Cost of the School Day support and training for your school

How does poverty affect children's participation and experiences in your school? Cost of the School Day helps schools to identify and tackle financial barriers to participation and learning.

CPAG works with hundreds of organisations throughout Scotland every year to deliver training and support. The Cost of the School Day project is funded to provide advisory support to local authorities interested in adopting poverty proofing approaches. In addition, we offer audits, training and workshops to individual schools and learning communities and at local authority level.

Cost of the School Day audit and action planning with pupils, parents and staff

CPAG in Scotland can work with whole school communities to help schools understand where policies and practice are putting pressure on children and parents from low-income households. We use tools designed to allow children and parents to reflect on the issues in an inclusive and non-stigmatising way. Following the audit, we work with the school to develop an action plan to reduce cost pressures and ensure equality of access to all the opportunities that school has to offer.

I’d highly recommend doing Cost of the School Day. Every school has their different context but this is an approach that could work anywhere. It was never a case of ‘do this, that and this, goodbye’, we were never actually told what to do. It was more an opportunity to involve everyone in reflecting on the issues and thinking about what we do. Because of that, it’s now firmly on our minds, it’s going to stay with us when we’re thinking about the experiences we provide for children. There are so many possibilities to make a difference.” (Head Teacher)

CPD training for school staff

CPAG in Scotland delivers accessible, interactive, high quality training using our child poverty expertise and our experience in working with children, parents and schools on these issues. We offer a range of options, including Train the Trainers sessions for local authorities, Inset day inputs, one-off two hour or half day courses and a 3 session twilight CPD.

The key learning outcomes for participants in our standard training are:

  • to increase understanding of the causes and impact of poverty on children’s health and wellbeing
  • to think critically about the Cost of the School Day and question the impact on learners' wellbeing, participation and achievement
  • to identify actions to poverty proof the school day and promote greater inclusion and participation.
Feedback from teachers attending our courses: 

“The course has opened my eyes to issues related to poverty that I thought I knew very well. The range of issues raised was impressive.”

“I feel all teachers should do this course.”

“I have more confidence to challenge aspects of school practice that may have negative impact.”

“The cost of the school day is now never far from our minds.”

training evaluation

Workshops for Parent Councils

We offer interactive workshops for Parent Councils, PTAs and parent groups, enabling them to:

  • understand the impact that school costs can have on children from low-income families
  • improve how they consult with parent forum on issues of cost
  • take action to minimise the pressure that school costs place on families.

"Very worthwhile, have lots of ideas for speaking with my parents asap!!!" (Parent participant)

Income maximisation and promoting financial entitlements

Ensuring that all families are accessing all the financial help available can make a huge difference to children’s health, wellbeing and education. Simply ensuring that a child is accessing Free School Meals can save a family £380 per year. Our experienced staff can help schools to:

  • better promote financial entitlements (such as FSMs and clothing grants)
  • have a better understanding of what financial help is available to families
  • develop pathways to refer families on to the appropriate support agencies and organisations.
For more information on training and support available or to book a course please contact or phone 0141 552 3303.