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Children shouldn’t be going to school hungry to pay for the school uniform they’re wearing – O’Brien

8 July, 2015 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Speaking following the results of a survey conducted by the Irish League of Credit Unions demonstrating unacceptably high rates of back to school costs, Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien called on the government to act immediately to help parents.

The Cork North Central TD said;

“The results of the Irish League of Credit Unions Survey should make for stark reading for policy makers.

“The burden of financing the minimum essentials of getting children off to school is too much for many parents.

“It is completely unacceptable that parents are getting in to debt to buy school uniforms and books and PE gear, let alone actually cutting back on paying essential bills and buying food.

“Despite the line that is repeated by government members, the Minister for Education does have statutory power to compel schools to adopt particular policies under the Education Act regarding school uniforms or any other issues.

“The Minister has the capacity to make real changes that would positively affect the families struggling to fund their children’s basic primary education.

“Empty rhetoric is not good enough, and while some schools are to be commended in the efforts they’ve made to reduce costs for parents, it is not acceptable to simply depend on the goodwill of Boards of Management who have done nothing in the past to address this issue.

“There is a responsibility on the part of the government to address this as a matter of urgency.

“Children shouldn’t be going to school hungry to pay for the school uniform they’re wearing and this is the situation that government inaction is pushing families in to.” 

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