Evaluability Assessment of the Cost of the School Day Programme

Rachel McAdams, Greig Inglis

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


Poverty affects a wide range of important life outcomes for children. The Child
Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017 committed the Scottish Government, local authorities
and NHS Boards to ambitious targets to reduce child poverty by 2030. These targets are intended to be achieved through a combination of national and local action across Scotland.

Cost of the School Day (COSD) is a programme which has been developed by the
Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland. The aim of the programme is to
mitigate the impact of poverty on school children and contribute to equity in
education by reducing or removing financial barriers to full participation in school, as well as poverty-related stigma that some children may experience. Since 2014, the programme has been rolled out in two local authorities, Glasgow City and Dundee City. The programme has not been evaluated to date.

NHS Health Scotland and the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy (SCPHRP) agreed to undertake an evaluability assessment of the
programme. Evaluability assessments (EAs) are a way of thinking through whether
and how to assess the impacts of policies, programmes or interventions. They are a way of weighing up the costs and benefits of an evaluation in advance so that the evaluations that organisations undertake are more useful.

The evaluability assessment process identified two overarching evaluation aims,
which are underpinned by a series of evaluation questions:

• Understand the impact COSD has had on removing cost barriers for
participation in school.
• Understand how to improve the programme and encourage effective wider
adoption of a sustainable COSD approach.

The assessment identified a number of potential sources of evaluation data and
opportunities for new data to be collected. It concluded that an evaluation of COSD was feasible and could best be achieved through a mixed-methods research approach, which combined qualitative data collection with secondary analysis of existing data sources.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherNHS Health Scotland
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


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