Families cutting back on food to pay rising school bills, survey says

The Belfast Telegraph is reporting that the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) said that the money needed to get youngsters ready for the new term in August and September has soared since 2012.

It now costs on average 967 euro to send a child back to primary school and 1,474 euro for secondary. And three quarters of parents told researchers they do not think schools are doing enough to keep costs down.

The credit union research found escalating price tags are run up on new uniforms and gym gear at an average of 257 euro a child, the so-called voluntary contribution to the school at about 113 euro and books at 145 euro. Bills also fly in for after-school care, extracurricular classes, lunches, school trips and transport.

Ed Farrell, chief executive of the ILCU, urged people to properly assess what they need, set a budget and stick to it. “While it can be tedious, we would urge parents to shop around for the best value deals,” he said.

He added: “Most importantly avoid using moneylenders. If you are considering a loan, make sure to visit your local credit union to see what is available to you.”

The survey of 1,000 adults in June also examined the knock-on effect ,with two thirds of parents saying they sacrifice a family holiday to meet the costs. Elsewhere, 13% of parents will save on food bills.

More at: Families cutting back on food to pay rising school bills, survey says

Do you find that parents are struggling to pay for the new school year? Does your school offer any help with this? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie

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