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The Cost of the School Day project

Completed Project

Calendar icon Poverty

Folder icon Jan 2014 - Ongoing

Inspired by a programme developed in North East England, the Cost of the School Day (COSD) was set up in Glasgow in 2014 to identify cost barriers that prevent some children from fully taking part in school and what could be done to address them. Hosted by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, COSD involved Glasgow city’s Education Services, Health and Social Care Partnership and the Glasgow Centre for Population Health.  

In 2015, the COSD study report about the launch of the project across eight schools in Glasgow identified barriers such as: school uniforms; bus fares; cost of after-school clubs and study; school trips; and families not having resources, such as computers and internet access, to help children study. A follow-up briefing paper published as part of Challenge Poverty Week in 2016 shared ongoing learning and wider evidence looking at local authority variation in school clothing grants, which ranged from £20 to £110.  

Since the launch in 2014, the project has continued to grow with CPAG staff now operating in Scotland, England and Wales. The latest COSD resources include:  

  • The COSD Voice, a new network of children and young people taking action on school costs and having their say on poverty and education.  
  • Access to a new eLearning course for anyone interested in reducing costs to families, supporting learners and promoting equity in education. 
  • An updated toolkit designed to get schools talking, an Ideas Bank providing good examples of reducing costs and boosting family incomes and short films capturing work in local schools.   

For more information contact Sara Spencer, COSD Project Manager at CPAG Scotland 

In 2018, the Scottish Government announced that an estimated 120,000 families would benefit from a new £100 national minimum school clothing grant, introduced as a result of partnership working with local authorities. In 2022, families could apply for an increased grant payment of at least £120 for primary school and £150 for secondary school age children.  

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