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Saturday 30 September 2023 Dublin: 11°C
# School Costs
Most parents concerned about cost of sending children back to school, survey says
The survey found that parents were concerned about the costs amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

A MAJORITY OF parents are concerned about whether or not they can meet the cost to send their children back to school, a new report has found.

The Barnardos back to school survey has found that the cost of sending a child back to school is the most pressing issue for families at the moment, with some families under considerable financial strain amid the ongoing rise in the cost of living.

According to the survey, 69% primary and 75% of secondary school parents are worried about meeting the cost of sending their child to school this year.

Additionally, 25% of primary and 32% of secondary school parents said that they were very concerned about meeting the cost of sending a child back to school.

The survey also showed that 3% of primary and 5% of secondary school parents said that they would be unable to meet the cost.

Parents said that the recent rise in cost of living had made it much more difficult to meet the costs, with 46% of primary and 48% of secondary saying that was the case.

Alongside concerns by parents, the report also found that the average cost of sending a fourth class pupil back to school is €424, a first year pupil is €814 and a fifth year pupil is €772.

Suzanne Connolly, CEO of Barnardos, has called on the Government to introduce measures to help alleviate the pressure on families in Budget 2023.

“Parents have told us that their children’s back to school costs are placing considerable financial pressure on them, particularly as a result of rapid cost of living increases,” Connolly said.

“Barnardos believes that no parent should face financial pressure and struggles in trying to meet what are essential costs for their children’s education. No child should feel any anxiety about their parents’ ability to meet school costs.”

Connolly did welcome the increase in the back-to-school allowance, but said that the Government “could go further”.

“We think the government could go further and set out plans to provide a genuinely free school system for all children. 

“The underfunding of schools has meant that parents are left trying to help schools meet shortfalls in funding through voluntary contributions. The government must provide adequate funding to schools so that they no longer have to rely on additional contributions from parents. ”

Parent spokesperson Sarah, who is the mother of four children and three of which attend primary school said there are huge costs beyond just getting children back to school.

“Living in a rural area, it’s not just the school costs it’s also the huge costs of transporting the children to school.

“Fuel, tax, insurance, the living costs in the home, heating food and electricity. We have no other choices to get children to school, it has gone beyond crazy at the cost of living these days.

“The government need to spend time in the real world.”

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