The Real Cost of School 2019

This year over 1400 parents took the Barnardos’ School Costs Survey. We found that parents continue to pay substantial costs in getting their children ready to return to school each September. 

I have been buying school supplies and uniform pieces since March to ensure I have everything for September. The uniform allowance is saved to pay for her schoolbooks in September, as the school gets the workbooks and books and then we pay them

(Primary School Parent, Barnardos School Costs Survey 2019)

School Costs Infographic 2019

See the 2019 infographic of results

2019 School Costs Infographic

2019 Survey Findings

This year’s survey found: The basic cost of sending a child to school in 2019 remains substantial across primary and secondary: the average cost of the basics needed for a senior infants pupil is €340; a fourth class pupil is €380 and a first year pupil is €735

  • The basic cost of sending a child to school in 2019 remains substantial across primary and secondary: the average cost of the basics needed for a senior infants pupil is €340; a fourth class pupil is €380 and a first year pupil is €735
  • Many parents say they forgo paying bills and cut back on other costs to meet the costs of returning to school: 42% of primary school parents and 47% of secondary school parents. Worryingly 8% of primary and 14% of secondary school parents are forced to borrow money to cover school costs.
  • 51% of primary school parents and 46% of secondary school parents reported an increase in the cost of school books this year. However, the majority of those who avail of a book rental scheme have indicated that their contribution has remained the same – 62% and 71% respectively.
  • Despite a 5% increase in capitation fees parents are still being asked to pay a voluntary contribution: 67% of primary school parents have been asked for a voluntary contribution (same as last year); 69% of secondary school parents have been asked to pay a contribution (down 2% on last year)
  • 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