Uniform costs - Schools have the power

The gathering storm surrounding the high cost of school uniforms has taken a welcome twist with the commonsense call by Education Minister Ruairí Quinn for children to be supplied with a generic outfit.

The admission that he is powerless to intervene in this controversy puts the ball firmly in the court of school principals and managers.

A Northern Ireland solution worth considering would be to iron the various school crests on uniforms, thus reducing some of the financial burden on parents.

The Oireachtas Education committee should immediately summon school management bodies for talks on ways of helping parents. That would enable TDs to break their long holidays for the benefit of constituents. By meeting Barnardos, the Vincent de Paul Society, and parent councils to pursue this burning issue, Mr Quinn would be doing a good day’s work.


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