Barnardos survey finds around 10% of parents have to borrow to cover school costs

Barnardos survey finds around 10% of parents have to borrow to cover school costs

Roughly one in 10 parents have to borrow money to cover school costs.

That's just one of the findings from a new Barnardos survey of the expenses facing the parents of primary and secondary school children.

In its survey of 1,400 parents, Barnardos found that roughly one in 10 have to borrow money to cover school costs, while almost a half do not pay bills in order to finance things like uniforms, books and footwear.

It also found that around seven in 10 parents continue to be asked for a voluntary contribution from schools, while three in four primary and nine in 10 secondary parents say they are still asked to buy branded uniforms.

Barnardos CEO Suzanne Connolly says there are significant costs associated with sending a child to school, and it's something the government needs to urgently look at:

Ms Connolly said: "So it costs €340 to send a senior infant child back to school, €380 for a fourth-class pupil and €735 for a first-year secondary school pupil.

"We are asking for the Government to make a key step in addressing the costs of education by investing 0.2%of the overall education budget to make free school books available to all primary school children."

The charity's also calling for more than €200m extra to be invested into primary and secondary education each year to help struggling parents and for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance to be restored to 2010 levels.

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