Staff at Auchenharvie Academy, North Ayrshire were aware that some young people would automatically self-exclude from trips and activities that cost their families money.
To deal with this the school now promotes trips and activities in the first instance without mentioning costs. Once pupils have let the school know whether they are interested in going, the faculty involved identifies pupils who might need additional support. The school gets in touch again and includes this statement:
“Due to additional funding becoming available within the school, we no longer require payment for your child to participate in this upcoming trip.”
Staff also call parents and carers to get the message over, and if a family prefers to pay they are given the opportunity to opt out of this process. This approach is used consistently across the school to ensure no pupil misses out and every parent and carer receives the same correspondence from the school.
Allison Hopton, Principal Teacher Family Learning at Auchenharvie, says that this approach is built on the school’s experience of their community:
“We often have to change our approach on how we deal with different situations so we don’t upset any of our families. The last thing we want to do is cause damage to any relationships we have spent years building.”