Did you know that about 1 in 4 school pupils in Scotland live in poverty? If your family have money issues, you’re not alone….

Cost of the school day Some pupils say that how much money your family has can affect friendships.

Young people talking to Child Poverty Action Group Scotland have said that who your pals are can sometimes depend on what you can afford to do at the weekend, whether you can join in with school trips and youth clubs, what part of town you stay in, even what clothes you wear.

“This group of people can afford to do stuff
and this group of people can’t afford to do
stuff. That’s what it’s like.” (Girl in S6)

 “Why do we have costly trips then? I mean
I know they’re more fun maybe but it puts
people under pressure and it makes people
embarrassed and disappointed if they can’t
go.” (Girl, P7)

“Well I think if all of your friends or people
you know go to the after school clubs, school
trips, that kind of isolates you from them.
You’re singled out, you’re not with them, just a
spare person.”
(Boy, S5)

 

Friendship and money issues: 6 ideas from pupils about ways that schools can help

Here are six things that schools have done which pupils say have helped give them the chance to make friends and hang out with people at school.  You or your parents/carers could talk to your teacher to see if they can help in these ways if they aren’t already doing so.

  1. Help to sort friendship problems out when they happen and support pupils to mix and make friends.
  2. Offer free and low cost school clubs so everyone can join in.
  3. Make it easy to borrow the equipment you need to take part in clubs. Or just make it available for everyone so that nobody stands out.
  4. If it costs money to go on school trips, let parents/carers pay for it bit by bit in installments, or give lots of notice so that they have time to save up the money needed.
  5. Space out events and school trips over the year, avoiding expensive times like Christmas and the start of  the new school year.
  6. Make sure that there are things that can be done for free at events like Christmas Fairs.Hands with writing saying cooperate, help, unite

 

These ideas and quotes from young people all came from Child Poverty Action Group Scotland’s report on the Cost of the School Day.