The Real Cost of School in 2023 - Back to School Survey (Report)

Barnardos. (2023). The Real Cost of School in 2023 - Back to School Survey (Report).
Every year, for 18 years, Barnardos has highlighted the costs incurred by parents in preparing their children to return to school each September, reporting on the pressures parents are directly experiencing to cover back to school costs. In Budget 2023, the Government took the progressive step to provide free schoolbooks to all primary school students. Despite this development, expenses remain high for parents. It is shameful and unjust that any child should grow up in a household experiencing severe financial pressures, struggling to afford something so fundamental as education. Now is the time to build on last year’s momentous step and set out plans to provide a truly free education to all children in Ireland. Barnardos calls on the government to prioritise the following four steps: 1. Provide free schoolbooks to all secondary children 2. Make it mandatory that all schools have an option of a low-cost uniform 3. Maintain Back to School Footwear and Clothing Allowance, increase and expand thresholds, and extend Child Benefit 4. End voluntary contributions