Dáíl Education Committee recommends generic uniforms for schoolchildren

Every school should have generic uniforms and sports gear without badges to ease the financial burden on parents.

Dáíl Education Committee recommends generic uniforms for schoolchildren

Every school should have generic uniforms and sports gear without badges to ease the financial burden on parents.

That is one of the recommendations from the Dáíl's Education Committee, which finds the school system is "unfair and unequal", with children from less affluent backgrounds destined to struggle.

The committee has issued three reports on school costs, barriers to education and the use of reduced timetables.

TDS and Senators say non-badged uniforms should be brought in, along with generic sports gear in every school.

It also recommends giving sufficient cover to principals at least one day a week.

It also says schools need greater funding so all pupils have access to free and high-quality education.

Its chair, Fiona O'Loughlin, said increasing the capitation grant would reduce the voluntary contributions parents are paying.

Ms O'Loughlin said: "The average child that goes to school is being asked for €150 per child.

"So, you can imagine the cost for a family of more than one child, apart from the cost of school books, apart from the cost of a school uniform."

Suzanne Connolly CEO of Barnardos says school books should be free, too.

Ms Connolly said: "The €20m that is needed to make free school books available for children, in the context of a €10bn budget that is available to the Department of Education, that is really doable."

The committee will now put forward the reports to the Dáíl for TDs to debate.

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