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Barnardos welcomes the publication today of three reports by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills. In particular, the children’s charity welcomes the findings around school costs and urge the Government to take action on this issue in Budget 2020.
Dublin, 04 July 2019 - Barnardos welcomes the publication today of three reports by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills. In particular, the children’s charity welcomes the findings around school costs and urge the Government to take action on this issue in Budget 2020.
Suzanne Connolly, Barnardos CEO said: “The reports published today highlight a number of educational issues that the children and families Barnardos work with frequently experience – educational disadvantage, being placed on reduced timetables, and the burden of school costs. We particularly welcome the Committee’s recommendations around school costs.
“The substantial financial cost of sending a child to school means access to education is not free and anything but equal. Every year for more than a decade parents have been telling Barnardos- through our School Costs Survey- that their children’s back to school costs places a significant financial burden upon them.
“The Committee’s recommendation around increased funding for school book schemes, with the aim of moving to a scheme which would provide school books to all children is particularly welcome. The introduction of generic and non-crested uniforms would also be a positive move and it should be made mandatory.”
Suzanne Connolly continued, “Providing free books for all children would cost a miniscule amount in terms of the Department of Education’s overall budget but it would have a transformative impact in terms of all children starting off with the same resources. While we recognise the importance of school uniforms and how it can alleviate the pressures on both parents and children around clothes choices, the use of crested uniforms provides no added value and only adds financial pressures to parents in terms of school costs”.
For further information, please contact:
Barnardos Press Office: 01 7080442 / 086 0445966
Rachel Boyce; 01 7080443
Trudy McCarthy; 01 7080423