Children from low-income families are less likely to feel like their teachers understand them, and are also less likely to ask their parents for help with homework.
That’s according to a new report launched by Barnardos this morning which calls for primary school education to be made completely free, at an estimated cost of around €103m a year - or an extra €185 per pupil.
Barnardos CEO, Fergus Finlay, said: "Thay are much more likely to be in larger classrooms, they are much more likely to be in schools that don’t have all the facilities they need.
"You are going to find, as a consequence of that, that children are struggling in school."
Head of Advocacy with Barnardos, June Tinsley, says that children can be very aware of the circumstances that they are in, and how that may affect their growth.
She said: "Some young people commented how they don’t like where they live, because it's exposed to anti-social behaviour and the gardaí are frequently around.
"Others are shielded from the realities, because parents are making a number of sacrifices."