Back to School 2022

The government need to realise that people need better supports to cover the cost of back to school. I work and I find it degrading that I have to borrow from people to get my child what he needs for school.

(Primary school parent) 


Back to School 2022 


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2022 Survey Findings

  • The basic cost of sending a child to school in 2022 remains substantial across primary and secondary: the average cost of the basics needed for a fourth class pupil is €424; a first year pupil is €814 and a fifth year pupil is €722  
  • Over two thirds of primary (69%) and three-quarters of secondary school parents (74%) are worried about meeting costs this year, (25% primary and 32% secondary said they were very concerned).  
  • Almost half of parents (46% of primary and 48% of secondary) said recent cost of living increases had made it much more difficult to meet costs with a further one third of parents (36%) saying it had made it slightly more difficult.  
  • Schools continue to ask parents to buy crested or branded uniforms with 75% of primary and 95% of secondary school parents reporting they are required to do so.  



Barnardos believes that no parent should face financial pressure and struggles in trying to meet what are essential costs for their children’s education. No child should feel any anxiety about their parents’ ability to meet school costs. For many families, struggling to meet recent cost of living increases has meant their ability to be able to afford back to school costs is particularly precarious this year. The government should set out plans to provide genuinely free education for all children.

  1. Free school books
  2. Affordable uniforms
  3. Maintain back to school allowance increase
  4. End voluntary contributions