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Published, 12 July 2018

Recommendations made on supporting the attainment and achievement of children experiencing poverty

The Scottish Parliament’s Education and Skills Committee has published a range of recommendations aimed at improving outcomes for school-age children and young people who experience poverty.

The new report comes after an Inquiry heard about the financial barriers affecting many families across Scotland, barriers that prevent school pupils from taking part in all aspects of their education.

Pupils, parents, and teachers were some of the contributors that provided evidence to the Inquiry, building a picture of how attainment varies between the least and most deprived.

It was found that a number of families who took part struggled with the cost of the Scottish school day.

The Committee discovered:

  • Families unable to afford the correct school uniform
  • Families unable to regularly clean their children
  • Pupils struggled to afford classroom materials
  • Digital exclusion was a growing problem
  • Stigma surrounding free school meals

Although poverty is clearly an issue affecting pupils, positive work done by schools and teachers to support children and young people, through schemes like summer meal clubs and counselling sessions, were also highlighted by the report findings.

The Committee is now calling on the Scottish Government to work with local authorities and schools to “poverty proof” education and consider ways to reduce the cost of being a school pupil in Scotland.

Read the report

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