Big Red Button

Community Support

We recognise that a combination of factors including rising prices of food and energy are creating very challenging circumstances for many families in our school community. As a school we are committed to doing everything that we can to support at this time and there are two principal strands to this:

  • Ensuring that we continue to offer students an exceptional educational experience, including access to a wide range of extra-curricular activities that raises the aspirations of our young people and helps to develop their confidence and wider skills.
  • Directing families to potential sources of additional support within school and also through other organisations that are operating in the area.

Maintaining an Exceptional Educational Experience

Schools are also subject to many of the same challenges as families as we are required to meet the challenges of rising costs and meet rising demands.  Whilst this is the case, we firmly believe that we must continue to provide students with access to exceptional educational experiences that allow them to achieve their full potential:

  • Wednesday Super Curriculum – to ensure all of our students benefit from the broadest and best possible range of enrichment experiences, we have brought this into our school day and they are part of the extended school day that takes place each Wednesday.  Students are given the opportunity to take part in a wide variety of activities, including many that they would not be able to access outside of school or would only be able to access at a significant cost to families.  As students move into Y11, students who require additional tutoring beyond their regular lessons, are also provided with this.  For more information about the Super Curriculum, please click here.

  • Educational Visits – the principle that underpins educational visits is the desire to make these accessible to as many students as possible at all times.  In some instances, visits will be heavily subsidised to allow this or paid for in full.  The annual visit of Y7 students to the Kingswood Outdoor Education Centre is a perfect example of our approach and sees the vast majority of our Y7 students taking part in a residential visit during their first year at the school.

  • School Rewards – our school approach to rewards is an important element of our school culture.  We invest heavily in our programme of rewards assemblies, rewards visits and also the weekly spin of our rewards wheel…The Wheel of Wonder!

  • Laidlaw X Funding – as a school operating as part of the Laidlaw School Trust, we are able to access some additional funding through the charitable donations of The Laidlaw Foundation.  This is termed ‘Laidlaw X Funding’ and can not be used to pay for the day to day running of a school.  Instead, this funding must be used in a way that really does make a ‘difference’ and which offers our students opportunities that other schools may not be able to.  At a time when many schools are looking at reducing their spending on extra-curricular activities, we’re in a position that we are able to continue to expand the range of these that are on offer.

        In 23/24, some of the ways in which our ‘Laidlaw X Funding’ is being used to support our young people                are listed below:

  • Subsidising a number of educational visits such as the Kingswood residential in Y7.
  • Maintaining and enhancing the range of sporting fixtures for Team SCC.
  • Supporting a range of activities that will help us to enhance the ‘reading for pleasure’ culture that already exists in the school.
  • Funding many other activities and programmes that support students to take part in activities relating to the arts and which help to build the ‘cultural capital’ they need to succeed for the rest of their lives.

School Support for Our Families

We think very carefully about the experience of our families and consider whether or not the school is operating in a way that is supportive to the circumstances that they may be facing.  There are a number of ways in which the school provides direct support to families when this is required:

  • Uniform Support – we operate ‘The Sedgefield Swap Shop’ which is our school scheme that allows us to support parents in meeting the cost of school uniform by being able to access pre-loved items that are in excellent condition for a minimal donation.  For any families that would like to explore the possibility of using this service, please contact your child’s Year Manager in the first instance.  Further detail about ‘The Sedgefield Swap Shop’ can be found at this link.

  • Subsidised School Transport – our school community is made up of students from many different local villages and one of the strengths of the school is the way that we all then come together as one.  For students who are not entitled to a free place on a school bus, the school continues to offer places on school transport.  With the rising costs of fuel, the school has taken the decision to do everything within our power to minimise the extent to which these costs have been passed on to those parents and carers who are making use of the service.

In addition to the two points above, the school receives pupil premium funding to support us to effectively meet the needs of those students who are entitled to receive free school meals.  This funding is used in a variety of ways and the impact of this is seen in the exceptional outcomes of our young people.  Further detail about the way in which the pupil premium funding is used at SCC can be found at this link.

Additional Support Available in the Area

Information is regularly shared with the school from organisations in our area, including Durham County Council about support (financial and otherwise) that may be of interest to our families.  To ensure that this information can be easily accessed, all of this information (including website links) is available below:

Durham County Council – Free School Meals

Details about the eligibility criteria for free school meals are available on the Durham County Council website at this link:

If your child does not currently receive free school meals, but you believe that you may satisfy the criteria to do so, we would encourage you to complete the form available on Durham’s website.  If you have any difficulties with this, please do contact the school and we will do anything we can to support you.

Durham County Council – Summary of Available Financial Help and Support

A dedicated webpage has been developed for County Durham residents: Help with your money.  The page has information on a range of support available including applying for Free School Meals (FSM), debt advice/financial help and help with heating and fuel bills.  There is also detailed information about the way in which local food banks operate and also the location of those in the area.

Linked to the website, this leaflet has also been produced by DCC and provides guidance for any families who may be experiencing financial difficulties including links to organisations who may be able to provide independent advice.

Help Buying Items for Schools (Including Uniforms)

A dedicated webpage has been created by Durham County Council that is intended to help families find out about this support:

Do remember that our pre-loved uniform scheme at SCC is very well-supported and further details about this can be found by clicking here

Local Food Banks and Warm Spaces

We would like to highlight some of the support that is available in the local area and this includes both food banks and warm spaces.  Each location has different facilities that they offer. 

Food banks available in the area:

Warm Spaces available in the area:

The Bread and Butter Thing (TBBT)

TBBT collects surplus food and staple goods that often end up going to waste from supermarkets, factories and farms, and distributes it at a discount price through 10 community hubs across County Durham. You will need to become a member to use the service, but this is free to do. For just £8.50, TBBT members' shopping bags can be filled with an average of £35 worth of items made up of quality, nutritious food. Each week members can access three bags of produce, including fresh fruit and vegetables, chilled goods, as well as cupboard staples such as pasta and cereal.     Bread and Butter Thing: membership

Advice on Keeping Homes Warm

Durham County Council have created this leaflet that includes 20 top energy saving tips that can help people to save money on their energy bills, have a warmer home and also reduce carbon emissions.

Loaning Free E-Books from Your Local Library 

BorrowBox is an app that allows you to borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks for free from your local library.  The app is available for a wide range of mobile phones and tablet devices.   

For more information about how BorrowBox works, click on this link: