The cost of equipping children to return to school is leaving thousands of families financially overwhelmed.
Barnardos’ latest back-to-school survey shows the majority of parents are concerned about covering the costs this year.
Parents are under significant financial pressure to meet the costs and some have to take extreme measures such as B. Missing meals to cover school-related expenses.
Barnardos urged the government to ensure that this year’s budget includes free textbooks for all children.
She also wants all schools to have an affordable uniform option and called for an end to voluntary contributions.
The charity also urged the Department of Social Protection to maintain tuition increases.
Due to the increased back-to-school allowance for clothing and shoes, children between the ages of four and eleven receive 260 euros instead of 160 euros.
Children aged 11 and over benefit from €385 instead of €285.
Social Protection Secretary Heather Humphreys said 151,000 families will benefit from this year’s €84 million scheme.
Barnardos said his 2022 Back to School Survey shows the basic cost of a child’s schooling remains significant this year.
The average basic costs for a fourth grader are 424 euros. For a first-grader of secondary school, the costs are estimated by the children’s charity at 814 euros.
To equip a fifth grader, 722 euros have to be spent.
Barnardos calls on the government in the 2023 budget to recognize and introduce measures to alleviate the pressure families are under
The survey found that more than two-thirds of primary school and three-quarters of secondary school parents are concerned about covering costs this year.
And many parents of elementary and secondary school children expressed great concern.
Almost half of parents said recent increases in the cost of living have made it much more difficult to cover costs
Another third of parents said the cost increases made it a little more difficult.
Schools continue to ask parents to buy uniforms with coats of arms or branding. About 75 percent of primary school parents and 95 percent of secondary school parents said they are required to purchase uniforms with crests or branding.
Suzanne Connolly, chief executive of Barnardos, said: “Barnardos is calling on the government in the 2023 budget to recognize and introduce measures to ease the pressure families are under.
“Parents have told us that the cost of getting their children back to school is putting significant financial pressure on them, particularly with the rapidly increasing cost of living.
“Barnardos believes that no parent should be under financial pressure and difficulties when trying to meet the essential costs of their children’s education. No child should worry about their parents being able to afford the school fees.”
She added that schools’ underfunding means parents are trying to help schools fill funding gaps through voluntary contributions.
https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/back-to-school-burden-parents-fret-over-costs-as-bill-for-a-first-year-pupil-totals-814-says-charity-41867348.html Burden on back-to-school: Parents fret over cost as bill for a first-year pupil is €814, charity says