Midlothian Council (Free school meals and child poverty)

Name: Midlothian Council
Category: Education
Location: Midlothian
Project summary: We are looking for an enthusiastic and skilled undergraduate or postgraduate student to undertake a field based dissertation in Midlothian. The dissertation will focus on free school meals and the link to child poverty and attainment. The student would work alongside a Midlothian school with a high concentration of pupils affected by socio-economic disadvantage. The project would specifically focus on identifying the barriers that prevent the uptake of free school meals, how these barriers could be overcome, and the benefit to the school community in the event of improving uptake.

There will be an opportunity for the student to refine and shape the project.
Detailed summary: Pupil Equity Funding is allocated directly to schools and targeted at closing the poverty related attainment gap.

Every council area is benefitting from Pupil Equity Funding and 95% of schools in Scotland have been allocated funding for pupils in P1-S3 known to be eligible for free school meals. This funding is to be spent at the discretion of Head Teachers working in partnership with each other and their local authority.

All Local Authorities have a duty to promote school meal uptake.

Pupil Equity Funding is being provided as part of the £750m Attainment Scotland Fund (2017/18) which will be invested over the current Parliamentary term to tackle the poverty related attainment gap. Funding for 2018/19 is likely to be similar.

This project will involve working in partnership with teachers, parents, pupils and local authority staff to identify the barriers to families applying for free school meals, how these barriers can be overcome and the effect this would have on the relevant children, their wider families and the allocation of Pupil Equity Fund allocated to the school.

The focus of the project will be to increase the Pupil Equity Funding to the school by maximising the application for free school meals and therefore help reduce child poverty, its stigma and its consequences. The project will aim to improve wellbeing by removing the stigma that poorer children and their families experience at school.

The project will use learning and research from elsewhere and innovative practices in other areas.
Number of students partnered with: 0
Current status: Available to partner with

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