The Cost of the School Day Report and Executive Summary

“The main impact of the project in our school is a change of mind-set. Rather than going ahead and doing things, we’re really thinking carefully about costs and financial impact on our children and families - the phrase ‘cost of the school day’ comes up constantly now in our planning and discussions. It’s not just an initiative or project where we go back to normal after it’s finished, there’s been a real shift in our thinking.” (Head Teacher, Glasgow)

Political focus and investment in Scotland is currently directed towards narrowing the poverty attainment gap: this can’t happen if the poverty related barriers which shape and limit children’s opportunities at school aren’t first taken into account.

The Cost of the School Day project ran during session 2014-15 in eight Glasgow schools with varying levels of deprivation. We worked with 339 children and young people (P5-S6) and 111 school staff to find out where problems lie for children from low income households, how their participation and experiences are affected by school costs and which current and potential policies and practices could help to prevent these problems arising.

  • The Cost of the School Day Report presents learning and recommendations from children and staff, along with resources to support poverty proofing work in other schools and local authorities.
  • Key financial barriers affecting participation and experiences at school for children from low income households
  • Existing good practice measures which children say help to reduce costs, ensure equal access to opportunities and reduce poverty related stigma, along with their ideas about what more could be done
  • Recommendations for local authorities, schools and other stakeholders
  • Resources to support poverty proofing, including reflective questions and sample sessions for children
  • Examples of simple changes made by schools participating in Cost of the School Day, including removing the need for more expensive badged uniform, improving communications with parents about financial support and starting homework clubs.

For more information or to discuss the findings, please get in touch:

Marion Fairweather, Project Manager: Cost of the School Day

Tel: 0141 548 1056 / 07918565532 or email:

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.