The Poverty and Inequality Commission has received a response from the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government to its advice on poverty in school holidays.
The Scottish Government’s response does not go as far as the Commission had hoped in relation to some of key recommendations. In particular, we are disappointed not to see action on our recommendation to introduce an additional cash benefit during school holiday periods, or a commitment to make holiday club provision available to all children from low income families.
Nevertheless there are some encouraging actions and opportunities in the Scottish Government response. We would highlight:
- work to trial use of the Young Scot card to access food during weekends and holidays
- the potential to test cash payments in one or more local authorities
- a commitment to explore further opportunities to use school buildings and other local authority resources for school holiday programmes
- the expansion of the developing strategic framework on afterschool and holiday childcare to include other activities based programmes, not just childcare
- a commitment that the Scottish Government Child Poverty Directors Group will look at school holiday provision across government
The Commission will continue to raise the issues that children and families face during school holidays and monitor what progress is made in this area.