School uniforms must be affordable for all families – O’Brien
Commenting on the news that Education Minister Ruairi Quinn will facilitate a survey of parents on school uniforms, Sinn Fein Education Spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien TD welcomed this as a positive step but said that regardless of the survey outcome, it was the Minister’s responsibility to ensure that school uniforms are affordable for all.
The Cork North-Central TD said;
“The Minister’s idea that there should be a survey of parents to see what they want should be welcomed as a positive acknowledgement that many families find school uniforms to be hugely expensive and have problems providing them for their children.
“Every year Barnardos publish research showing the cost of a school uniform in many schools is exorbitant. The price involved which includes the need for a PE kit, is putting many families under severe financial pressure and especially affects those who have several children at one.
“Many schools view uniforms as tool of equality when everyone has to dress the same, however if they are not affordable for some they exacerbate inequality.
“The Minister has a responsibility that whatever comes of this survey, school uniforms are affordable to all families, and if it is a case that the majority of parents decide they want an expensive uniform he needs to come up with a creative solution that ensures no child is financially prohibited from getting the uniform they need.”