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Child Poverty Action Group produce resource to support schools to increase access

The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has created a ‘Cost of the School Day Calendar’ resource which aims to help schools identify possible cost barriers during the academic year, and think about some alternatives to help make sure all children and young people can fully participate in education. Throughout the calendar, they have included ideas and good practice examples from schools across England, Scotland and Wales who took part in the Cost of the School Day project.

Current figures estimate of 4.2 million children living in poverty, which is around 9 pupils in a class of 30. With the cost of living crisis forcing more families into this bracket, though these may not yet be identified to schools, poverty-proofing the school day is ever more important. With 25% of pupils with SEN identified as receiving Free School Meals (FSM) this means over 1 million pupils with SEN are living in poverty.

The calendar considers areas of the curriculum such as the cost of craft projects, costs of special days such as Comic Relief, dressing up for World Book Day, cost of specific equipment for options choices, and more. While absence figures are high, some of these elements are having an impact on those pupils in poverty, who will choose to miss school rather than have to face being identified as unable to participate.