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Calderglen High School

Cost of the school day

Calderglen High is proud to have a motto of “We are Calderglen” and we strive to be well known for how we welcome and care for our young people and their families when attending our school. Reducing the cost of the school day for those who are experiencing the negative effects of poverty is a key whole school priority. In recognition of the work being done by the Child Poverty Action Group, we have considered our current arrangements and the statements of our partner schools and organisations.

The School Day costs can be understood through the broad headings of: Uniform, Travel, Learning, Friendships, School Trips and Events, Eating at School, School Clubs and Teams, and Home Learning.

How to Apply for Free School Meals and Uniform Grants: https://www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/FreeSchoolMeals 

Uniform

Our current uniform is white shirt, school tie, black jumper / cardigan, and black trousers/skirt. Families can purchase uniforms from many local and national retailers and school ties are available from the school office. We have made several improvements to our uniform policy to take into consideration how we address reducing the cost of the school days, including:

  • Pupils are able to wear all black trainers instead of formal school shoes, this ensures that families can buy one piece of footwear that are multi-purpose rather than having to buy two pairs of footwear e.g. school shoes and trainers for PE.
  • After detailed consultation with our parent council and pupil councils, we have recently changed our uniform supplier. We made this change to ensure that our families were getting the best value including price, quality and service.
  • We have a lost clothing bank. When not reclaimed after a good length of time, these are washed and recycled, especially ties when pupils enter senior phase.
  • We also have rails of new clothing which we have picked up in sales and also samples from suppliers which are readily available for any young person to access.
  • We have a large bank of free sanitary products available.

Travel

The majority of our children travel to school by car or by foot. A number attend after school clubs. We are aware that this could mean many children are not able to attend after school clubs and we therefore ensure that we have the majority of activities at lunchtime as well as after school. We do not charge for our school clubs. Our Pupil

Support Managers support young people to try to work with other parents/ carers to share lifts for young people attending clubs after school. We also liaise closely with local bus providers to ensure pupils are accessing appropriate services.

Learning

Young people at Calderglen High School do not need to pay for any core learning. We provide pens and pencils and young people do not need to bring their own equipment. Pupils can borrow equipment if they need it for homework. PE kit is also available and is cleaned and stored in school. Where there is a charge for ingredients/ equipment in Home Economics, Music and Technical, our staff monitor pupil participation and ensure, where necessary e.g. Free School meals or young people facing hardship, that the school meets the cost of any activity. We currently have a procedure for young people to use school computers after school to allow them to complete online homework. We constantly review our charges to make them more cost effective and are in the process of further measures to reduce costs.

Friendships

We work hard to ensure that any pupil who feels they are experiencing poverty-related bullying has a way of reporting this in confidence. Our young people are aware of poverty-related issues and cover a wide range of topics as part of our PSE (Personal and Social Education) programme throughout their time with us. We regularly consult our young people and parents and carers over a range of issues. We intend to gather the views of our young people and families on the Cost of the School Day and involve them in decision making around this.

School Trips and Events

As a large secondary school, we offer a wide and varied range of trips and extra-curricular activities. Consequently, some trips are free and others vary in expense. We have recently set up our “Assisted Place Scheme” that allows families who are facing hardship to access any trip that we offer at a reduced price or completely free of charge. This removes the barriers of poverty in young people being able to experience educational excursions.

Some of our trips which can be expensive can be self funding by various fund raising initiatives. External funding (Paul Hamlyn Trust) has helped reduce costs, such as for Learning Away. We have started to put together a list of trips that run most years so that parents can look in advance and select any trip their child would like and plan well in advance for participation with payments made in instalments.

Taking feedback from parents more recently we are looking at our Fun Events to keep costs to an absolute minimum. This session we have gathered a large stock of dresses and menswear, along with a range of accessories for Prom and Spring Fling from clothing donated. This has proved to be very popular.

Eating at school

There are a number of pupils at Calderglen High School who are entitled to free school meals. We are aware that there may be a social stigma associated with a free lunch provision and we try to reduce this by encouraging the use of the pin codes to pay for meals at the school canteen. We have worked extensively with the school canteen staff to introduce a pin system that all young people in Calderglen use to negate the use of money.

Pupil Support and senior staff actively encourage all pupils to participate in school lunches, especially S1. We make pupils aware of the range of foodstuffs available, especially the best ways to use FME. We closely monitor FME uptake throughout the year and inform parents if pupil is not taking up FME.

School Clubs and Teams

At Calderglen High School we have a wide range of clubs, teams and groups which pupils can join. We do not charge for participation. Some of our sports clubs may require specific equipment: for example, badminton racquets, football boots, and we do what we can to help families who may not be able to afford these by providing the necessary equipment. Our other clubs provide all the materials necessary free of charge. We have introduced a Kickstart music programme where musical instruments are available to young people who do not have access to any and our senior pupils act as tutors for those on the Kickstart programme, offering musical tuition at lunchtimes and after school, supervised by teachers.

Home Learning

We try to reduce the cost of learning at home as much as possible by providing jotters, paper and daily access to IT equipment. No pupil is charged for core materials needed to complete any homework task.

We are grateful to former pupils/graduates who regularly donate textbooks/equipment. In some Faculties, equipment can be borrowed.

Attitudes Towards Poverty

We can and do support pupils and parents/carers to apply for benefit entitlements and provide advice on financial support locally.

In order to further reduce costs we continue to seek external funding or sponsorship which can be used, for example, to purchase equipment and resources for residential trips or to reduce cost of yearbooks.