Barnardos Welcomes Free Schoolbook Announcement

Barnardos has actively campaigned for free schoolbooks in its annual Back to School Survey since 2005.

Posted on Monday 26 September 2022

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Barnardos children’s charity today welcomes the announcement that all primary school children will receive free schoolbooks from next September on a permanent ongoing basis, something for which the organisation has campaigned on for almost two decades.

Barnardos CEO Suzanne Connolly said: ‘Every year Barnardos’ Back to School Survey hears the struggles many parents face trying to meet back to school costs. This summer we heard financial pressures were forcing some to take drastic steps, such as go without essentials, in order to meet those costs.

“Parents told us the number one priority they wanted the Government to focus on to reduce pressures was the provision of free schoolbooks. Therefore, we strongly welcome today’s announcement and positive steps taken by the Department of Education.

“Children should live in households in which parents can focus their attention on education and learning, not on anxieties about meeting school costs. This is a first step in making that a reality for parents of primary children. We encourage the Government to prioritise free schoolbooks for secondary school students next.’

Today’s announcement goes some way towards providing a truly free education system within this country and is a step forward in helping place all primary school pupils at a more level playing field every September.

It will provide much needed support to parents who struggle financially every year to meet back to school costs, reducing the cost of a primary school child by on average cost of €110.

The charity urges the Government to make further commitments under Budget 2023 regarding affordable uniforms, maintaining the back to school allowance increase and to put an end to voluntary contributions.

Barnardos Calls on the Government in Budget 2023 to: 
  • Provide free schoolbooks to all children  - provide free schoolbooks for secondary school students
  • Ensure all schools have an option of an affordable uniform   
  • Maintain back to school allowance increase 
  • End voluntary contributions 


Barnardos 2022 Back to School Report:
Back to School Survey Report Summary
Back to School Survey Full Report

Notes to editors: 

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