July 12, 2018
Responding today (12/7/18) to the publication of a hard hitting report from MSPs on reducing the attainment gap, John Dickie, Director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, said:
“This report makes quite clear that children growing up in families struggling on low incomes face real cost barriers that too often prevent them from getting the most out of what Scotland’s schools have to offer. The cost of school trips, classroom materials, school clothing and school meals all put pressure on hard pressed families and exclude children from learning opportunities.
The good news is that action is possible at every level and many schools and local authorities are already working to reduce and remove the costs of the school day. But further action is needed now to ensure charging for in school activities does not leave any child unable to benefit from a school trip, unable to choose a subject they want to study or unable to participate in after school activities.”
Mr Dickie continued:
“As well as reducing costs in school action is needed to boost family incomes so that parents have the resources they need to give their children the educational opportunities they deserve. With child poverty rising the UK government must end the freeze on family benefits, whilst here in Scotland Ministers must deliver on their promise of an income supplement for families as a matter of absolute urgency.”
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· CPAG in Scotland have been working with pupils, parents and teachers across Scotland to identify and remove financial barriers to full participation at school. For more detail see http://www.cpag.org.uk/cost-school-day· CPAG have been working for a minimum level of school clothing grant since 2010, working recently with OPFS and the Poverty Truth Commission. Recent campaign activity can be found at http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/parents-and-carers-tell-us-how-much-it-costs-kit-your-child-out-school-short-survey· Child Poverty Action Group works on behalf of the one in four children in Scotland growing up in poverty. It doesn’t have to be like this. We use our understanding of what causes poverty and the impact it has on children’s lives to campaign for policies that will prevent and solve poverty – for good. We are leading expert providers of second tier social security advice, information and training.