An Aberdeen academy has introduced comfort closets in a bid to alleviate poverty.
Bridge of Don Academy introduced the new measure in a bid to close the poverty-related attainment gap, and to provide any pupil with necessary toiletries that they might need.
The items, available to be collected from guidance teachers and the school office at the academy, include a number of essentials.
Toiletries available are toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner.
All of these are free to pick up by anyone in need and can be accessed discretely in order to avoid any embarrassment for pupils.
Each of the items cost around £1 to purchase, with funding provided through Scottish Government grants, which go to every school in the country.
It aims to ensure all pupils are completing their school day with equal circumstances – without poverty at home as a barrier to their education.
Mr Wallace, pupil equity fund lead at Bridge of Don Academy, said: “As part the school’s drive to close the poverty-related attainment gap and increase the health and wellbeing of all pupils, the school has introduced free comfort closets.
“Each guidance teacher, along with the school office, has a range of deodorants, shampoos, toothpaste, toothbrushes and shower gels for any pupil to collect for free if they feel they need them.
“Along with free sanitary products provided by Aberdeen City Council, any pupil can approach the school office or guidance teacher and ask for any of the items they need.
“We look forward to pupils using this resource responsibly in the school’s drive to bring equity to the school day.”
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Money is allocated to schools in a bid to bring in measures such as the comfort closets from the Pupil Equity Funding, which is administered by the Scottish Government.
Each school across the country is awarded a different amount of money, depending on the location.
Head teacher of Bridge of Don Academy Daphne McWilliam said: “All schools are trying to come up with something that’s quite sustainable.
“We are running a breakfast club and we’ve also got our comfort closets. It’s all to make sure everyone has a fair chance at education and there’s no stigma attached to it.
“You never know when someone might experience poverty, even if it’s just temporarily.”
Over the festive period, pupils also aimed to support others in the community by organising a reverse advent calendar appeal.
Non-perishable items and toiletries were brought in from classes across the school, with a total of 1,632 items donated to the Trussell Trust just before Christmas.
Lesley Dunbar, vice-convener for education operational delivery at Aberdeen City Council, said: “As our £40,000 investment in free sanitary products shows, the dignity and wellbeing of our pupils across the city is extremely important to us.
“The council is fully committed to delivering the outcomes laid out in our Anti-Poverty Strategy and the Bridge of Don Academy initiative is one we fully support as it will help us achieve our ambition of closing the poverty gap and ensuring that all our young people are treated with respect.”