Poverty Proofing the School Day consists of an audit for each individual school, questioning pupils, staff, parents / carers and governors. The result is an action plan tailored to each individual school to address any stigmatising policies or practices.
We know that poverty is a strong predictor of educational attainment. More than 6 in 10 children on free school meals do not get ‘good GCSEs’. Overall, this means a gap in outcomes of around 27% at Key Stage 4 between those pupils on Free School Meals and other pupils.
The unequal outcomes of English education reflect, to a large extent, the unequal outcomes in our society, but we still expect schools to ‘close the attainment gap’. We have very high hopes of our teachers to bring the best out of every pupil and yet the impact of poverty on children is seldom covered in any detail during a teachers own education and training.
The ‘Poverty Proofing the School day’ audit enables the school to see itself through the lens of families living in poverty. Recommendations and actions are made to address the issues identified by the pupils and parents / carers for the school leadership to consider.
Poverty Proofing the School Day is a project developed by Children North East.
The project provides a toolkit to ‘poverty proof’ the school day, to reduce stigma and remove barriers to learning and to assist schools in exploring the most effective way to spend pupil premium allocation.
Across the city there are trained researchers who have carried out the audits. We have devised lesson plans for primary and secondary pupils to support teaching about poverty.
Please see our ‘Good Practice Guides’ for examples of good practice in schools