Hi my name is Agnes Byrne and as well as being a class teacher this year I am the PEF and 1 in 5 lead for our school. PEF is Pupil Equity funding which is money given to every school in Scotland to help and support children and their families. The money should be used to make sure all children are exposed to the same experiences and have the same opportunities as their peers. The 1 in 5 programme looks at how money issues can effect a child’s school life and looks at ways we can prevent these problems.
Up until now a lot of our work on PEF and 1 in 5 has been behind the scenes but we believe a lot of our ideas and initiatives will be useful to all of our families. I will be posting advice and information on how different agencies can help families.
If you ever have any questions, want support or advice about matters concerning money please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the school office to speak to me.
Below is a leaflet telling you about some of the things we are doing in our school! Hard copies are available in our advice area beside the office.
SMPS ‘Agents for Change’
Edinburgh is a very affluent city but also a very unequal one. 22% of children in Edinburgh currently live in poverty and every school in the city will have some pupils whose families are affected by poverty or some financial difficulties (you could provide the definition of child poverty in a footnote and you could also add the stats for SMPS as I am sure some parents will be thinking this isn’t an issue for your school). Government have released Pupil Equity Funding to help support identified children and SMPS have been the recipient of some of this funding. However we understand that some children can be missed from these identification systems and, more importantly, that financial difficulties can be something that can happen to anyone at any time. Such difficulties may make it hard to meet costs associated with school and the variety of experiences that we offer our pupils including trips and school events. In a study by the Children’s Society it was found that more than 2/3rd of parents struggle with the cost of school. This can lead to some pupils missing out on experiences or feeling isolated from peers who are not faced with these issues. Children and staff at SMPS are working as ‘agents of change’ so we can ensure that all our pupils and their families feel they can access opportunities equally. As a school we are developing a number of initiatives which are outlined in this leaflet aimed at supporting families and reducing school costs for everyone.’
Year Group Trip Calendar
Each year group will put their trips and costs up for the year. Parents can then plan and get in contact if trip payments are an issue. Parents can also look at the years ahead for budgeting.
You can opt into a monthly deposit scheme. Instead of paying for each trip individually you can pay a set amount each month and trip payments will be taken from your account. Any outstanding balance can be refunded at the end of the year.
Those on income support or are known to the school to require support receive reduced payment plans.
Classes will foster a sharing of stationary approach. Children will be encouraged to put their stationary in the middle of the table for the whole table to use. This will be with the understanding that other people’s property must be treated with respect.
We will run book swaps in our class libraries. Children can bring in books they have read and add them to our book swap shelves. Books will be signed out and returned.
A basket of fruit will be kept in the foyer for children to help themselves to. If they want a playtime or after school snack they can take a piece of fruit.
Our amazing Parent Council run ‘Uniform Pop Up Shops’ at our school fairs. As eco-warriors, we want to upcycle as much as we can so we will be promoting these. Stalls will look to include kit for various after school clubs. Uniform, PE kit and club kit are always available on request and will be dealt with very discretely.
Information on funding and initiatives to support families will regularly be uploaded on to our school website and Facebook page.
If you ever need to discuss any financial assistance please contact Agnes Byrne through the school office or email email@example.com
All conversations will be dealt with care and complete confidentiality.