Glasgow & West Scotland

School costs 'hold back' poorer pupils in Glasgow schools

School pupils Image copyright Getty Images

Children from low-income families can be held back at school by the costs associated with meals, trips and every-day equipment, suggests new research.

The year-long study by the Child Poverty Action Group involved 340 pupils and 120 staff at eight primary and secondary schools across Glasgow.

It identified basic cost barriers to some pupils reaching their potential.

These were identified as uniform, travel, learning, meals, trips, clubs, fun events and attitudes to poverty.

The findings will be presented at a special Inclusion and Equalities conference being organised by Glasgow City Council at Celtic Park on Friday.

'Feeling excluded'

Stephen Curran, the council's executive member for education and young people, said:: "It is estimated in Glasgow that one in three children are in poverty - affecting almost 36,000 of our children.

"This can result in them feeling excluded from school activities, trips, meals or simply finding it difficult to take part in routine school tasks like submitting homework which requires online access.

"The findings and recommendations of this valuable report will shape future polices in Glasgow and build on the good practice and work already being carried out on this area in our schools."

In a bid to address the problem, some schools are now distributing free meal and clothing grant forms as standard to all parents to reduce stigma, and starting homework clubs to help pupils who do not have computers at home.

John Dickie, director of the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, added: "No child should ever miss out or be made to feel awkward at school just because their families are struggling on a low income but our work tells that all too often they do.

"That's why we have been absolutely delighted to work with education and health services in Glasgow to identify the cost barriers children face at school, and are even more pleased that individual schools and the council are already taking practical action to remove those barriers.

"It's now vital that all schools, local authorities and national government act on this report to ensure that no child misses out on any aspect of school because of financial barriers."

A dedicated officer, funded by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Glasgow Centre for Population health, will work for a further 18 months with schools across the city to help them minimise the impact of poverty on education and learning.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites