This review gauges the extent and nature of available literature on the cost of school holidays for families in the UK with low income and the effects holidays have on children’s educational attainment.
This review gauges the extent and nature of available literature on the cost of school holidays for families in the UK with low income and the effects holidays have on children’s educational attainment. This topic is fairly poorly explored and documented and what little literature there is relatively recent and mostly comprises grey literature.
One area where there is relatively substantial body of literature is around summer learning loss, the backslide experienced by young school children over the summer holidays, although this is mostly of North American origin.
The literature review is split into two parts. In the opening section we document the key literature available on the cost of school holidays. In the second we look at the effect on educational achievement and child development.
It also explores some of the initiatives that have been set up to try and ameliorate the lives of children living on low incomes.
The aim of this literature review is to provide evidence to a joint project bringing together What Works Scotland, Glasgow Life, the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, Child Poverty Action Group and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and help in the design and development of programmes to tackle the problems faced by young people in low income families in Glasgow during the summer holidays.
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Authors: Mhairi Campbell, systematic reviewer, working within the Informing Healthy Public Policy Programme at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Nick Watson and Natalie Watters, post-doctoral Research Assistant for the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change.
Publication date: July 2015
Type of publication: Literature review
Hilary Stewart, Nick Watson, Mhairi Campbell
School holidays can be stressful periods for children from low-income families. Poor provision of appropriate childcare, limited access to enrichment activities, and food insecurity mean that children’s health and well-being can suffer and their learning stagnate or decline. This article examines and documents the evidence that has emerged on this topic and aims to raise its profile and the impact on children’s lives. It makes the case for further academic scrutiny of this unexamined and neglected subject.
Published in Childhood journal