Minister must act to reduce the financial burden on parents sending children to school
Sinn Féin education spokesperson, Jonathan O’Brien TD, has said that Minister Ruairí Quinn must do more than pay “lip service” to supporting practical measures that would help reduce the cost of sending a child to school.
Deputy O’Brien said: “For a number of years now, Sinn Féin has put forward suggestions to help ease the financial burden on parents sending their children to school.
“The introduction of a mandatory code of practice for the publishers of school text books, the implementation of book lending schemes and the opportunity for parents to purchase generic school uniforms would make a major difference to hard-pressed parents.
“During a very informative presentation made last week to the Oireachtas Education Committee by advocacy groups such as Barnardos and the St Vincent de Paul, there was general agreement that more must be done to make sending a child to school more affordable.
“So while I welcome the Minister’s support for a campaign to back generic uniforms at primary school level and his efforts to tighten controls on schoolbook costs, he must go further and do all within his power to ensure school boards of managements implement practical cost-saving measures.
“This is needed to help parents who are struggling to clothe and equip their children in preparation for school.”