The Cost of the School Day project

The Cost of the School Day (CSD) set out to identify cost-related barriers that prevent some children from taking part in school experiences and the actions that can be taken to address them. It is hosted by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland and works in partnership with Glasgow city’s Education Services, Health and Social Care Partnership and the Glasgow Centre for Population Health. 

CSD research across eight schools in Glasgow identified cost barriers that can lead to stigma and feeling left out, such as: school uniforms; bus fares; cost of after-school clubs and study; school trips; and families not having resources at home, such as computers and internet access, to help children study. 

These are more fully discussed in the CSD study report and suggested actions can be found in learning resources available on the CPAG in Scotland website. A GCPH briefing paper was also published as part of Challenge Poverty Week in 2016, to share the project’s learning and other evidence more widely. Read a blog on the project.

The findings were endorsed by Glasgow City Council Education Services and have been used to shape policies around distance criteria for free home school transport in the city and have led to an increase in the school clothing grant.  Recommendations have also been made to schools about the need for flexibility in enforcing school dress codes, homework completion and other issues that emerged during the course of the research.  A CSD project has also been set up in Dundee and Cost of the School Day activity is taking place in a range of Local Authorities in Scotland

The CSD project continues to influence other new areas of work. A sister project, the Cost of the School Holidays explored the realities of the holiday period for low-income families in Glasgow and what can be done to better meet their needs. 

Building on the CSD study insights gained from children and school staff, new research involving parents and carers showed that many of the issues highlighted in the CSD report are still causing problems for families.   

Background notes

Cost of the School Day is a Glasgow Poverty Leadership Panel project, funded by Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership, Glasgow Centre for Population Health and Glasgow City Council Education Services. It was inspired by the success of Poverty Proofing the School Day from Children North East in England.

Related topic: Money and work