BACK TO SCHOOL COSTS -(As  printed in the Daily Mail)

Barnardos back to school

What do you think about the high cost of going back to school?

My view is very simple education should be equal across the board giving every single child a chance to become the best that they can be. Now I know we don’t live in a perfect world but we could live in a better country that values our youth and invests in future generations.

Surely investing in our youth is an investment in our future economy – or do politicians just not care. It does surprise me sometimes how common sense isn’t very common here. From the minute you have children in Ireland most people will be broke. God forbid you, like me, want to go to work and need childcare, as that’s the equivalent to a second mortgage.

There is enormous pressure put on parents and while some schools have stepped up to the plate and introduced things like book rental schemes, it shouldn’t be left to the schools and parents alone. It really is time the government took education seriously and created a fair system, where we are not having the same conversation year in, year out.

The Barnardos report released on Tuesday 29th July very clearly shows that children are the ones suffering here. I was shocked to read that the seemingly voluntary contributions schools ask for are not that “voluntary” after all, with some schools going as far as relentlessly persuing parents via letters, emails and texts.

Other methods included reminders in newsletters or children even being denied a school journal or lockers if the payment was not paid. This kind of practice is incredibly humiliating for a child and surely we’ve moved on in modern Ireland from this type of behaviour??

Parents should be able to shop around for uniforms and emblems or crests should be sold separately (if really necessary) so they can be attached after. I am a big fan of uniforms though because I do believe it reduces the competition especially at secondary level with designer labels. I lived in the states for years and witnessed first hand just how important your clothing became which is just another distraction from learning.

A good education is the greatest gift we can give our children. We’re learning till the day we die. Education opens doors and creates opportunities for a better future for everyone. I’m returning to college myself in September again for another few years to follow my dreams. Our government is shattering our young peoples dreams before they’ve even begun.

CASH SAVING TIPS:

1. Second hand all the way. Ask around for second hand books. We always covered ours and the rule was no writing on them so they could be passed on.

2. Look for deals on uniforms and let down the hems if you can to get more time out of them

3. Some stores have great sales on uniforms in early October. Squeeze into your old one for a month until you get a great deal and always buy it slightly bigger.

4. Always bring a healthy packed lunch instead of giving money it will be cheaper in the long run.

 

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