“The number of parents who find themselves under pressure to find the cash for these payments every September is very significant,” said Cork South West TD Jim Daly.
“The practice of primary schools demanding money from parents is immoral and unjust.
“Every year, parents approach me about this issue and inform me of just how difficult it is for them to come up with the funds.
They already have the significant costs of books and clothing during the back-to-school period, without getting a bill from the school the first week back, for services the children are entitled to free of charge under constitutional law.
“The practice needs to come to an end,” said Mr Daly, a former school principal, who is continuing to press for the establishment of an education ombudsman.
He also said he did not blame school authorities for seeking additional “voluntary contributions”, but said the €42m raised annually should come out of the education minister’s €8.3bn budget.