Reported by The Courier – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.

Every school in Fife is to be “poverty proofed” in a bid to ease pressure on hard-pressed children and families.

Primary and secondary schools across the kingdom will be asked to audit school costs every three years and take steps to minimise them as part of new measures aimed at bringing to down the cost of the school day.

The work comes amid ongoing fears financial barriers are affecting participation and experiences at school for many children in Fife, particularly those who come from low income households.

To that end, a three-year plan has been drawn up designed to help schools share best practice, while every school will need to have a “poverty proofing” statement in their formal curriculum rationale.

All schools will also have a designated Poverty Matters trainer, which comes on the back of the training of 41 people – from head teachers to pupil support assistants – to help them fully consider the impact of poverty on children and how to mitigate its effects within school settings.

Sarah Else, education manager, said: “The cost of the school day can be significant for many families, especially for low income families.

“As family finances come under increasing pressure, taking action to minimise costs and maximise opportunities for pupils from low income households could yield enormous dividends for our children and young people.

“Many of the established customs and practices within schools bring with them additional costs to pupils that put additional pressures on them and their families.

“These customs are, overall, undertaken with the best intentions of school staff and are clearly designed to provide young people with a range of experiences that will enhance their learning and their personal development.”



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