Cost of the School Day (CoSD) is a programme developed by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland. Its aim is to encourage local authority and school-level action to lessen the impacts of poverty on school children and contribute to equity in education, by reducing or removing financial barriers to full participation in school; and by addressing
the poverty-related stigma that some children may experience.
Children are considered to be living in poverty if they live in households with less than 60% of median household income. In 2015–18, 24% of children in Scotland (240,000 children each year), were living in poverty after housing costs. Child poverty is caused by a wide range of factors that result in inadequate household resources. The Scottish Government has identified three main drivers of child poverty in Scotland, which are rooted in the structures and institutions of Scotland, rather than individual choices or behaviours. These include:
- income from social security and benefits
- income from employment
- the cost of living.
For families with school aged-children, costs associated with in- and out-of-school activities can place a significant burden on financial resources and increase the cost of living even further. As such, actions to address the cost of the school day has an important role in addressing the main drivers of child poverty.