Barnardos Welcome Increase in Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance
Barnardos children’s charity welcomes Minister Varadkar’s announcement to raise the rates for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance by 25%, with €125 per primary school pupil and €250 per secondary pupil now available to low income families.
Fergus Finlay, CEO, Barnardos said: "through our annual School Costs Survey we know parents, particularly those in low income families, are really struggling with the costs of sending their children back to school. Many have to resort to cutting back on household bills, taking out loans or borrowing from family and friends to cover the cost. So while this is a welcome announcement it should be seen as a first step towards creating a genuinely free education system as envisaged in Minister Varadkar’s recent election manifesto.
“Ireland’s education system is a public service that must be adequately funded to ensure all children have what they need to learn. We cannot claim it is a free system when parents are paying for it. Investment in education must be a priority for Budget 2018”.
June Tinsley, Barnardos Head of Advocacy added “this is a much need boost to families in need as the rates were not in line with real prices. We urge all eligible families to apply as soon as possible so they can receive the payment promptly ahead of preparing for the new school year.”