More parents are in debt because of back to school costs, survey reveals
A growing number of parents in Ireland find themselves in debt as a new school year approaches.
Children's charity Barnardos surveyed 2,220 parents on the cost of sending their children back to school.
The annual survey found that the basic cost of primary and secondary school fees has increased this year.
The organisation revealed mamas and papas have to fork out an average of €360 to send their senior infant to primary school. The average was €330 this time last year.
It also said it costs around €765 for parents to send their son or daughter to first year in secondary school. Last year, parents had to pay an average of €745 so that's an increase of €20.
The costs include books, uniforms, footwear, classroom resources and voluntary contributions to the school.
Barnardos' survey found that 11 percent of primary school parents and 21 percent of secondary school parents have no other option but to borrow money to cover the costs.
In light of their findings, the kid's charity criticised this country's "free education" system.
It is calling on the government to allocate an extra €103.2 million annually to cover primary education costs.
The organisation's Head of Advocacy June Tinsley said:
“By refusing to commit the relatively small amount of money required to fully fund the education system, the Government are placing families under significant stress and are running the risk of leaving the most vulnerable children without the basics they need to learn."
Barnardos also recommended the government invest €126.9 million annually to make secondary school free for all kids.