-time - to lead on cost of the school day. The provision of PSOs, funded by PEF, has been essential in terms of pursuing cost of the school day activities. The PSOs have responsibility for applying for external sources of funding, staffing the forms of support we offer, like our foodbank, and provide 1 to 1 support for families in terms of completing forms and checking to see if families are entitled to various forms of support.”
“It would be difficult to address child poverty, such as by increasing family income, without the work of the PSOs. They look to support our families financially as well as raise awareness on the issues of poverty and how this may impact on our young people.”
A Principal Teacher of a primary school in Edinburgh highlights how important Wellbeing Officers, supported by Pupil Equity Funding (PEF), are to making connections with families. Those connections help to ensure that families are referred or signposted to other services that can help them increase their incomes.
“Our wellbeing officers - 1.5 staff - are absolutely vital to building good relationships with families. We need to have an ‘in’. Better relationships, means better information and that means that we can find out how family members are, what the issues might be and what support and advice we can provide, and who we can refer families to for other forms of support and advice. Our pupil wellbeing officers talk directly to families and make referrals to local income maximisation services. PEF funding is important to allow us to recruit staff such as well-being officers.”
An acting Principal Teacher at Logans Primary School in North Lanarkshire describes the role that their Community Learning and Development (CLD) worker plays in helping families get access to advice that can help increase their incomes:
“Our Community Learning and Development worker has been essential in helping us develop this work. The CLD worker helps to ensure that families are aware of support out there should they require it. We have an open door policy and our CLD worker is great as parents will tell her information that they might not always tell the school. Our CLD worker works closely with identified families to access wider financial support and advice. We also send out monthly newsletters by email and in print for those without an e-mail address where parents/carers are signposted to how and where to access financial entitlements. Our CLD worker provides support to families if they require it when applying.”