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08th Jul 2015

This is what you’ll be paying for your child’s “free” education this year…

Katie Mythen-Lynch

That “free education” offered to Irish children appears to be getting more and more expensive, with the average price of sending a child to a non fee-paying school topping €800 this year. 

According to research by the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU), Irish mums and dads will fork out €816 for books and uniforms, school trips, PE kit, travel and so-called voluntary contributions.

And it gets pricier when children reach secondary school age, with the cost rising to €1, 313, of which €213 is spent on books – up from €166 in 2014.

More than 70 per cent of parents who qualified for the back to school allowance said it wasn’t enough to cover basic costs, while 32 per cent of the 1,000 parents surveyed said back to school costs were a significant financial burden.

School uniforms were the most expensive items on the back to school list for both primary and secondary school children. Primary school uniforms cost parents around €166 per child, with secondary school uniforms coming in at €258. Almost half of parents surveyed (42 per cent) said they shop for uniforms online to save money.

School meals came in third on the list of expenses, with the cost of feeding a secondary school student rising from €134 to €147 per child.

It seems there really is no such thing as a free lunch.

Do you think Irish parents pay too much for their children’s free education? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter @HerFamilydotie #HerFamOpinion