STATEMENT BY AODHÁN Ó RÍORDÁIN TD
Vice-Chair of Education and Social Protection Committee
Labour Party TD, Dublin North Central
Sunday, September 9th, 2012
Vice-Chair of the Education and Social Protection Committee Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD has stated that representatives of the School Patron Bodies will be invited before the committee to discuss the ongoing problem of back-to-school costs.
"Recent figures have shown that the number of families applying for the Back to School Allowance have doubled since 2007, which clearly indicates that thousands of families are now struggling under the weight of school costs. A Barnardos survey published this summer showed that the average cost of sending a child to senior infants is €355, while the average cost of sending a child to first year in secondary school is now €770."
"Many of the costs incurred by parents are unnecessarily high and it requires more leadership from school Patron Bodies and Boards of Management to reduce these expenses which many parents cannot afford.'
"There are many areas that school leaders must address as a matter of urgency:
- Uniform costs must be monitored more closely
- Book rental schemes must be better utilised
- Concerns over Voluntary Contributions must also be addressed
"We hope to discuss these matters with the various patron bodies in the coming weeks, and I would encourage parents to make their own views known to their respective Boards of Management so as to encourage change."
Contact Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD at 086-8190336