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This year over 2,200 parents took the Barnardos’ School Costs Survey. The resounding message is that all parents, regardless of income, find the back to school period places a strain on their finances and causes significant stress.
The majority of parents have to either take out a loan, delay payment of other bills or take money out of savings to cover school costs. This experience is magnified for those families who struggle financially or have additional challenges. Lone parents, parents who are full time carers and families with either a parent or a child with a disability all voiced their frustration at being left to struggle with school costs. Ireland’s education system purports to provide free education but in reality is heavily subsidised by families.
How can it be free education if parents have to make up the difference between the budget the schools get from the Dept. of Education and the budget it needs to keep running? Schools should be 100% funded. –School Costs Survey 2018 participant