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02nd Aug 2023

Survey finds majority of parents are worried about school costs

A survey has found that the majority of parents are worried about back-to-school expenses due to the rising cost of living.

The survey was carried out by the children’s charity Barnardo’s and the research found that the average cost of a child returning to fourth class is now €320.

When it comes to the price of a student going into first year of secondary school, the cost rises to €972.

The survey also found that 24% of parents who have children in secondary school said they had to take out a loan or borrow from friends to meet back-to-school costs.

These costs include uniforms, voluntary contributions, digital tools, and for secondary school students the cost of books.

This September, all primary school students will be able to avail of free books and copy books after it was announced last year in the Budget.

Barnardo’s are now calling for the scheme to be extended to secondary schools, as well as ending the voluntary contributions, the once-off €100 increase in the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance to be maintained.

They also are calling for the child benefit payment to be maintained for 18-year-olds still in second level school and all schools to have low-cost uniform options.

Over 1,100 parents and guardians took part in the online survey between June 19th and July 10th, with 629 parents having children in secondary school while 519 were parents of primary school kids.

50% of parents with children in primary school were worried about the costs this year while 35% said the general cost-of-living increases made it more difficult to afford back-to-school costs.

49% said costs are manageable but 14% said they are concerned about them. Two percent said they will not be able to afford them.

For secondary school parents, 66% said they are worried about costs, with 48% said cost-of-living increases made things more difficult. 26% of parents said they are manageable while 7% said they will not meet the costs.