In the last few months, the country has been heavily affected by the cost of living crisis, with schools being one of the major stakeholders who have felt a significant impact. Nearly everyone within the school community is facing repercussions to this issue, from parents and guardians to teachers, to office staff and the students themselves.
A lot of children are likely to carry the struggles that families have to deal with at home, to the point that it impacts their day-to-day, the way they act towards their peers and teachers, and the way they go on about their learning. According to research led by the Sutton Trust, “in state schools, 74% of teachers have seen an increase in pupils unable to concentrate or tired in class, 67% have more students with behaviour issues, and 54% have seen an increase in those coming into school without adequate winter clothing like a coat. 38% of teachers reported an increase in children coming into school hungry.”
Food is probably one of the most common challenges, with its costs being at an all-time high, and many families having to rely on food banks. As reported by Sky, “52% of senior teaching leaders experienced an increase in the number of pupils – who aren’t eligible for free school meals – unable to afford lunch.”
We are also aware of know how much teachers have had to recur to their own money to fund stationery and equipment. Budgets are tight, and some teachers like to go the extra mile with fun and creative lessons to ensure pupils are learning and involved. It should be one of your top priorities to review your budget to give teachers and school staff access to the materials they need, and look at solutions to save money where you can or generate extra school income.
How can you help?
It’s very important, especially in times like these, that you show support to your school community. Even though you may be struggling yourself, there are some small steps you can take to strengthen your relationships and build trust even when times are hard.
Firstly, make your students’ mental wellbeing your priority. Children might be acting out because of high stress levels building up, or struggling to focus during lessons. A great idea is to monitor their behaviour over time, and to schedule some regular check-ins with them to show your support and give them a chance to open up. Sometimes a simple chat can make all the difference.
You could consider getting your whole community involved and organise a food bank on your school premises, or maybe a clothing sale to help those who are struggling to buy food and to keep themselves warm. Ask your staff and students to volunteer, and the experience might even turn out to be fun.
How we can help your school
When it comes to reviewing your budgets and your expenditure, we know that EdTech can be a big part of it as well as a benefit. We recommend considering switching to one single provider for your communications, payments, and analytics processes. Relying on one supplier like Community Brands allows for more convenient contracts and pricing, which will save you a lot of money compared to having a different contract with different providers for each service you need. It also makes task management and reporting a lot easier.