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O’Brien calls on Minister to address cash strapped parents forced to donate to schools

26 February, 2015 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Speaking in the Select Sub-Committee on Education and Skills today, Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien tabled an amendment to address the issue of voluntary contributions that parents are forced to cope with every year.

 The Cork North Central TD said:

 “The amendments we tabled today would, if passed, had ensured that parents would be given access to information to how schools use monies raised used by taking voluntary contributions from students.

 “Parents are finding it extremely hard to deal with voluntary contributions and we all know that they are not really voluntary at all, with students being denied access to lockers and extra-curricular activities until they are paid in some cases.

 “There is an onus on parents to pay them and there are schools with hundreds of students who are paying hundreds of euro in voluntary contributions and parents have no idea what the money is being used for.

 “The Department of Education don’t even have a record of how much schools are asking parents to pay.

 “Parents are under too much pressure in order to pay these and realistically do not have an option to not pay them when they can’t afford to, and we would like to see that addressed.”

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