Braes High School in Falkirk has put a lot of thought into how parents and carers can engage with them when there’s an issue with costs or money and how they can reduce any anxiety around asking for help.
One solution has been to create a dedicated Cost of the School Day web page in a prominent position on the school website.
Included on the page are details of cost reducing activities like help to pay for trips or items required for specific subjects, the school’s uniform exchange and clothing pop up shops. It also explains how to access the school benefits advisor and provides links to application forms for entitlements.
All information is presented in an easy to access and straightforward way alongside an invitation to email a named contact in the school if a parent or carer would like more information or support. It’s hoped that by offering parents the option to email rather than phone, they’ll feel more able to get in touch.
Emma Taylor, Drama teacher and Principal teacher PEF:
“What is also quite effective is the Group Call system. I've noticed when we send an email out and then text parents to check their email, we get a much larger response. We're just always hammering away that there is the support. When it is such a massive social issue it’s like turning the titanic but we are noticing a shift in attitudes and poverty stigma.”