The Cost of Living
Cost of living information and support for parents and carers
At Woodlands Primary School we understand that the cost of supporting your children through school can put pressure on your household budgets. The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in money worries for many more families and now we are facing even further pressures with increases in cost of living for essentials like food, heating and fuel.
We understand how difficult it can be when children are unable to participate in activities in the way they would like to, when costs get in the way. We want all our children to feel comfortable and confident in school and be able to participate in everything that is on offer. We want to do all we can to make every school day affordable for all our families and to help you find the support you might need if you have money concerns.
It can be difficult to talk about money worries. People finding it hard to make ends meet often hang on and try and sort things out themselves; not seeking help until the situation has become very difficult. Whatever the issues you are facing we would encourage you to ask for support before things get that way. There is no shame in seeking support and both the school and the help organisations listed below will help with sensitivity and confidentiality.
Please talk to us about your concerns so that we can work together to ensure your child can access everything on offer whatever the cost. Please contact Julie P our Parents Support Adviser via the main office. If you leave a message she will get back to you.
There are also many sources of support from both local and national organisations. Here are some key agencies that we recommend:
Advice Local: find local advice services in your area.
Council tax, benefits and financial support
Energy costs advice and guidance
Housing information and support
Mental Health support
Local Practical Help
National Advice and Information Support Services
Citizens Advice: free, independent and confidential financial advice
EntitledTo: benefit calculator to make sure families are getting the support they are entitled to
The Money Advice Service: Government website offering comprehensive guidance on all aspects of money, benefits, debt and investments.
Martin Lewis Money Saving Expert: Martin Lewis’ free site saves you money on Credit Cards, Shopping, Energy & more. Consumer champion. Money saving guides. Fighting your corner. Easy to Use.
Shelter: free support from expert housing advisers
BBC i-player: There are lots of money-related tips on this programme on BBC i-player. You can listen any time. Topics have included surviving debt, tips for rented housing, coping with cost of living rises, avoiding scams and fraud calls, applying for benefits and much more.
NHS Low Income Scheme: If you have a low income, the NHS Low Income Scheme could help depending on your weekly income and necessary outgoings, plus any savings or investments you have at the time you apply
The home energy scheme: Energy and cost saving actions which could help reduce bills
Support for your family and school
Parents can claim ‘Pupil Premium’ support for children (referred to as Free School Meals FSM) if you are in receipt of any of the following benefits:
This entitles your child to free school meals, beyond EYFS and KS1 where this provision is universal, as well as a wide range of additional support for your child (academic, cost of the school day support and wellbeing.)
Information for parents about access and benefits of claiming FSM can be found at: Free school meals – Wiltshire Council
Please ask the school for support if you have any questions about your entitlement or application by contacting the main school office on