School Costs Survey 2012

Barnardos. (2012). School Costs Survey 2012.
Barnardos’ School Costs Survey is now in its 7th year. While the landscape in Ireland has changed significantly over those 7 years, parents have been consistent in their criticisms about the high costs of education. Sending children to school continues to be an expensive business and many parents are struggling to meet the demands that school books, uniforms, shoes and other expenses present. In 2012, the nuances of the increasing financial pressure families are experiencing are evident in this survey. Despite some reductions in costs, parents continue to struggle to meet them, reflecting the impact of the economic climate on family budgets overall. The survey continues to highlight the inequality of the Irish education system. The huge variances in parents’ experiences in requests from schools (voluntary contributions, registration fees and miscellaneous fees) indicate that while many schools recognise the need to keep costs low for parents, others have not yet responded to this need or are under such significant financial pressure that they cannot do so. The debate around increasing use of digital technology also indicates that some schools are offering opportunities that others cannot afford and in the absence of a national framework for digital development in education, many children are being left behind in this crucial area.