Parents say they need more help with back-to-school costs as inflation eats away at family budgets

Ministers are facing increased pressure to help struggling parents with rising back-to-school costs as inflation means some have to pay hundreds of euros more than last year for books , uniforms and equipment.

advocates say action is needed to prevent children from being harmed due to inflation. The National Parents Council Post Primary (NPCPP) says the bills have gone up from €1,250 per child last year to €1,500 today because of inflation.

He called on schools to ensure that pupils whose parents struggle to pay bills or make contributions to schools are not identifiable by other pupils.

“The only thing that hasn’t increased are the so-called voluntary contributions, but we feel they shouldn’t be there anyway,” said NPCPP communications director Paul Rolston.

“The biggest problem with these is the potential identification of those who cannot pay and the potential further isolation of children whose parents cannot pay.

“We are appalled at cases where children cannot get lockers or participate in activities because parents cannot pay the contributions and we are adamant schools should be aware and sympathetic of those who cannot pay. .”

Michelle Murphy, research and policy analyst for Social Justice Ireland, said more parents needed support to cope with the rising cost of living.

“Back-to-school costs are an issue every year, but now I think it’s an issue for families where it probably wasn’t an issue before, due to rising energy costs, food costs and those that are passed on to consumers,” she says.

While back-to-school clothing and footwear allowance rates were recently increased by €100, Ms Murphy said the school meals scheme will also need to be expanded to support more families in need.

Government sources say costs are being watched and new measures are unlikely to be announced ahead of the budget, but they would like to see more schools take advantage of book rental schemes and encourage the use of generic uniforms. .

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