Cost of School Day Pledges26/10/18
Dundee City Council has unveiled four pledges of intent to help tackle poverty-related issues in city primaries and secondaries, following a hard-hitting independent report into the cost of the school day.
City council children and families convener Cllr Stewart Hunter join pupils to help launch the initial response to the investigation by the Child Poverty Action Group Scotland.
The statements of intent say that:
- No child or young person in Dundee will start school without a breakfast
- No child in Dundee will miss out on their Primary 7 residential trip due to cost
- All schools will develop a Cost of the School Day action plan by the end of session 2018/2019
- All children and young people in Dundee schools will have access to an affordable school uniform
Pupils from Longhaugh and St Francis primaries and Quarry View Nursery helped promote the pledges at the recently-opened North East Campus, along with representatives from CPAG.
Councillor Hunter said: said: “These four statements of intent form the initial response from the council to a thorough piece of research by the Cost of the School Day project.
“The report was called for by the Fairness Commission, which is a constant influence on the way that the council goes about its business.
“We are determined to make Dundee a better city for all and the continuing work of the project will assist us in tackling the financial barriers faced by many families “
City council chief education officer Audrey May said: “These four pledges illustrate how our schools and the children and families service will be taking forward new proposals to help deal with cost-related issues for our pupils.
“I would like to thank the Child Poverty Action Group Scotland and the local Cost of the School Day project for their commitment to this extremely important work.”
Sara Spencer, Cost of the School Day Project Manager at CPAG in Scotland, said: “We are delighted that Dundee City Council has responded so swiftly to the challenges described by children and families in the Cost of the School Day Dundee report and set out such a clear statement of intent. Meaningful action from the council in these different areas will mean that all children in Dundee make the most of everything school has to offer them without financial barriers standing in their way.”
Susan Epsworth, Cost of the School Day Dundee Project Coordinator, added: “Many Dundee schools are doing brilliant work to reduce or remove costs but we know that there is still work to be done to remove cost barriers across the city. This school year we are excited to share the good practice examples in the report and support schools and Dundee City Council to implement its recommendations.”
Cost of the School Day Dundee was a key recommendation of the Dundee Fairness Commission in 2016. The Commission stated that ‘good quality education... is currently undermined by the burdensome consequences of the cost of the school day’ and recommended that work took place to reduce stigma and the hidden costs of attending school in Dundee.
Cost of the School Day Dundee reports can be found here http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/cost-school-day-dundee
More information about Cost of the School Day can be found here http://www.cpag.org.uk/cost-school-day