A new back-to-school costs survey has revealed that one in four parents won’t be able to afford essential items in September.
A new survey by the Irish League of Credit Unions has highlighted the grim reality of back-to-school costs and the real price of education for many parents.
According to the survey, the average Irish parent will shell out €1,209 per child – a figure that is up two percent from last year’s €1,185. Almost 70 percent of respondents admit that they can’t afford extracurricular activities for their kids and 40 percent said finances were too tight to even stretch to school shoes.
The highest schools costs are occurring outside of education, with extracurricular activities coming in at an average of €187 per child. Lunches are costing parents an average of €154 and books came in at a steep €150.
Overall, the average cost of sending a child to primary school has risen to €1,048, but the cost of attending secondary school has fallen slightly (by €75) to €1,401. School fees (including voluntary contributions) have not increased and over 70 percent of parents said they will pay a contribution this year.
The large majority of parents (76 percent) said they don’t believe schools are doing enough to keep costs down for parents, with parents of secondary school school students feeling this even more keenly (85 percent).
The number of parents who would consider using a moneylender has risen since last year, with 4 percent saying they wouldn’t rule it out. Mums and dads of primary school children are borrowing an average of €310, with secondary school parents having to borrow an average of €415. However, those getting into debt as a result of education costs is down 2 percent on last year’s figures to 29 percent.