New resources to help address the cost of the school day

On the face of it, education in Scotland is free, but there are often hidden or extra costs that can stand in the way of children’s learning and participation at school. Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland and NHS Health Scotland have launched a set of resources to raise awareness of school costs, prompt discussion and support action on child poverty in schools.

The new national Cost of the School Day Toolkit is full of resources to support action on reducing financial barriers to participation at school for children from low income households. Resources support consultation on school costs with parents, children and school staff and highlight the steps which schools and local authorities can take to lessen costs and support children and families on low incomes.

The Cost of School is a short film from NHS Health Scotland which features teachers, parents and others sharing their experiences and insights into the impact of poverty on school life and the solutions that are being tried out at local authority and school level.

Sara Spencer, Cost of the School Day Project Manager at CPAG in Scotland, said: “Every child in Scotland should be able to make the most of the school day without costs standing in their way. There are countless ways in which schools and local authorities can support children and families on low incomes and many are doing fantastic things to reduce and remove the costs of the school day. The Cost of the School Day toolkit is packed full of helpful tried and tested resources which can support schools and local authorities to listen to children and families and design their own approaches to addressing financial barriers."

Ashleigh Jenkins, Senior Health Improvement Officer- Child Poverty at NHS Health Scotland said:"It's not right that children living in poverty can expect to live 14 years less than children from wealthier backgrounds. We know that income matters to children's health and wellbeing. While schools can't eradicate child poverty alone, many are helping to make the most of household income by reducing costs and therefore mitigating child poverty in schools. We are delighted to be working with CPAG Scotland and others to enable action that will improve health and reduce health inequalities to ensure that every child in Scotland can enjoy their right to the highest attainable standard of health."

Access the Cost of The School Day Toolkit here.

Watch 'The Cost of School' film here.


For more information about Cost of the School Day and support to use the toolkit, please contact Sara Spencer, Cost of the School Day Project Manager at or 07834375321

For more information about The Cost of School film, please contact the NHS Health Scotland Child Poverty team: