CAS report confirms fears over cost of uniforms and associated school costs
Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Martina Anderson has said that a new report by the Citizens Advice Service (CAS) which found that 3 out of 4 parents and guardians find meeting their child's school costs 'very' or 'quite' difficult confirms several issues she raised recently around the costs of school uniforms, associated school costs and the impact that was having particularly with families on low income across Derry.
Ms Anderson also has raised the issue of school fees.
Ms Anderson said:
"This survey confirms many of the issues myself and those working in the community and voluntary sector in Derry have raised in recent weeks about the impact the cost of school uniforms and associated costs like additional sportswear, shoes, winter coats was having on many families.
"The survey by the CAS found that that three out of four parents and guardians find meeting their child's school costs 'very' or 'quite' difficult. One lone parent who completed the survey said her daughter's secondary school uniform would cost an entire week's wage.
"Also very worrying is that two in five respondents said there was no financial help available to them, whilst one in four respondents were unaware of any help. That needs to change and people need to be made aware of what help is out there and the criteria they need to meet to get that help.
"Another issue that has been raised by several parents this week is school fees. Many schools are now charging pupils an entrance fee for each year and this can range anywhere from £10 to £50, which is placing many parents I have spoken too under serious financial pressure.
"In previous years many schools would have provided stationary and additional materials as part of an allowance when the fee was paid but now many schools can't afford to continue this practice and again this is another additional cost for parents. ENDS