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School Costs putting Strain on Parents

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 02/08/2017. School Costs putting Strain on ParentsTags: Parents

Barnardos’ Annual School Costs Survey has found once more, that parents are bearing the brunt of an underfunded education system.

There remains a constant expectation that parents will prop up the educational system by having to buy the essentials required for their children to complete the curriculum i.e. books, classroom resources, stationery and voluntary contributions.

June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy, Barnardos said,

“This year over 1,800 parents took the Barnardos’ School Costs Survey. Parents are yet again stressed and over-burdened by back to school costs. It affects so many families, not just those on low incomes.

“The impact of these mounting costs mean many parents are forgoing other bills, cutting back on daily essentials or ending up in debt in order to ensure their children have all they need for the new school year.”

The survey found:

The impact of school costs means 45% of parents had to forgo other bills or cut back on daily essentials.

Parents of primary school pupils pay on average between €50 and €100 on books, while one-fifth (20%) of parents of secondary school pupils pay in excess of €300.

Generic school uniforms are more common at primary level than secondary level. Parents spend on average €95 on school specific uniforms at primary level and between €150 and €200 for them at secondary level.

Fewer parents are being asked to pay a voluntary contribution this year but significantly more parents are being asked to pay the mandatory classroom resources fees.

Many parents were aware of the Minister’s circular (issued in April 2017) to schools to take a more proactive approach in reducing the burden of costs on parents and were disappointed not to have felt any benefit this year.

Again some schools were more proactive than others and subsequently this variation across schools is a major source of frustration for parents. The inaction by schools was often seen as a result of lack of funding by the Government to adequately resource the running of the school and thereby passing on some of the savings to the parents.

“Books should be provided free to students, and there should be no examination fees. Schools expect too much support from parents through fundraising etc, many parents are already hard pressed. The State should be providing all that is needed in order for a school to function successfully instead of making the school go to the parents.”

Source: Press Release, Barnardos School Costs Survey 2017

Read our article for tips on How to Save on Back to School Costs here.


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